Should you book a holiday to Greece?

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Should you book a holiday to Greece?PA


Greek tourism has been threatened by the euro crisis, but now it seems that booking your summer holiday in the ailing country could help to boost the economy.

The Observer reports that although there have been well-documented riots and food shortages in Athens, this summer it's business as usual in the Greek Islands.

Admittedly, bookings are down by 11 per cent so far this season, but UK tour operators have reported a surge of bookings for school holiday travel.

According to Reuters, the number of Germans booking a holiday in Greece has dropped by almost a third, and local Greek tourists are also less likely to travel. As a result, the beaches, bars, and restaurants are expected to be quieter than normal.

In addition, hotel and restaurant prices have dropped, which means that British holidaymakers will find that their money goes further.

If you're travelling to Greece, Thomas Cook suggests carrying cash in small denominations. Should Greece pull out of the euro, which looks unlikely for now, the interim currency will be existing euro notes with a corner clipped, which will be worth 30 per cent to 40 per cent less. Carrying smaller notes means that tourists stand to lose less on a transaction.

In addition, The Observer reports that some small shops, cafes and restaurants are already asking for cash rather than cards, especially on the smaller islands.

However, it's still worth taking a credit or debit card as you are unlikely to have problems using it on the larger islands such as Corfu.

To make sure that your money stays in Greece, consider flying with Olympic or Aegean Airways or booking a package deal with a tour firm that specialises in Greece, such as Olympic Holidays, Sunvil or Ionian Island Holidays.

These firms are also Atol-bonded, which means the they will guarantee your holiday if the euro crisis deepens.

Bigger islands, especially those with airports, will always attract tourists. But look at the smaller islands, as these are the ones that will suffer most from the drop in tourists.

Click on the image below to see our editor's pick of the top ten Greek islands...

Top 10 Greek islands

Top 10 Greek islands