Greek holidays news and views
Greek island holidays conjure up idyllic images of blue domed churches set against a backdrop of pine coated hills, sunny skies and golden beaches. For many thousands, the Greek Islands conjure up images of quaint fishing ports, bustling street markets, fabulous beaches and crystal clear seas. Variety is the key to a Greek island holiday so take your pick of barely inhabited peaceful retreats to 24-hour beach parties.
January is always a busy time for travel companies as families open up their travel brochures and think of where to go for their annual summer break.
The Greek Island are picking up some of the fallout in the drop in holiday bookings to Turkey, France and Tunisia in the wake of recent terrorist attacks.
Latest figures show tourists in Greece kept a much tighter grip on their wallets this year. Figures show tourist spending down a whopping 9.3% in 2016 compared to the previous year.
Some Greek Islands are still suffering a drop in tourism despite no evidence of any refugee contact with tourists. Islands lying in the north Aegean and along the Turkish coast have suffered worst.
The huge drop in the value of the British Pound already threatens to make Greek holidays more expensive and worse is to come for holiday sales all over Europe.
These Greek beaches are considered as among the dozen most beautiful beaches in Europe for 2016, according to the holiday website European Best Destinations.
Latest figures show holiday arrivals in Greece up 7.1% last year to hit an all-time high of 23.6 million. British holidaymakers helped push up the numbers.
Some holiday companies report a 5% rise in summer vacation bookings to Greece as tourists turn their backs on Mediterranean countries troubled by domestic problems.
Greece plans to open its first official scuba diving underwater park this year off the Greek island of Evia. The diving park will include 26 shipwrecks in waters near the Sporades islands.
Tourist arrivals to Greece in the nine months from January to September jumped more than 17% compared to the same period last year. It looks set to make it another record year for Greek holidays.
Chocked full of incredible places to see and experience, we recommend you try to visit at least one of these incredible locations while visiting the Greek Ionian Islands.
The increase of 5.7% on airport arrivals in Greece this year shows that Greece and the Greek Islands are on track for a third year of breaking records on holiday visitors.
Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and Skiathos will be the first Greek islands that will lose a special low VAT status, according to the Greek Finance Ministry.
According to latest figures from the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), the country's main tourism body, international arrivals jumped 4.6% on last years' record numbers to reach almost 3 million arrivals in August and first eight months to 11.4 million.
Increased tourist arrivals and the incoming cash flow appear to have saved Greece from the depths of the recession. According to the bank's weekly bulletin, Greece recorded an unexpected growth in holiday visitors in the second quarter and the upward trend in tourism in the summer months.
New Welcome to Greece posters depict diverse tourism attractions with such titles as Welcome to the Heart; Welcome to Greatness and Welcome to Harmony.
the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) report a large rise in late bookings to Greece with thousands heading off to Greek island beaches. Spain remains the top holiday destination, but Greece is close behind.
Travel agent association ABTA says UK visitors planning to head out off to Greece this summer are unlikely to be affected by any price rises. According to ABTA many increases will come into effect in October so they would not affect the majority of holidays for this summer.
Greek tourism minister Elena Kountoura invites anyone planning a holiday in the Greek Islands this year to contact a special team. In a televised message she said: "I have been working closely with all tourism authorities and associations to ensure Greece continues to offer the highest quality of tourism to its visitors."
Tourist traffic on the Ionian island of Zakynthos rose 5% in June compared to last year and is 4% up for the year, according to figures from the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels. The holiday market continues to flourish despite extensive media coverage of the country's rejection of the austerity measures.