What should those who go on holiday this summer know

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The 2022 summer season has started in Greece, and the Greek state expects a significant increase in the number of Romanian tourists. It was even said by Minister Vassilis Kikilias. “I want to emphasize that I am coming earlier this year… Road trips have already started in northern Greece, but also flights since May and early June,” said Kikilias, adding that Romanian tour operators are eager to cooperate with hoteliers and hotel operators. tourism in Greece to extend the season with travel packages to Greek destinations in the autumn months, according to G4Media.

Compared to last year, however, Romanians must take into account another variable when planning their vacation: prices. Many Romanians who want to go on holiday there are wondering how much higher the prices are, this year and what car route they could choose.

According to posts on various groups dedicated to holidays in Greece, the menus of Greek taverns show prices 10-15% higher than last year. However, there are also cases in which the prices have been maintained, but the portions have been reduced, say the tourists already there.

According to news.gtp.gr, Greece is the number 1 destination for Romanian tourists this season, and most want to spend their holidays in Halkidiki, Kassandra, Sithonia or Thassos, popular destinations and at hand due to the shorter distances and rich offers at the accommodation.

Most members of Facebook groups dedicated to holidays in Greece believe that prices have not risen more than last year than in other European countries, including Romania.

Tourists on Kassandra in June can drink a beer for 3 to 5 euros, a cola for 1.90 or a shake for 5 euros. A restaurant in Pefkochori, displayed in mid-June the following prices: grilled octopus 12.5 euros, grilled shrimp 14 euros, grilled whole squid with garnish 9.50 euros or stuffed 14 euros. A pork souvlaki costs 7.5 euros and a chicken schnitzel with garnish costs 8 euros. A mix grill tray for 2-3 people costs 18 euros. The restaurant also offers pasta at prices between 5 euros and 16 euros (those with seafood), eggplant at 4.90, and the famous Greek salad at a price of 5.9 euros.

Prices may vary depending on the tavern and location.

On the other side of the peninsula, Sithonia, the prices are relatively similar. In Sarti, a portion of grilled lamb costs 7 euros, a portion of beef with rice 8.1 euros, and a gyros on the street around 3 euros (5.5 – 6 euros per plate). Water can cost 0.8 euros (mineral water 3 euros), and a hit or a milkshake can cost 5.5 euros. A large portion of hamburger with potatoes and salad costs up to 8 euros at the nearby beach taverns.

According to go-thassos.gr, on the island of Thassos an unpretentious meal costs between 7 and 10 euros on a terrace without drinks. A Greek salad is 4.5 euros, a large pizza 9.5 euros, and sweets can be bought with prices starting at 3 euros and up to 6 euros.

Of course, in addition to the terraces, there is the possibility of supplies from supermarkets in the area, from locals often found by the roadside (with vegetables, fruits, olive oil, cheese and various other local products) or directly from ports (for fish), to much lower prices than at the restaurant.

Most accommodation also offers cooking options. There are barbecue facilities, and the range of fish and red meat is outstanding.

Keep in mind that in many slaughterhouses, beef or fish may be cheaper than chicken.

How is the road through Macedonia and Serbia?

Among those who go on holiday by car, those from Muntenia, Bucharest and Moldova arrive in Greece via Bulgaria, but many from Transylvania prefer the highway from Serbia and Northern Macedonia.

In the case of the Transylvanians, they leave the country through customs in the west of the country and enter the highway near Smederevo.

Regardless of the route you choose, it doesn’t hurt to consider stopping on the road overnight. It reduces the risk of fatigue and low accommodation prices.

You can opt for a stop in Macedonia at Skopje or Gevgelija (near the border with Greece), where a room can be rented from 20 euros and up. On the way back, most prefer the city of Nis in Serbia, closer to the Romanian border.

There are several petrol stations on the Macedonian highway route, and the price of diesel or petrol is about the same at all stations.

The price of fuel is lower than in Romania or Serbia. Thus, a liter of fuel costs about 1.5 euros (7.5 lei) and can be paid by card.

The price is much higher than last year and is now comparable to that of Serbia (about 1.6-1.7 euros). Please note that prices may fluctuate in the next period.

The price of fuel has also risen sharply in Greece, where it has averaged 2.2 euros per liter (with obvious differences between types of fuel).

Entry into Greece is preferably via the borders of Kulata (Bulgaria) or Evzoni (Northern Macedonia).

The road through Bulgaria, prices

The road through Bulgaria is preferred by most Romanians, especially by those in the southern part of the country, due to the shorter distances.

The whole section is relatively well run, even in the absence of highways, but you have to be careful about waiting times at customs.

A warning in this regard was issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the beginning of the season. The Ministry informs the Romanian citizens who intend to transit Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria, destined for Greece, that during the summer season 2022 long waiting times are expected at three points of crossing the road border.

Ferry prices to Thassos

Ferry prices are displayed on the go-thassos.gr website, but will change during the full season, so it is a good idea to check the transport schedule and prices here, depending on the time you are traveling.

In principle, a ticket for adults costs 5 euros, and one for children between 5 and 10 years, 3 euros (for those under 5 is free). For private cars there is a fee between 19 and 23 euros, depending on the length.

For a bicycle you pay 3 euros, and for a motorcycle, 5 euros.

Useful tips and tricks

Transit of Macedonia requires a car insurance (green card) that includes that state, otherwise you risk being forced to take out other customs insurance at much higher prices.

Those who drive cars or borrow from relatives or friends must have English language authority over them.

There are several toll roads on the Macedonian route. Credit card payment is accepted for each of them. You can also pay in local currency or in euros (you need to have small money or you will receive the rest in local currency.

It is good to have a small reserve of 15-20 euros, at hand, for any eventuality.

There is also a Duty Free store between Serbia and Macedonia, but only accessible on the way back.

Most people prefer to buy cigarettes from there, but the price is close to that of gas stations.

A vignette is needed to cross Bulgaria, which costs 15 levs (7.6 euros) for a week.

If the stay in Greece is longer than seven days, another vignette is required on return. The tax can be paid at customs, gas stations or online, right on the website of the relevant Bulgarian authority.

WARNING: Do not stockpile fuel in canisters or bottles, this is illegal in Greece and you risk not only huge fines but also a criminal case for smuggling.

There are also huge fines for the use of radar detectors: this is punishable by a fine of 2,000 euros and the withholding of the license and car documents.

Useful information for those going to Greece for the first time: don’t forget to negotiate. You can negotiate directly with the Greek owner including the accommodation prices displayed on Booking.

Travel rules – source MAE

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published the travel rules for Greece (last updated on June 16).

As of May 1, 2022:

the obligation to present a valid certificate of vaccination or recovery after COVID-19 or of negative results of tests for SARS-CoV-2 (PCR or rapid antigen test) for all categories of persons entering the territory of the Hellenic Republic (aerial , land, rail or sea), regardless of country of origin;
access to all indoor spaces is allowed to all categories of persons without the need to present any document regarding the epidemiological status: European vaccination certificate, proof of passing the disease, the result of a PCR test or rapid antigen. The measure will apply until June 1, 2022, and new changes will be announced depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.

Starting with 01.06.2022 and until 15.06.2022, wearing a protective mask is no longer mandatory in the interior spaces of the Hellenic Republic.

The partial relaxation measure is applied differently, as follows:

It is mandatory to wear a mask (type FFP-2, N95 or double mask – textile / surgical) in medical units of any type (hospitals, polyclinics, collection centers, laboratories, etc.), care centers for the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as in other structures with similar specifics;

The mask (type FFP-2, N95 or double – textile / surgical) will be worn in all means of urban public transport (subway, tram, ISAP urban train, buses and trolleybuses), for which no tickets are issued with numbered seats and in inside which there may be crowds of people;

Note: In the case of intercity public transport, where the passenger seats are numbered, respectively for aircraft it will not be necessary to use the mask;

Passengers in the taxi will continue to wear a protective mask type FFP-2, N95 or double – textile / surgical;

The mask (type FFP-2, N95 or double – textile / surgical) remains mandatory for passengers of all means of maritime transport;

The decision to continue wearing the face mask remains at the discretion of each person, and the effect of this relaxation measure will be evaluated later, in order to implement the most effective decisions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Employees who have not been immunized will still be required to report a negative Covid-19 test on a weekly basis.