It’s finally happening: Greece is now open to travelers. And yes, that includes Americans.
After its plan to open last summer faltered, Greece officially opened back up to travelers from the U.S. and a handful of other countries as of Monday, April 19. Proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test can get you into the country to explore Athens, hop out to the islands, and beyond.
So, how can you get into Greece this spring or summer? What do you need to get in? What will this mean for your 2021 trip? And are there cheap flights to get there? We’re answering all your questions below.
Greece Reopens to Travelers
Greece’s path to reopening hasn’t been an easy one.
Last year, Greece and a handful of other countries tried to reopen for summer travel. But the overarching European Union restrictions on travel stopped them.
But even as much of Europe still bans American travelers, Greece was set on going it alone and opening back up for tourism in 2021. Greece relies on tourism for 20% of its GDP, so letting travelers back in is critical for the Mediterranean country.
With the buzz over vaccine distribution gaining steam worldwide, vaccination passports, and excitement over Europe working towards a summer reopening plan, Greece initially planned to reopen to travelers in mid-May. But the country pushed up its timeline from mid-May with an announcement yesterday.
As of Monday, April 19, travelers from select countries are allowed to enter Greece. Luckily, the U.S. made the cut.
A few European countries beat them to the punch: Iceland opened to travelers back in mid-March, with Croatia following closely behind.
While Americans and visitors from a few other countries are allowed, this is just the first step in a gradual reopening plan expected to hit full stride in May.
Greece Travel Restrictions
Until new requirements are provided for a full-scale opening on May 14, this is what you’ll need to get into Greece:
A negative COVID-19 PCR test conducted no later than 72 hours before arrival. Children 5 and under are exempt from testing requirements
Proof of vaccination certificate if fully vaccinated (14 days since the final dose). Accepted vaccines for proof of entry include Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson + Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics, Sinopharm.
Before you arrive, you’ll also need to fill out the Passenger Location Form no later than 11:59 p.m. of the day before arriving in Greece.
Whether you opt to provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination, all travelers will be subjected to a possible random health check upon arrival. This will include rapid antigen tests at the entrance gates for randomly selected travelers.
If you are selected for a random health check and test positive for COVID-19, you’ll enter mandatory quarantine. According to the Greek government, “Travelers who test positive will be transported to quarantine hotels and undergo further PCR tests to confirm the diagnosis. Guests will stay in seclusion hotels for at least 10 days, and they will undergo new tests again. The expenses of the accommodation in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state.”
A few frequently asked questions:
Who can visit Greece?
Travelers from the European Union, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, U.S.A, U.K., Israel, Serbia, and U.A.E. are now allowed to enter Greece.
Which airport(s) can I fly into?
Travelers can enter Greece through the following airports: Athens (ATH), Thessaloniki (SKG), Heraklion (HER), Corfu (CFU), Rhodes (RHO), Kos (KGS), Chania (CHQ), Mykonos (JMK), and Santorini (JTR). Most flights from the U.S. will head straight to Athens, of course.
On April 23, some cruising without stops and yachting will be allowed with some restrictions.
Can I island-hop in Greece?
There are no mentioned restrictions on island-hopping or transiting between cities once you’ve provided the initial entry requirements upon landing in Greece. Read our guide to island-hopping in Greece, and how to choose between ferry or flight to transit between islands.
Recent Deals We’ve Found to Greece
If you’ve searched for flights to Greece before, you know it can easily cost you $1,000 – or more – to fly from the U.S. But it doesn’t have to be that expensive. We find flight deals half the normal price nearly every month!
Yes, you can get to Greece for under $500 roundtrip – nonstop!
Want flight deals like this one? Try Thrifty Traveler Premium for just $5.99 a month!
Don’t believe your eyes? These are a few recent flight deal email alerts we sent to Thrifty Traveler Premium members. Here’s a nonstop deal we found just yesterday: peak summer, nonstop, and roundtrip on American Airlines for half the normal summer price!
Here’s another recent deal we found a few weeks ago: $520 roundtrip from a handful of U.S. cities for summer, fall, winter, and next spring! The best part? These low fares were flying Delta, with one short connection each way:
The hottest deals to Greece tend to be from larger U.S. cities, so consider booking a cheap positioning flight to save on your next flight to Greece. But we find a crazy nationwide sale to Europe from almost every U.S. airport every few months.
And while the cheapest fares tend to be into Athens (ATH), we do find some flight deals directly to major islands like Santorini, the winner of our March Madness Travel Bracket this year! Here’s one of the deals we found in the past month:
This flight deal is no longer live – the hotter the deal, the shorter they last!
One by one, European countries are reopening to travelers. Now, Americans and travelers from a few other countries are welcome to visit Greece with proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.