Greece: Is It Safe to Travel?

As Greece enters its peak tourist season, the country is grappling with heatwaves and wildfires. An early heatwave in June has set the stage for a challenging summer, with extreme temperatures and fires affecting popular tourist destinations. Here’s what you need to know if you have plans to visit Greece in the coming weeks…

Current Wildfire Situation

On Tuesday, Greek authorities evacuated a children’s hospital and a retirement home following the outbreak of a large wildfire. Firefighters responded to the outskirts of Patras as the blaze spread rapidly amid hot, windy conditions. The country is also bracing for another intense heatwave, with temperatures in Athens forecasted to reach a sweltering 37°C, placing much of the country on high alert for further wildfire risks.

Causes of the Fires

The wildfires in Greece are primarily due to prolonged drought conditions and dry weather, creating a ‘tinderbox’ environment. Unusually strong winds have further exacerbated the situation, making it easier for fires to spread.

Safety Concerns for Travellers

The British government has issued a warning to those travelling to Greece. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) states: “There is a high risk of wildfires during the summer season from April to October. Wildfires are highly dangerous and unpredictable. The situation can change quickly.”

Precautionary Measures

Stay Informed: Keep updated with local news and follow any advisories from Greek authorities.

Heat Safety: Take precautions to stay cool and hydrated in the extreme heat.

Evacuation Plans: Familiarise yourself with evacuation routes and procedures in your area.

Air Quality: Be mindful of air quality, especially if you have respiratory conditions, as smoke from wildfires can aggravate health issues.

For the most up-to-date information and alerts, Securewest International’s SPHERE App is a valuable resource for travellers. This app provides real-time updates on safety and security issues, including natural disasters like wildfires, allowing travellers to make informed decisions and stay safe during their trip.




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