Travel safely and securely in Greece
Greece is a popular summer destination for Nordic travellers.
Data from SOS International's alarm centre shows that over a number of years the country has been among the top countries from which most claims are filed.
We have gathered some pieces of good advice for you and your family's safety in Greece.
Updated June 2022
Follow travel updates and news for Greece
These can be found at:
Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.um.dk
Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.formin.finland.fi
Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.mfa.is
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.regeringen.no
Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.regeringen.se
It is also advised to sign up on your foreign office's travel database so that you can be informed and alerted by your national authorities in case needed.
Useful advice for travelling in Greece
You are advised to consult your doctor and/or vaccination centre well in advance of your travel for advice on vaccination, prophylaxis, precautions and diseases.
Country specific and individualized vaccination advice can be found at:
Get travel advice to your trip if you are dreaming of a holiday outside the country's borders
Prior to travelling, remember to investigate whether your local and European Corona Pass is recognised as evidence of test results, vaccinations, and immunity.
You can find more information by contacting your Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
We recommend that you sign up on the travel data base of your local Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to be informed and warned by the authorities if necessary.
Hospitals and clinics in Greece
The hospital standard in Greece varies, and in some areas you still see the effects of the recent pandemic, such as a lack of hospital staff. There may also be a difference in standards when comparing hospitals on the mainland and the Greek islands where the selection of clinics and hospitals and thus medical expertise varies.
When necessary, we evacuate critical patients and move them from public to private hospitals or to the mainland, primarily Athens, to get you the best possible treatment quality.
Know that language difficulties can occur as well, such as the nursing staff not speaking English, as it is with so many foreign destinations.
SOS International recommends that as soon as possible you contact our alarm centre before consulting a doctor to get advice on coverage, choice of hospital etc.
SOS International’s alarm centre is ready to take calls and provide help 24 hours a day.
Contact us at +45 7010 5050.
Prior to your travel, remember to check what your travel insurance covers, i-e. related to home transportation or coverage of you and your family related to COVID-19.
Remember the blue EU medical card when you travel to Greece. The blue card is used at public hospitals. Without the card or with an expired one, there is a chance you will have to pay for treatment.
When you get ill or injured, the first thing you should do is to contact SOS International, as we will help you find a hospital or health clinic nearby.
Also, remember to check the specifics of your travel insurance, including home transport and coverage of you and your family in the case of COVID-19.
For other helpful advice about what to remember before going on vacation, click here
Typical diseases in Greece
'Traveller's diarrhoea’ or in medical language “Gastroenteritis,” is one of the most frequent diagnoses at SOS International from Greece. 'Traveller's diarrhoea' is caused by bacteria in food and water or bacteria that get into the mouth from one’s own unclean hands.
How do you avoid having your holiday ruined by 'traveller's diarrhoea'?
To avoid 'Traveller's diarrhoea' remember these following things:
- Wash hands before all meals
- Only eat street food that is cooked in front of you and that is piping hot
- Consider whether you think that the hygiene looks acceptable at restaurants and cafes
- Respond quickly to vomiting and diarrhoea and contact our Assistance Centre, so you can get in touch with a doctor in our network and be treated as soon as possible
The sun in Greece can be very strong.
Avoid the sun between 12 and 3 and use sunscreen with factor 30 or more.
The general security situation in Greece
Greece is considered a medium risk destination.
The main risk stems from political instability and demonstrations that sometimes turn violent.
Larger demonstrations are most common in major cities such as Athens. In addition disruptive labour strike actions can occur.
Most crime in Greece is basic theft, i.e. pickpocketing, bag-snatching and the like.
Road traffic accidents are unfortunately common in Greece.
There is - as in most European countries - a general risk of terrorism.
- Carry a copy of your passport and ID at all times in order to be able to identify yourself to the authorities.
- Avoid any large gatherings/demonstrations.
- Keep an eye on your belongings and do not bring more cash or valuables than you can ‘afford’ to loose.
- Always wear safety equipment such as seat belts while driving
- If you are victim of a criminal offense, report to the local tourist police as soon as possible. See telephone numbers below.
Local emergency numbers in Greece:
SOS – all services: 112
Tourist Police: 1571
Fire Service: 199
Ambulance Services: 166
Medical Emergency: 112