Traveling to Greece for Winter. Greek City Times has you covered.

Arachova Kikilias

Greece is open to most countries without the need for quarantine, but restrictions are toughening up as the country tackles the fourth Covid wave.

What's on offer

Ancient buildings, Snow-Covered mountains or Greek live nightlife and restaurants   Greece attract millions of visitors each year looking for a sunny seaside escape, or a history-focused trip or a romantic winter getaway with a buzzing nightlife scene.

Winter comes to Greece from the month of December to the month of February, with January and February being the coldest months. Depending on where you are, Greece changes into a white, snow-clad winter wonderland or a cool, mild, resort for those seeking quiet and relaxation, or the perfect place for winter sports and outdoor adventures if you like hiking, skiing, or trekking!

Weather is generally sunny and dry, but there will be heavy rainfalls and on the coldest days you might even experience snow falling in Athens- though it’s rare for snow coverage to happen in Attica, except for the mountain tops.

Heavy snowfall causes problems across Athens

Who can go

Tourists from the following countries may now travel to Greece without quarantine requirements: EU and Schengen Area countries, USA, UK, Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Qatar, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, UAE and Ukraine.

Travellers from Montenegro and the Russian Federation are also allowed entry, with different regulations. See below.

Officials say random rapid checks will be carried out at entry points and quarantine hotels are equipped to accommodate those who test positive during this process.

What are the restrictions?

Travellers from the main EU bloc of countries allowed entry may skip quarantine, provided they have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before travel, a negative rapid antigen test within 48 hours, proof of infection within the past 2-9 months, or proof they've been fully vaccinated, and completed their cycle at least 14 days earlier.

Acceptable vaccines are Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novovax, Johnson + Johnson, Sinovac, Sputnik, Cansino and Sinopharm. This is in deviation from official EU policy, which is to only admit those who have received EU-approved vaccines.

Arrivals from the Russian Federation must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or a negative antigen test was taken within 48 hours. Vaccination status does not matter for these passengers.

Negative PCR tests must have been taken within 72 hours of departure, must be written in English and include the name and passport number of the person travelling. This does not apply to children under 10. For full details of the laboratories accepted, see here.

All travellers must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) prior to departure. This includes details of where the individual has been and the address they plan to stay at in Greece. Each PLF includes a unique QR code which must be scanned upon arrival at the Greek border.

The QR code will tell you whether you need to have an additional test done at the airport. If you do, you must self-isolate until you have the results -- around 24 hours.

Greece's inter-island ferries are fully operational, but passengers over the age of 12 must complete a health declaration and show proof of a recent negative Covid test or full vaccination 14 days before travel.

What's the Covid situation?

Greece is currently tightening Covid restrictions as cases have risen steadily since the end of summer. The country has seen 861,117 Covid cases and a total of 17,075 deaths as of November 19. Full vaccinations currently stand at close to 6,493,402 -- or 60.59% of the population.

What can visitors expect?

All areas in Greece are now open, but the country's prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced that from November 22, only those with proof of vaccination will be permitted in most indoor spaces, including museums, theatres, cinemas and sports venues.

The rules already apply to cafes, bars and restaurants.