This week it looks like the Greek crisis is finally coming to a head. Or is it? After months of speculation whether Greece will default or not, whether they will remain in the Euro Zone or have to resurrect the Drachma, these are questions that might affect your upcoming holiday to Sithonia.
There are some unique challenges for any tourist going to Greece that we would like to bring to your attention so you can plan ahead and make your travel a more enjoyable experience.
1. Should I bring my Visa (credit card)?
It is always good to have with you just in case. If you are staying at larger hotels, then yes, they probably accept credit cards. If you are living in an apartment then chances are they will not accept credit cards. Restaurants are beginning to see the benefits so more and more they accept credit cards, but probably not the local Gyros stand.
One tip, if you decide to pay your hotel bill with credit card, be prepared to pay the credit card fees. Some hotels, when you check out, may ask for an additional 4% to cover the credit card fees. If you are not fine with this then your only other option is cash.
2. Should I carry cash?
Yes. At the moment, several newspapers in Britain are advising tourists traveling to Greece to carry cash. This is a warning actually given from the Greek Tourist Board. The reasons for this is that if you rely on credit or ATMs, in a debt crisis, banks could turn off their cash machines. You could be stranded with no funds. Problems are not anticipated, but you never know. Just be aware that if you decide to carry a large amount of cash, be careful that it is properly locked away.
3. Are there banks in Sithonia?
A few. You have 2 banks in Neos Marmaras and one in Nikiti. There are ATMs in most villages throughout the peninsula.
When it comes to money and payment options, Greece can be far behind the rest of Europe. Hopefully this is an area where Greece will soon make progress.
We hope that these few tips will be helpful to our readers in planning your vacation this year to Halkidiki and avoid any unexpected problems along the way.