As a result of recent economic problems in Greece, travellers should be aware that the public hospital system is poorly funded and medical assistance is best sought in the private system. Comprehensive travel insurance is a must. Those with underlying medical conditions should check with their doctor/specialist that they are fit to travel and should carry adequate medication and a letter listing medical issues.
The following information provides some broad and general guidelines about health risks and recommendations for travel to Greece. This should not be taken as a substitute for a personal consultation with one of our travel health doctors, whose advice will be specific for you and your trip and may include some things not mentioned here.
Most Common Health Issues
Traveller’s Diarrhoea and Respiratory Illness
Observe strict food and water safety precautions and hand hygiene. Tap water is generally considered to be safe, however as a precaution it is best to stick to bottled water in the smaller villages and islands. A basic self treatment medical kit may be useful, however seek medical advice if persistent or severe illness, particularly for infants, the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions. Most cruise ships will have an on board comprehensive medical centre although access can be costly.
In Greece, these are generally more of an annoyance than anything else, although some people are prone to severe local reactions to bites. To avoid bites, use DEET containing repellent and screened accommodation. Daytime biters in mountainous regions may rarely cause encephalitis (brain inflammation) so mosquito avoidance during the daytime is worthwhile in these areas.
Poisonous snakes occur in long grass so keeping lower legs covered with long trousers and socks and wearing boots when trekking in this environment is recommended.
All travellers should be up to date with routine childhood vaccines such as tetanus, measles and chicken pox. Annual influenza vaccination is sensible for those at risk of complications and any other traveller wanting to reduce the risk.