Update on Travel to Greece on Our Greek Culinary Vacations

Terrace of the restaurant in on Santorini, home for your culinary vacation in GreeceUpdated May 6, 2021.

Greece announced on April 19th that it would start allowing travelers from the US and a select few other countries into Greece for leisure travel effective immediately. This moved up the previously announced timeline of May 14 as the date when Greece would reopen.

And just today, May 3rd, cafes and restaurants reopened in Greece for outdoor service – for the first time in almost six months.

So what does this mean to US travelers? Is Greece open? Can you take a culinary vacation in Greece? What will it be like once you get there?

See all our culinary vacations in Greece.

Current Status of Travel to Greece

A beach in Greece during your Greek cooking vacationGreece has had strict measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but has started the announced loosening of these restrictions. In addition to the reopening of cafes and restaurants for outdoor seating, the nightly curfew has been pushed back to 11 pm.

Tourism related services are scheduled to reopen on May 15th.

What this means for our culinary travelers is that we recommend waiting until mid-May, at a minimum, to travel to Greece in order to avoid most of the restrictions that are currently in place.

View of a church on Santorini, home for your culinary vacation in GreeceGreece has announced that US travelers with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test can enter Greece without a mandatory quarantine. (You are still subject to random testing at the airport upon arrival.)

This is all good news. Greece is prioritizing workers in the tourism business for vaccinations in order to ensure that it can reopen for tourism safely. Restaurant and cafe workers are tested regularly. Tourists arriving from countries with elevated COVID numbers will be subject to testing on arrival (even if proof of vaccination is provided).

You can find up to date information on the current status of the pandemic and vaccinations in Greece at the US Embassy in Greece website, as well as on the Greece Tourism website. Or, check out the Greece page of Reopen Europa’s website.

Greece wants us back! And they are doing everything possible to ensure that tourists can return safely to Greece this summer and fall.

A view of the Acropolis in Athens during a Greek cooking vacation.When Should I Plan My Culinary Vacation in Greece?

You should start planning now! Basically a whole year’s worth of travel was suspended, and much of that has been rescheduled for this year. That means that availability can be tricky, and the sooner you start planning the better.

Dining out by the seaside on a Greece cooking vacation.Most of our Greek partners have indicated they are ready to welcome travelers on our culinary vacations in Greece, and we are confident that by June most of the current restrictions will have been lifted. You will likely still need a negative COVID test to re-enter the US, even if you have been fully vaccinated, but we will include a test stop in the last days before your scheduled return in order to satisfy this requirement.

A fishman at work during your Greek cooking vacation.We are offering our “Worry-Free Booking Terms” for many of our Greek culinary vacations, meaning you can cancel with a full refund of your deposit up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. These trips include:

And for the others, such as our Greek Cooking Odyssey and Farm to Beach Gourmet Getaway, we are offering flexibility on rebooking without penalty if current events make it necessary.

A day exploring during your Greek cooking vacation.How Do I Choose between Your Culinary Vacations in Greece?

We have a number of amazing culinary vacations in Greece, so we know it can be hard to choose. Looking for a farm to table experience? Try our Farm to Beach Gourmet Getaway in Greece. It, like our best-selling Greek Cooking Odyssey culinary vacation, has the advantage of being within an easy transfer of Athens, making travel there easier.

A couple enjoying a romantic stroll during a culinary vacation on a Greek Island.Still, we have many other amazing options as well. Want to visit one of the world’s most iconic islands? Try our Greek Gastronomy on Santorini culinary vacation. Looking for amazing beaches and authentic Greek island life? Try our Zakynthos Island Adventure. And of course, don’t forget about cooking with celebrity chef Diane Kochilas on the “blue-zone” island of Ikaria.

You can combine any of these with our Authentic Athens culinary vacation in Greece, or just stick to the capital if you don’t want to travel to the islands.

One thing that is new this year is that we anticipate the Greek travel season will be longer. With so many people waiting so long to travel, our culinary vacations in Greece should be available well into September and October, and maybe even November.

Contact us to start planning!

By Peg Kern

Learn about the Saronic Islands of Greece in our video:

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