Questions and answers: Greece declares second highest forest fire warning level - what travelers need to know now

There has been drought in Greece for more than five weeks.

Questions and answers: Greece declares second highest forest fire warning level - what travelers need to know now

There has been drought in Greece for more than five weeks. While the long-awaited rain continues to fail, temperatures are rising. That alone is a dangerous combination for the country, which already suffered from numerous forest fires last year. Now meteorologists are expecting storms with speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour - and are warning of larger forest fires, after there have already been a few small fires in Greece in the past few days.

The temperatures of up to 31 degrees Celsius in April are unusually high even for Greece. Previously, the forest fire season only started in May - but this year the fires could start as early as April. That is why the Greek government has now declared the second highest warning level. There is great concern after almost 20,000 people had to be evacuated on Rhodes last year and Corfu and Athens were also affected by devastating forest fires. What do travelers need to know now who are planning a vacation to Greece? We answer the most important questions for you at a glance.

There were smaller forest fires at the beginning of the week on the popular holiday island of Crete and in the middle of the mainland. Due to the expected storms, there is currently a high risk of fire in the regions of Peloponnese, Attica, Crete, North and South Aegean and Central Greece.

In principle, nothing stands in the way of a trip to Greece, despite the warning. There is currently no widespread fire, the authorities are just on alert. If you are unsure whether your trip could be restricted by the potential forest fires, you can contact your tour operator in advance or check the situation with local media shortly before departure.

Anyone who has booked a package trip to Greece can cancel it free of charge if the accommodation is in the immediate vicinity of the forest fire area. The holidaymaker can then claim “extraordinary circumstances” and get their money back from the organizer. However, this only applies if the fire is already underway and would likely have a significant impact on the booked travel service. The mere fear of a possible fire does not justify free cancellation. Individual travelers, on the other hand, cannot generally cancel free of charge if the flight and accommodation are not canceled by the respective providers themselves.

Since last year and the events on the holiday island of Rhodes, we have known that forest fires are almost common in southern holiday destinations in summer. However, you can only prepare for it to a limited extent. What helps: find out about the local weather forecast in advance and - if you want to cancel free of charge if the worst comes to the worst - you should opt for the package tour if in doubt. Otherwise, it helps to adjust your own expectations. If you choose a hot holiday destination, you also have to accept the negative effects of the high temperatures. Or move your summer vacation to the north.

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