There is no doubt that tourism in Greece is decreasing as each year of the financial crisis passes. Tourists are put off travelling to Greece and its islands because of the real possibility of having flights and boats delayed due to strikes. Then of course, there are the frequent demonstrations which occur in Athens. However, there is a real need for Greece to improve its tourism figures if it is to get back on its economic feet.
I have been back in Athens for two months now and have seen how devastating this crisis has been for the poor. Homelessness is increasing as more and more Greeks can’t pay their rent. The rise of the Neo- Nazi party, Golden Dawn, is also worrying as these people appear to be thugs, with the only item on their agenda to rid Greece of immigrants, whom, they claim, are illegal migrants. Actually this is far from the truth, as many who were in Greece in the late 1990s were given amnesty and papers which meant that they have a right to live and work in Greece.
Yes, there are social problems in Greece, but it is still a wonderful holiday destination, as the islands particularly are relatively free from the problems in Athens.
1 First of all the islands and mainland of Greece are spectacular and well-worth visiting once in a lifetime at least. You may, like me and many other Grecophiles, begin to love the country and its people and end up going back to Greece year after year.
2 Secondly, Greece is the “cradle of democracy” and arguably of civilization in Europe. The Parthenon on top of the Acropolis in Athens is a marvel of ancient engineering, and it offers a spectacular view of the city from the top. The Philippapos hill does too, and is less of a climb.
3 The island of Crete has Festos and the palace of Minos at Knossos for those interested in Archaeology and the Archaeological museum in the capital, Heraklion houses many artifacts from the Minoan civilization. You can fly direct to Crete from April onwards, but the island is also served well with domestic flights.
4 The Cycladic islands are the jewels of the Aegean, with their picturesque white-washed buildings with blue window shutters. The most well-known are Mykonos, Santorini and Ios, but there are other lesser known islands in the group such as Naxos, Amorgos, Paros, Anti-Paros, Milos and Syros (the administrative capital of the Cyclades). All the islands have special characteristics for you to discover.
5 From the beautiful islands in the Dodecanese, Rhodes, Chios, Samos and so on, you can take a short boat trip and explore places such as Kusadasi and Ephesus in Turkey.
You can buy your visa at the point of entry into Turkey if you have a European passport, or a North American one. It is best to check visa requirements for other passport holders before you head to one of these Turkish resorts however. for more info visit the website.