It seems like Greece has barely been out of our news feed or off our TV screens in 2015. Whether you are hearing about the financial crisis over there, ATM queues & bail out deals, the potential collapse of the Euro economy, or the hundreds of migrants drowning off the coast or being taken ashore to queue to be registered on various Greek islands, it is all about Greece it seems.
Seems none of this is particularly positive news, or puts Greece in a particularly good light, you would think that it would have had a negative impact on the Greek tourist industry. But it seems to me to be the complete opposite, and definitely so at Hasson Associates. Of the 11 of us on the Hasson team, 4 of us went on a Greek island holiday this year, and many of our friends did the same.
When I mentioned to my sister that I was going to Greece, she was quite confused & thought I should be more worried about going to a country with seemingly so many problems. But we were unperturbed by the financial & migrant crisis’s, and it turns out we were rewarded with spectacular holidays.
Sinead, Alex, Makayla & myself all went to Greece with our respective partners during July, August or September, and we all had similarly amazing experiences.
I asked all of us the below 4 questions about the trip to discover what the reality of Greece is versus what is being portrayed in the media.
- What made you go to Greece this year?
The most common answer to this was that there were cheap deals for holidays, seemingly due to the economy crash. I had never been to Greece before so I can’t comment on whether it is cheaper than before but I certainly stayed in an incredible resort (see picture) and had a fabulous experience for a very reasonable price. Including flights, hotels, travel & food, we all got amazing deals. Sinead, our MD, has been to Greece many times & recommended it to us based on its incredible beauty, which was definitely a factor for all of us, along with its very interesting and varied cultural heritage (nerdy reason I wanted to go!)
- Did we have any experience of the financial crisis?
The unanimous answer to this one was no. Whilst all of us brought a lot of cash with us, as we had heard about the problems with ATMs & wanted to be prepared, we saw working ATMs on the islands & it seems like we could have used them quite easily, or paid by card should we have wanted to. It seemed the hype had been for nothing and we had no problems at all. We did note that the shops were fairly empty as people weren’t shopping that much. It was also definitely cheap there, food & drink was very good value.
- Did you have any experience of migrants?
Again, the unanimous answer to this was no. None of us saw any or even heard anyone talking about them. We went to Rhodes, Crete & Corfu so these islands at least seems not to have been affected.
- Did you enjoy your trip & would you return?
Everyone really enjoyed their trip to Greece, they loved the sights & the islands, and also how cheap it was to do activities & travel around. The people were all very friendly, it was a very welcoming country. Some areas are not as developed as they could be, perhaps a sign of the recession, but they know how to treat their guests & it is a nice change from other Mediterranean countries that are completely built up! The untouched places were the prettiest and the views were spectacular. We saw ancient historical sights, goats on the streets, luxury restaurants & beaches to die for. All of us are planning our next trip back!
So I guess to sum, Greece & its surrounding islands are beautiful and a great place to visit. There is so much to do and see. It is a unique & beautiful holiday destination, rich in culture & history, that everyone should try to visit in their lifetime. Don’t let all of those news stories put you off planning a Greek getaway, because there is nowhere quite like Greece!