The political and economic situation in Greece in recent months has led to a predicted 15 per cent drop in tourism, one of Greece’s most vital industries. Holidaymakers are more reluctant to travel to Greece amid its economic uncertainty, which only makes the problem worse. For the luxury traveller, fear not. You can still visit the home of the original Olympians in a style without any worries.
More bang for your buck/Euro
The primary concern for many tourists and holidaymakers is the possibility that Greece secede from the EU and abolish the Euro currency, reverting to an ‘emergency drachma’ that will only be worth a fraction of its Euro counterpart. Even if this does happen, it’s not going to be an overnight switch. Like most things, there will be a period of transition where the Euro is phased out, so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll arrive in Athens with Euros and be counting drachma before you leave.
The one positive thing to come out of an economic crisis for travellers is that your Euros will be worth more in Greece than in other parts of the continent. Also, in an attempt to bolster the economy, the famously high prices are becoming much more palatable in some parts of the country.
An archipelago of luxury
The Greek crisis is worst felt at the capital, but the further out you go the more you see that communities are surviving despite the economic climate. This makes for more attractive holiday destinations, particularly on the Greek islands. Where the capital suffers worker’s strikes and delayed opening hours for tourist hotspots, the islands are more likely to provide a more consistent and local flavour that caters for those in need of tranquillity as well as luxury.
For the luxury traveller who wants a taste of Greece but doesn’t want to deal in the messy business of the economic crisis, you can properly get away from it all and stay at Kastellorizo, an island of only 250 people that gives you easy access to nearby Rhodes as well as the Turkish coast. Its main hotel, the Mediterraneo, offers you the entire of the Aegean Sea as your swimming pool and it has a stunning sea cave (known as a ‘blue grotto’) for a dazzling sunrise experience.
Why stay in one part of Greece when you can hop between islands and see all of Greece in one go? There are a number of luxury yacht cruise companies that offer 7 and 14 day cruises around Greece and her islands, meaning you never stay in one place too long and you’ll see the very best that the country has to offer. If Greece were a musician, the yacht cruise would be its Greatest Hits album. The Aegean holds a number of small islands that mainland tourists rarely get to see, especially around the Peloponnese, so this would be a perfect way to visit Greece without a worry.
Kate Rose is the Head of Travel Insurance at Confused.com.