Safety Tips in Greece

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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Greece

  • mtilburg_55's Profile Photo

    Warning about taxi drivers should not be ignored!!

    by mtilburg_55 Written Jul 21, 2014

    Before going to Athens, I read so many posts on the internet about how bad the Taxi drivers are in Athens. They will try to rip you off, every post I read would say. And guess what... our did as well. We arrived in Athens after midnight, and we were staying at a hotel that was fairly close to the airport. This hotel wasn't near a bus line, or a train, and not close enough to walk, so the only option was a Taxi. The taxi driver was swearing and hitting his steering wheel the entire 15 minute drive to the hotel. He was really upset that he didn't get a fare to Athens, which would have gotten him more money. To be honest, I was fully prepared to help him out with a nice tip, if it wasn't for what he did. When we arrived at the hotel, he doubled the fare that was shown on the meter. Now I read a lot about taking cabs after hours, and they are more expensive, and also from the airport, but it was very clear, that he was trying to rip us off. I asked my girlfriend to go into the hotel and call the police. She came back with the hotel receptionist, and the price suddenly dropped back to what it should be.

    When I was living in Barcelona, I was amazed at how much acceptance there was to all the pick-pockets. It seems like this is also something that has been accepted in Athens. My advice, don't book a plane to Athens that arrives after the train stops, and don't get into a Taxi, ever.

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  • hopang's Profile Photo

    Beware of pick-pockets!

    by hopang Written Apr 2, 2012

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    Many Greece travel guides warn of the danger of pick-pockets in the city of Athens especially in the crowded areas such as on the trains, buses, metro stations, airport, seaport, squares, tourist sites or crowded market places. However we did not come across any incident during our stay in Athens or perhaps we were lucky not to meet one.

    Nevertheless it is still better to prevent pick-pocketing by not carrying your backpacks behind your back or putting your wallet in your back pocket. Ladies should not carry expensive handbags as they can easily be snatched by moving motorcyclists. You can leave your passport, identity card or any important documents at hotel's safe deposit boxes and bring along just the photocopies. Most hotels in Athens provide safe deposit boxes in the rooms. You should also bring along with you just one credit card and just enough money to spend for the day.

    Crowded Sunday market at Thissio
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  • Nightclub Bouncher

    by volopolo Updated Jul 23, 2010

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    Dangers People: Bouncher
    Date: At the night Monday 27 July 2008 to Tuesday 28 July 2008

    The 20-year-old Doujon Zammit, was left in a coma after suffering horrific head injuries in a fight with nightclub bouncers on the island of Mykonos.
    There are no words to describe this terrible tragedy.

    rest in peace Doujon

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  • Andrew_W_K's Profile Photo

    Water Activities

    by Andrew_W_K Written Jun 16, 2009

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    When my daughter was young she would beg us to let her go on a "banana" ride or a "doughnut", those inflatables that are pulled along by speed boat. We always refused saying they are dangerous and she always sulked afterwards. Now that she is an adult while on holiday in Greece she said that she would take our son (then aged 8) on a "sofa" ride and she would make sure he was okay.
    Yep, you guessed it! At the fastest point he lost his grip and was catapulted backwards over the back of the inflatable "sofa" and into the sea. We were lucky he sustained no injuries other than shock and fright. I went ballastic and told my daughter THAT was the reason we never let her go on those stupid rides.
    I shouldn't have given in and that's my tip. No matter how much your kids nag you and how much you feel bad about spoiling their fun these things are VERY dangerous for young kids.

    Stupid and very dangerous for young kids

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  • JREllison's Profile Photo

    Double Billing

    by JREllison Updated Apr 8, 2009

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    Recently while planning a trip to Greece I booked two excursions on line through a trusted travel agency. I used a protected and insured credit card to pay for the transaction and everything seemed to have gone well. The following day I received a second email, billing me for the tours. On this billing all of the prices were exactly the same as the correct billing but each pickup time was 30 minutes later than the orginal. Feeling a scam comming on I called the New York office of the travel company and learned that this is a somewhat regular occurance. Someone has been feeding booking information to bogus travel agencies who have bilked unsuspecting travelers out of thousands of dollars.

    Be careful, always check with your agent to ensure that you are not double billed.

    Related to:
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  • janetanne's Profile Photo

    Poisonous Creatures in Greece

    by janetanne Updated Apr 5, 2009

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    Most people and especially tourists, do not think of Greece as a country with poisonous animals. Perhaps this is because, most of the poisonous creatures in Greece are rarely seen. This, fortunately for most, is just as well kept that way. It remains a fact that these poisonous creatures do exist in Greece and far better to be warned than sorry.

    In the 30 years I have been in Greece, the sighting of the Ochia, was the first and only sighting of a poisonous snake that I was aware of. I've seen live snakes before, but believe me, I never stayed around long enough to even think of identifying whether it was poisonous or not! I've never seen a scorpion and the spiders...well, I saw some huge hanging spiders on the island of Kea that were unidentified at the time! Neverthless, I like to think that I have no desire to go off hunting for these creatures. As my Grandmother used to say, 'Best to leave sleeping dogs (spiders, snakes and scorpions) Lie! I'll second that!

    Of course, the snake is beneficial in many ways. It eats the insects and mice that are far more invasive pests. So, if we can, just leave the snakes in peace to do what they were put here for; to keep nature's environment in perfect balance.

    Dead, deadly
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  • janetanne's Profile Photo

    Medical Study on Ochia - Viper Ammodytes

    by janetanne Written Apr 4, 2009

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    Snake venom poisoning is a medical emergency requiring immediate attention. Bites from poisonous European snakes can lead to local tissue damage and systemic symptoms. Vipera ammodytes accounts for the most envenomation in Greece.

    The demographic and epidemiological characteristics, clinical symptoms and signs, laboratory findings, treatment, and outcome of 147 consecutive victims of V. ammodytes admitted to our hospital from 1988 to 2003 were reviewed and analyzed.
    Snake venom poisoning in Greece. Experiences with 147 cases

    Article Published in European Journal of Internal Medicine:

    Christos Y. Frangidesa, Vasilios Koulourasa, Sophia N. KounicCorresponding Author Informationemail address, Gerasimos V. Tzortzatosb, Athanasios Nikolaoua, John Pneumaticosa, Christos Pierrakeasb, Constantinos Niarchosb, Nicholas G. Kounisc, Constantinos M. Koutsojannisc

    The most common symptoms and signs included fang marks (100%), pain (100%), swelling (98.64%), ecchymosis (60.54%), tachycardia (32.65%), fainting or dizziness (29.93%), fever (23.13%), enlargement of regional lymph nodes (17.69%), nausea (16.33%), hypotension (13.61%), and vomiting (12.93%). The main complications were reduced range of motion, thrombophlebitis, local hemorrhagic blister formation, skin bleeding, rhabdomyolysis, reduced sensation, acute renal failure, necrosis with tissue loss, carpal tunnel syndrome, compartment syndrome, Kounis syndrome, and digit amputation.

    A V. ammodytes bite is a potentially serious event that requires immediate hospital care. Yet, the majority of victims can be treated successfully with conservative methods. No deaths occurred in our series.

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  • janetanne's Profile Photo

    Greece's Posionous Snake- The Ochia

    by janetanne Written Apr 4, 2009

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    When walking in the hills, especially during the first month of Spring, be very careful and on the look out for the famous Poisonous Snake of Greece ....THE OCHIA! It's bite can be fatal and there are few, if any antidotes available in pharmacies and hospitals in Greece!!!

    I took this photo at the Monastery of Agios Pavlos in Plaka above Lavrion on 3rd April, 2009. The Nun there, who was clearing the overgrowth in their garden told me that this was the second snake they had killed in the past week. She also told me that this snake must be killed by smashing the head, or else the snake does not die, even if it is cut into two pieces, and that it will 'regenerate' just as an earthworm does when it is cut!

    The Ochia is a long, thin snake and is well camouflaged. It likes to sun itself on the rocks in the Spring time. If you have the misfortune of being bitten, your best bet is to find a Veterinarian, who may more likely have an antidote than even a hospital! This is because hunters more often have their hunting dogs bitten by these snakes than do local people. The Greeks do not climb up on the hillsides and rocks in the Spring time for this reason.

    The Ochia is found in all areas of Greece, but especially on the hills sides and mountains, in brush and thick foliage.

    Deadly Snake in the Grass Dead Poisonous Snake Ochia- Beware
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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    dont get stressed with the road signs!

    by angiebabe Updated Jan 19, 2009

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    Signposting where I drove around the Pelopennese, in Athens, and on the islands of Santorini and Crete was fairly intermittent or sporadic in its helpfulness to tourist attractions or directions - maybe one signpost to tantalise you then no further signs to continue the whole route, or the signpost would be ambiguosly placed as to which direction was meant - or in these photos every single directional sign at this roundabout in the little village of Kosmas, on the Leonidhi to Yeraki through road, was in Greek! I drove round the roundabout a few times while trying to decide which was the most logical road to try!

    Signposting on freeways indicating your turn off was found to be quite worryingly and time consumingly ambiguous!

    If you are in need of arriving at a place with an important arrival time such as trying to reach a site before closing time or trying to get to an airport for a flight then make sure extra time is allowed for hiccups in finding your way!

    this signpost is apparently the main through road!
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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Ask Before You Click!

    by deecat Updated Dec 18, 2008

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    When we were in Delphi, Jayne and I were shopping when we saw this wonderful old man on a donkey who was singing and seemed so happy. It was one of those "moments" that don't happen very often; "a great photo op".

    I just had to have a picture of him. I always take pictures of the elderly old men in all the countries I travel. (Who knows why!)

    Well, that was a big mistake. Once I took the picture, the singing and the smiling ceased, and the yelling commenced!

    He was so angry that he threatened me with the stick that he was carrying. I was so frightened.

    Next time, I'll ask.

    Old Man on a Donkey
    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
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  • Athens Airport Security Screens

    by astashan Written Oct 18, 2008

    I recently travelled from Athens to Malta. The airport procedure in Athens was going well up until I reached the security x-ray screen at the boarding gate B07 to my flight. Having travelled extensively and clearing many of these security screens, I though that it would be safe to put my wallet and money belt through the x-ray. There was no-one behind me at this point. I went through the screen, but noticed that the conveyer belt has been turned off, I waited for a few minutes and finally my bag and wallet came through. There was no explanation for the hold-up.

    When I arrived in Malta, I found that 100 Euro was missing from my wallet. There were a few smaller notes left. The money was definitely there before I went through to board my flight as I had checked. Only explanation - the security guard must've opened my wallet at the screening area and removed the money. I subsequently contacted Athens Airport and greek police but have not had a reply. I'm not surprised. I suspect that they could be running a scam.

    My advice to you is not to be so trusting and complacent at these screens. Keep you money and docs either locked in a bag on on your body. This incident was a disgrace and left me feeling very uneasy.

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  • andreasfmpro's Profile Photo

    One of the safest destinations in the world

    by andreasfmpro Written Sep 24, 2008

    Greece is one of the safest destinations in the world. The Greek islands in particular, are practically devoid of violent crime. In the Cyclades, we've had just 3 incidents in the last 3 years-just one in my native Milos.

    The era when single women traveling through Greece would get a lot of unwarranted attention has long gone. That was in the 60s and 70s.


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  • smithy65's Profile Photo

    hire scooters

    by smithy65 Written Aug 1, 2008

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    many scooters are for hire but check your insurance as any accidents are usually not covered as the tour operators do not recommend you hire these bikes. often there is no helmets and the roads are mad hot if you were to fall off. as most people who use them have no protective clothing on whatsoever you can almost certainly add serious burns on top of any other injuries you may sustain in the event of an accident.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Avoid shipwrecks!

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jul 31, 2008

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    The headline news on March, 13, 2008: Greek cruise ferry Giorgis has shipwrecked at the Poros Island with 280 passengers (among them 56 Russians). It was my cruise ferry in November of 2007... Fortunately everyone has been saved! This my photo and my VIDEO-Clip Greece Pireas-Poros Island cruise were shown as a headline on NTV one of the main Russian TV channels - I was surprised to watch them and very pleased that millions of Russians saw this my clip that evening Giorgis ship-wreck on Russian NTV news with my photo and video!

    Russian NTV channel about Giorgis with my photo and video (click to enlarge this pic and you'll see it).

    "PIRAEUS 14 March – All 278 passengers and 35 crew were rescued yesterday after being stranded on a grounded cruise ship off the island of Poros near Athens. The ship, the Giorgis, ran aground on a reef a few miles north of Poros. It was taking on large amounts of water but did not appear to be in immediate danger of sinking, officials said.

    The ministry said 103 of the people on board were Japanese, while 58 were Americans and 56 were Russians. Tourists from Spain, Canada, India, France, Brazil, Belgium and Australia also were on board. The ship is one of several that run day trips between Piraeus and the nearby islands of Aegina, Poros and Hydra."

    Russian NTV channel about Giorgis with my photo and video (click to enlarge this pic and you'll see it).

    "Poros Mayor Dimitris Stratigos said good weather helped crews evacuate the passengers safely.

    "Nobody suffered a scratch and everything went very well. There was no panic and nobody was hurt," Stratigos told the AP. "We were lucky, thank God."

    Russian NTV news Russian NTV news Russian NTV news

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Fires in Olympia

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jul 31, 2008

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    The area is hilly and mountainous; most of the area within Olympia is forested.
    In the end of August 2007 Forest fires raging across southern Greece were threatening the ancient ruins of Olympia.

    High temperatures and strong winds were attributed to the spread of more than 220 blazes across the country since August 24, 2007. Record temperature as high as 46 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature and wind helped in spreading the fire.
    A fire burns inside the archaeological stadium of ancient Olympia in August 26, 2007. Firefighters battled to save ancient Olympia as the worst forest fires in decades ravaged hills around the historic site.

    A total of 9,000 firefighters and 500 soldiers were trying to contain the fire. Over 1,800 fire engines, planes and helicopters have also been deployed to the affected areas.

    Fires in Olympia Fires in Olympia Fires in Olympia Fires in Olympia Fires in Olympia

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