Greek travel news and views
Travel in the Greek islands can seem a marathon, given the number of islands and fascinating sights. Many visitors stay on one island but, with regular ferries and flights, there really is no need. There are seven island groups each with its own character — no two islands are the same but groups tend to share attributes, from the classic style of the Cyclades to the Venetian echoes of the Ionian; the Crusader castles of Rhodes to the green of Thassos.
Hellenic Seaplanes has been trying to get a seaplane network in the air since 2013. The latest setback is a Greek government plan to place private waterway projects under state control.
The Greek government has finally ratified contracts with a German-Greek consortium to run 14 of its regional and island airports including Crete, Corfu, Kefalonia, Kos and Mykonos.
The Greek government is set to draw up new criteria for the allocation of airline subsidies for flights to many Greek islands. Zante looks like it may lose out with domestic flights to Athens cut back.
The Greek government is expected to give the go-ahead for the first seaplane flights early this year. And if licenses are granted, Greece's first seaplane network could link the islands of the Ionian.
Latest figures show a 12% rise in curse she arrivals in ports across Greece and the Greek islands in 2015. Greece is slowly turning into one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Mediterranean.
Greek car rental outfits have been legally obliged to renew any vehicle more than nine years old. An update to the regulations means that car rental firms can hang on to hire cars for 12 years.
Plans to launch a Greek island seaplane service in 2016 appears to be drowning in red tape. It's not the first time that a scheme to link the islands with seaplane service has failed to get off the ground.
International arrivals at airports in Greece and the Greek Islands in 2015 jumped nearly six percent to 15.5 million. When arrivals by sea are factored in it could jump to more than 25 million.
A sell-off of Greek airports has triggered fears of a big hike in landing fees that will put off low-cost airlines and charter companies with a knock-on effect for Greek holiday package deals.
Latest figures show an 8% rise in tourist spending in the first six months of 2015 as more tourists then ever book holidays in Greece and the Greek Islands. According the Bank of Greece this week, a total of 7.56 million visitors arrived on Greek island holidays.
Many holidaymakers prefer ferry hopping around the Greek islands to booking the usual package tour trips. But ferry tris eill cost more after a VAT hike.
The latest operational plan to operate much heralded seaplane services in the Greek islands has been shelved until 2016 and includes a network of 112 waterways, ten of which will be regional, with each waterway capable of servicing two to three seaplanes.
Reports claim there have already been several delays to night flights and a number of schedule changes in services to the airport of Mytilene on Lesvos as maintenance of night flying navigational aids have fallen behind schedule
Despite plans to open up to 100 seaplane routes across Greece and the Greek Islands this year, the company now admits that Corfu island has the only port with a registered waterway. There will be no seaplane services in the Greek Islands in summer 2015.
Greece had agreed a €1.2 billion deal with German airport operator Fraport to run 14 regional airports, including those on popular Greek holiday islands like Corfu, Crete and Rhodes but plans are on hold.
A British couple hoping for a memorable holiday in Skiathos returned to the UK with nothing but bad memories after they were charged for a Bungalow they never set foot in.
A total of 478 passengers and crew members were on board the boat, operated by Greek ferry company ANEK Lines, which caught fire west of the island of Corfu, while sailing the Adriatic Sea.
Ios has a way of getting into people's hearts and brought a big increase in repeat visitors of the floating type. It's now a case of getting the word out that Ios is a beautiful place
No doubt to the annoyance of the many Greeks who blame Germany for its six years of recession the tender for the sale of 14 Greek airports has been won by Frankfurt-based operator Fraport
The agreement to build a seaplane water airport on Corfu should pave the way for up to 100 seaplane services to Greek islands across the Aegean, providing tourist visitors with quick and easy access to holiday resorts.