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Lindos, Rhodes
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Greece is offering 25,000 free trips to those affected by wildfires

It’s the first scheme of it’s kind in the world, according to the Greek Tourism Ministry

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

Cast your mind back to summer 2023. It was the hottest summer on record, with the Cerberus heatwave scorching parts of Europe and causing extensive wildfires and subsequent evacuations in parts of Greece – namely Corfu and Rhodesbut the combination of dry land, high temperatures and strong winds meant areas like Alexandroupolis, Evia and Boeotia were also ravaged later in the summer. 

At the time, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised to compensate the 25,000 tourists evacuated from Rhodes – and now he’s fulfilling his pledge. 

So, if your trip to the Greek island was cut short because of last year's wildfires, here’s what you need to do. Digital vouchers are redeemable directly from the government, and they’ll cover a week’s hotel accommodation (up to €500 or £428). However, if you booked a homestay such as an Airbnb, you sadly won’t be eligible. 

Myron Flouris, the Greek tourism ministry’s general secretary, told the Guardian: ‘[Greece is] the first country in the world’ to implement a compensation scheme like this. According to tourism officials in Rhodes, more than 5,000 people have registered for the vouchers. 

There is just one little catch – though the fires occurred during the summer, the vouchers will be valid between now and May 31, or between October 1 to November 15. But it makes sense that Greece will keep its peak season free for paying visitors – the country does rely heavily on tourism, after all. 

More on Greece from Time Out

From its historic cities and towns to its gorgeous islands, there’s good reason Greece is a magnet for holidaymakers. Planning a trip? These are the best things to do in Rhodes, Corfu, Mykonos and Santorini – and there’s plenty more where that came from on our Greece homepage

Did you see that these are the new beach rules to know when visiting Greece?

Plus: these are officially the world’s busiest airports in 2024

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