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Greece Wildfires – Here’s What You Need To Know

It has been widely reported that wildfires in Greece have occurred over the past few days, and we’ve received various questions and queries from users regarding what exactly has happened and how this is affecting holidays to the popular tourist region.

Here’s more on the situation, including the latest government advice for Greece holidays

How did the wildfires happen?

An exact cause is still unknown, though it is believed that the local climate had an impact on making an inital fire spark. Hot weather experienced in the area is thought to have dried out undergrowth, causing flames to spread more easily than in places with even the smallest amount of rainfall, whilst high wind speeds have also contributed to this.

Which areas have been impacted?

Resorts and homes in the region of Rafina, 18 miles from capital city Athens, have been affected and are located on the east cost of the country, fanning across residential and beach areas. It is not yet clear how many acres of land have been covered by the flames, though local officials have stated that strong winds have spread flames up to four miles wide, near Kineta.

Are the main tourist resorts affected?

No, and it is important to note that most visits to Greece, including Athens, are unaffected. Popular islands including Crete, Corfu and Rhodes have not been impacted and are situated in excess of 400km away from the wildfires.

What is the latest government travel advice for Greece holidays?

The wildfires have been confined to limited areas and there aren’t any travel restrictions in place. Tourists are advised to keep up to date with local media reports and follow the instruction of the Greek authorities in affected areas.

The most popular holiday regions in Greece available to compare on are located more than 400km away from where the wildfires have happened. For context, this is roughly the same distance as London to Paris, France.

A spokesperson from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has also stated: “The wildfires in Greece are northeast of Athens in the Penteli area and 50km west of Athens.

“This area isn’t a main destination for UK tourists. People on holiday in the region are advised to monitor news reports and follow any advice issued by the local authorities, their travel company or their accommodation providers.”

I’ve got a holiday booked to Greece that I found through – what are my options?

If you have any questions or queries relating to a booking that you made after comparing deals on, contact the travel operator your holiday is with. You may also be able to cancel or apply for a refund on your trip if the government’s travel advice for Greece changes, though it is thought that their guidance for the country is very unlikely to be modified given the affected area is so small.

Again, you should contact the travel company you booked with about this.

I’m in the UK but worried about a British national in Greece. What should I do?

British nationals are being instructed to call our Embassy in Athens on +30 210 7272 600 if they have been affected by the wildfires and need consular assistance. If you’re here in the UK and worried about a friend, relative or other British national who is currently in Greece, call the FCO on 020 2008 1500.

Information in this article is correct as of 25th July 2018 and has been taken from the GOV.UK foreign travel advice for Greece, full details of which can be found here.