Cheap Greece travel insurance for adventures in culture!
If you are looking for a holiday destination that's got lots of coastline, thousands of islands, year-round sunshine and cultural sites here, there and everywhere, then you had probably book a ticket to Greece NOW!
With the longest coastline on the Med and the 11th longest in the world, Greece is a beach lover's paradise. It's also an island hopper's paradise, with approximately 1400 islands, of which only around 230 are inhabited. These include the islands of Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Lesbos and Crete. With such evocative destinations, who could resist?
Over 20 million tourists visited Greece in 2013, which perhaps explains why 1 in 5 of all residents are employed in the tourism industry. They do it very well too, with a long history of good food, wine and plenty to see and do, wherever you head. A holiday in Greece could very well offer more variety than many other locations around the world. Consider that you could be lying on a beautiful white sand beach under a blue sky one day and visiting some of the world's finest archaeological sites the next and you can see why so many flock here every year. There is something for everyone.
Travel insurance that travels the way you do from World First
Whether you visit Athens, the mainland or one of the many islands, don't forget to book your travel insurance the minute you book your flights. Our travel insurance will cover you for any eventuality on your holiday, whether you lose your travel documents or need medical assistance.
You can choose the level of cover according to the way you like to travel. So if having £10m of emergency expenses is important to you, a Superior policy will cover it. Or if you want to travel cheaply at the last minute our Backpacker or Last Minute policies will give you the cover you need and save you money.
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"Value for the money"
"We have used World First for the last two or three years and found them to be very good in all aspects of the policy we took out with them, which covered me for a previous illness that other brokers seemed to ignore. The wife had a fall last year while on holiday in Corfu and suffered a fracture of the right foot. World First never let us down and sorted out any problems without any fuss."
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Your quick guide to travelling in Greece
Euro (€) (EUR)
Entry requirements. No visa required
Greece is part of the EU so British subjects don't need a visa or work or residence permit to enter the country as a tourist, or even to work and live, although you will need a valid passport.
If you wish to stay longer than 3 months then you will need to apply for a residence permit. You can do this by registering at the local Aliens Bureau (find these at police stations with a foreigners department) in the area of residency. The Residence Certificate is valid for 5 years and is issued free of charge, usually the same day. However the procedure may take a few hours or even the whole day.
To apply you'll need an application form, passport or ID card, photos, proof of medical insurance or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and local paperwork to prove residence, income and work.
They say that if you drive in Greece with a full driving licence, you may be the only one on the road who is properly qualified! But it doesn't mean you should attempt to take to the streets without it. You will need to keep your licence (both parts) on you, along with your proof of insurance, ID and proof of ownership of the vehicle. You must also carry a warning triangle and fire extinguisher and first aid kit. If you ride a motorcycle you must wear a crash helmet.
You'll also need to keep your wits about you. In urban areas where there are small streets the vehicle coming from the right at any junction has priority. The same applies at roundabouts.
Transport: Drive carefully
In 2012 there were 1,027 road deaths in Greece. That's equivalent to 9.1 per 100,000 of population. For the same period in 21012, in the UK there were 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population. The moral of the story? Drive very carefully, keep your wits about you and don't take any risks.
Transport: On the spot fines and alcohol
There is no such thing as an on the spot fine in that you have to pay on the spot, although you may receive the fine notice there and then. If this is the case you do not have to pay the policeman. This must be done at a police station within 10 days.
Limits for alcohol are 0.05% but 0.02% for novice drivers, motorcyclists and lorry drivers. The police can ask anyone to take a breath test. Refusing may lead to penalties, including imprisonment, fines and withdrawal of your driving licence.
Healthcare: Medical costs
Greece has a national healthcare service, the Greek National Organisation for Healthcare Services Provision (EOPYY), although private services are also available.
Firstly, if you haven't got one already, get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It's free from the NHS website.
Your EHIC card will cover you for the same health care that locals get but will not cover any private treatment or repatriation, so make sure that your hotel or accommodation provider don't call private services if you ask them to help – otherwise you will end up paying for it.
Healthcare: Doctors and dentists
If you need to go to a doctor or clinic, you will need to see an EOPYY contracted doctor. This will allow you to receive treatment at a reduced cost when you present your EHIC card and you can expect the same emergency medical treatment received by Greek nationals. Just remember that it may not cover everything, so getting good travel insurance with decent medical cover is still vital!
You can also see a doctor at a PEDY Unit (National Primary Healthcare Network) free of charge as an EHIC holder. At some PEDY Units you may also be able to access dental services.
Just like in the UK, you'll need a doctor's referral for non-emergency hospital treatment. You may need to pay for this, but hospital treatment is free of charge in a public hospital if you are referred by an EOPYY contracted doctor or by the hospital. If you go to a private clinic, you will be charged for treatment, depending on the terms of the contract with EOPYY. Don't forget to show your EHIC on admission.
Medicines that have been prescribed by an EOPYY contracted doctor or a doctor at a PEDY Unit may be dispensed at any pharmacy. You will be charged around 25% of the cost, which is non refundable in Greece, and must collect your prescription within five working days otherwise it will be invalid.
If you take prescription medicines take enough to last the duration of your stay and don't forget a copy of your prescription in case you are stopped at customs.
Healthcare: What travel insurance covers
Our Greece travel insurance will cover you for up to £10 million worth of medical costs (depending on what level of cover you opt for) that aren't automatically covered by your EHIC. We'll cover the balance of hospital and medication costs and reimburse you for any ambulance fees that you were charged for. So there's no need to worry about using your savings to pay for treatment if something unexpected happens.
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Crime: Be vigilant
According to the FCO, most visits to Greece are trouble-free. However, be aware that thefts of handbags and wallets can happen on the Athens metro and in crowded tourist areas. The FCO's advice is to leave your valuables in a safe place at the hotel or apartment and stay aware, as you would back home in the UK.
Personal attacks, including sexual assault and rape, are generally rare in Greece, although there have been incidents involving British nationals in some holiday resorts frequented by large numbers of youth tourists. In some cases the alleged attackers were also British nationals. In many cases excessive drinking by either the victim or the offender preceded the incident.
Laws and customs: Keep it decent
Greece has decency laws that ensure the courts and police are able to take action against indecent behaviour. This is particularly prevalent in popular resorts where behaviour from tourists has been unacceptable. It is not unfeasible for fines or prison sentences to be given out. Some fancy dress costumes can fall foul of decency laws, so if you are out drinking on a stag or hen do, think twice about what you are wearing. It could land you in hot water.
On the other hand, Greece has a fairly tolerant attitude towards topless sun bathing and it is commonplace on many beaches (although perhaps less prevalent on the poolside). But, as always, if in doubt, keep your bikini top on.
Laws and Customs: Forget the pirates
Piracy is a big issue in Greece. So if you are thinking of buying fake CDs, watches or DVDs, think again. If you are caught buying fake items you may be charged with receiving stolen goods and may be detained and fined. Always get a receipt for anything you buy, especially if it's on the street.
Electricity: Plug in and play!
Taking technology on holiday? If you are bringing a charger for your mobile phone or digital camera, the electricity voltage in Greece is 220 Volts and 50Hz on AC with a European plug. You should be able to pick up a conversion kit in the UK before you leave without too much hassle.
Currency: Take cash
The currency of Greece is the Euro. Not all Greek Islands have cash points so make sure you carry enough. Some hotels will change money but you won't get as good a rate as if you took money from an ATM or a bank. Greek banks have limited hours: Monday-Thursday from 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM and Friday from 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Some branches are open extra hours in the evenings and on Saturday mornings. It's important to bring your passport.
Smoking: Don't light up in public
In 2010 the Greek government issued a ban on smoking in all in all work places, stations, in taxis and passenger ships (in trains, buses and airplanes smoking was already prohibited), as well as in all enclosed public places including restaurants, night clubs, etc., without any exception.
Greece: Know Before You Go
For up to the minute travel news that doesn't make the headlines, check out the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's website. Their Know Before You Go site has information on all risks to all travellers in more than 255 countries and territories around the world.
See the latest information at Know Before You Go HERE.
Follow the FCO on twitter HERE.
Of course, if you have any questions about our Greece travel insurance, please call us on 0845 90 80 161 or email email@example.com.
Thinking of taking more than one holiday this year? Save money with our annual travel insurance.