Greece Open for Visitors Despite Wildfires

Raging wildfires near Athens, Greece—said to be the worst in more than decade—are reported under control. Greek tourism authorities are trying to reassure travelers that the country is ready and able to welcome them.

At least 80 people were victims of the flames and nearly 200 more were injured, NPR reports. Thousands of tourists and residents around popular beach towns on both sides of the capital were forced to flee, many into the sea. Strong winds drove the fires toward resorts and seaside residences. At least 700 people were rescued from the waters.

The areas hit are popular summer getaways for Athenians and European visitors, but Athens has not been affected. About 15 miles east of Athens, the port town of Rafina, which did suffer damage, is a departure point for some of the Cyclades Islands, including Mykonos, so travelers have been advised to depart from the port of Piraeus instead.

Mina Agnos, a Conde Nast Traveler travel specialist, says it’s business as usual elsewhere in the country.

“I am currently working from our Athens office located on the Athenian riviera in Voula, approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) from downtown Athens and 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Athens International Airport. Currently, we have blue skies, no ash in the sky as there was yesterday, the beaches are busy, and it’s a sunny 86-degree day,” she says.

British Airways announced it is offering flexible rebooking for passengers in Athens wanting to leave early. The British Foreign Office, however, is not warning against travel to Greece, nor is the U.S. State Department.

advertisement