Due to the country’s economic crisis, many vacation destinations in Greece have become exceedingly expensive, so much so that average Greeks cannot afford to travel in their own country.
Much like in many parts of the world, the inflation rate in Greece has soared to its highest rate in nearly thirty years, which has likely contributed to the massive hike in travel prices.
The Greek inflation rate reached 11.3 percent in May alone, which is up from 10.2 percent in April and 0.1 percent in May of last year, according to data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority.
While prices for hotel rooms, rental cars, and other essential aspects of travel have reached highs across Greece, particularly on the Greek islands, they will likely only increase.
They will likely reach their peak in August, when most Greeks take their summer vacation, so the islands are filled with tourists from Greece and abroad.
While in the past many people booked their holiday accommodation for August during the summertime with no problem, prices have spiked so much that people who have not yet planned their trips are left scrambling.
Across many of the most popular islands, such as Mykonos and Santorini, it is impossible to find any accommodation available for under 100 euros ($103) a night. The minimum wage for a full-time worker in Greece sits just over 700 euros.
Expensive vacation destinations in Greece
In Mykonos, some sunbeds at exclusive beachside bars, restaurants, and clubs can cost nearly as much as the monthly minimum wage in Greece.
An American tourist on the island who was charged 600 euros for two drinks and a plate of crab legs has sued the restaurant.
Brenda Moulton and her daughter Kaylea went to the DK Oyster Bear on Platis Gialos Beach on the Greek island of Mykonos, where they each enjoyed a margarita and a plate of crab legs.
Platis Gialos, and Mykonos in general, is known as a luxurious area, with many bars and restaurants that charge a steep price for their goods.
The two tourists were then slapped with a bill of about €600 (€520.80 for the drinks and food and a mandatory €80 tip). The customer also claimed that employees at the restaurant accosted the mother and daughter to enter the restaurant in the first place.
In addition to rising inflation rates, which is a global phenomenon, prices in Greece have steadily increased over the years due to overtourism.
Overtourism refers to overcrowding caused by a massive amount of tourists visiting a place at one time, and it usually leads to difficulties for locals and tourists alike. The phenomenon has been recorded across the world, as well as in many areas of Greece during the summer months.
Many locals, although disgruntled by the negative impacts of the phenomenon, are hesitant to speak out or implement changes to fight overtourism due to fears of losing business, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, which was disastrous for the sector.
Clearly, tourists themselves are not to blame for any negative effects of crowding. Greeks, who are known for their generous and welcoming nature, love having tourists come to their country and experience the beauty of the Greek culture and landscape.