Traveling to Greece in September 2010?
April 29, 2010 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Is it advisable to travel to Greece this September?

We were planning to spend a few weeks in Greece this September for our honeymoon. However, the current financial crisis that's going on there (and that doesn't seem to be resolving itself cleanly) is getting us a bit worried. I'm aware that its pretty impossible to give any kind of a prediction what the situation will be like come September, but given the news that's available so far, is traveling in Greece a good idea?

I'm not really too worried about safety issues as I don't believe the crisis will result in a great increase in crime or public safety issues (at the very least, outside of Athens). What I'm mainly concerned about are transportation strikes, or the closing down of important transport routes, since we're planning to spend some time in Athens, the Peloponnese, and a few islands too. We'll probably be sticking to rail, coach and ferry. Difficulties with transport will be a major bummer, will this be likely?
posted by destrius to Travel & Transportation around Greece (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just a somewhat unrelated FYI, I was in Greece last September. It was clear, but windy and cold. We were in some of the far-flung islands. But it was too cold to do much swimming. And very, very windy.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 7:37 AM on April 29, 2010

I don't think anyone can know for sure what is going to happen. But in terms of how it will affect your travel plans, I think the key is to make sure you can be relatively flexible in terms of when you want to be places/ how you want to get there.

For some recent anecdata - I was in Athens, Greece the first week of March, just as some of the biggest protests/ strikes were starting to take place (March 3 was the day they announced the actual plans for the austerity measures, I think, leading to some big protests by parliament).

There was a taxi strike one day (luckily, Athens is pretty walkable and the metro is all new, and beautiful) and then the day after we left there was a public transportation strike. The nice thing is that the strikes aren't usually all on the same day - the key is to keep your travel plans relatively flexible. If the taxis and metro both strike the same day, you can't get to the airport; if the airport strikes one day, you might have to take a boat.

Really though, I was barely aware of the fact that the country was facing major financial troubles. And I was staying two blocks away from parliament, so it isn't like I just wasn't in the right area.
posted by CharlieSue at 7:45 AM on April 29, 2010

Obviously there is a meaningful risk of that as part of the austerity plan calls for reducing public sector wages so strikes are certainly in the cards - but by september? who knows. Simply impossible to call. I might invest in travel insurance that specifically covers incidences like a general strike so you don't end up left in a lurch.
posted by JPD at 7:48 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

I first started travelling in Greece in 2005. Let me just say this: there are transportation strikes all. the. time. Seriously. Today's financial crisis really hasn't much bearing on the fact that the transit workers in Greece strike frequently and that you should be as flexible as possible with your point-to-point travel within Greece. For me, that meant having a home base in Athens at a familiar hotel where I could camp out if the ferries weren't running AND I couldn't get a flight on an island hopper. One or two days of Athenian fun and then the strike would be over and I could continue on my way.
posted by annathea at 7:52 AM on April 29, 2010

If I had my choice of places to be stranded or otherwise inconvenienced, Greece would be high on the list. Just as a data point, we were in Athens and Rhodes during September 2007 and the weather was perfect for swimming. There were terrible fires all summer and we almost cancelled but were glad we went.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:12 PM on April 29, 2010

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