Problems in Greece
Everybody wants to spend a perfect vacation. Usually we are mentally prepared for nice things, as we should, so we should not let our vacation to be broken down by little less nice things.
Based on many years of working in tourism and mediation in solving the problems between guests and owners, we will summarize everything that tourists usually complain about, what are normal and common problems. These are the most frequent problems that tourists encounter when arriving at the accommodation, and problems generally in Greece. We are also preparing our tips for some bigger unpleasant situations that can happen during the stay in Greece, such as loss of passports, traffic accidents, overbookings, sudden vacation breaks, big conflicts with owners, robbery and fraud.
Lack of parking place in accommodation. You have arrived in Greece, came to a destination, and you can not wait to get rest from a long trip. However, it may happen that your accommodation is not easy to reach by the car, especially if it’s on the promenade; sometimes it’s almost impossible to stay in front of the accommodation, just to pull the bags out of the car and enter the accommodation, because you have blocked the whole street. And when you take out your things, then you go in search of a parking place. If your accommodation does not have private parking then you will probably circle around for some time until you find a parking spot, and even if the accommodation officially has a private parking lot, in the high season it often turns out to be not available to all guests.
Apartments are not ready. But you have arrived, parked your car, called the owner, and you can not find him. If you have arrived in the period from 2 to 5PM, they probably sleep, and if not, then they are not at all at home. Then you are trying to reach them in every possible way. Owners often have other jobs than renting out apartments and they work all day in the store, bakery, pharmacy or have one more accommodation, besides that one. When you finally reach them, you are already nervous, tired of waiting and everything. If the owners are already there, it may happen that the apartment is not ready to enter. When you leave from Serbia, please consider that guests who use the apartment before you are not obliged to leave it before 12AM. Consider also that the room will have to be cleaned, and not just yours, but also the others, and that each accommodation usually has one or a maximum two maids. So, by 2PM, it’s very likely that you will not be able to enter your apartment.
Owners do not speak English. When you arrive, it may happen that owners who will wait for you, do not speak a word of English, so you will communicate with them probably more with hands. If you are happy that the accommodation is just as you expected, you can be calm, but if not, then the problems will continue. People mostly complain immediately upon arrival. Because of fatigue and nervousness, they often don’t see the advantages of accommodation (location, distance from the beach, quiet environment, nice yard), but only the defects. When they get sleep and rest, everything is much better.
Poorly cleaned apartment. It may happen that the apartment is not cleaned enough, perhaps because your criteria are too high or it just seems to you, or because the previous guests came out late and the maid did not arrive or because she did a bad job. Insufficiently clean rooms bring nervousness, especially to the ladies, because instead of resting, they will try everthing to make the accommodation clean for a pleasant stay. However, before you start cleaning, calling the guide and the agency, and getting more upset, it’s best to talk to the owners and they will definitely agree to clean the apartment again to correct their mistake. This will not completely fix the thing, but it’s the best solution when you’re already in that situation.
It’s forbidden to bring your food and drinks by the pool. If you have a swimming pool and a bar in the accommodation, then the owners will most likely look with disagreement if you have your drinks next to the pool and in the bar, eat sandwiches and snacks, or even have your own water. If there is no pool bar in accommodation, then it is allowed.
Payment upon arrival. It may happen that owners ask you to pay the whole amount immediately upon arrival, and you planned to do it on the last day. Owners who ask you to pay immediately most likely had a bad experience with guests who leave the accommodation a few days earlier or simply leave without paying, so it’s best to understand them and pay if they ask for it. If you need to leave the accommodation earlier , the owner is obliged to return you 50% of the amount of the remaining days (days that you have not used), but not the full amount.
Respecting the house rules. House rules in most villas and hotels have to be respected, so there is often no swimming in the pool between 2 and 5PM and after 8PM. Many guests are bothered by this, but the owners are obligated to other guests to ask you to respect the rule.
Insufficient cookware in the kitchen. If you have planned to cook as if you were at home, you will not be able to do it in most studios and apartments. In the more modest accommodations, there are usually kitchenettes with an electric cooking stove with the most two burners (one of which is just for coffee). It happens that they are old, slow or small and it’s impossible to cook a real lunch. 95% of accommodations, especially in Thassos does not have an oven (you can find them more in Sithonia). It’s very common thing that in the apartment you have just one really small or huge pot, a frying pan, and that’s all. There is often a lack of turkish coffee pot, and almost always ladle and deep plates. Greeks do not have soup on their table, so they don’t know that they are served regularly on our menu, especially during the holidays.
Forbidden frying. If there is no frying pan in the kitchenette, it means that the owners do not want you to fry anything, especially the fish. Sometimes it is not so easy to get rid of the smell of frying that creates a problem when new guests come after you. It happens that there is missing a fork, glass, plate. Before you get angry with the owners or the agency, try to think about the following: maybe the previous guests broke something and did not report it, and the owners in the hurry didn’t notice, maybe two families dined and grilled together, and moved everything into one room. Everything is possible, even that the previous guests took something with, a glass as a souvenir, for example :) It happens. It is enough you only to point it out to the owners, so they can act and give you what you need. Guests sometimes complain that in the accommodation there is no cutting board, grater, a spaghetti strainer, a large knife for a watermelon or bread, a bowl for salad. This happens really often, but that’s just the way it is and you should count on that. So, there is a great chance that you can not cook in the accommodation, even if you have a kitchenette, so it’s best to bring everything you need with you. Kitchenettes are not intended for cooking, but for preparing light meals, breakfast.
There is no freezer in apartments and especially studios, so if you carry frozen products with you, you will have nowhere to place them. Large fridges with freezers are slowly introducing into accommodations, but a large number of apartments are still equipped with a small fridge with a chamber.
Change of bed linen and towels. If the owners do not clean the apartment after the promised number of days and change bedding and towels, be sure to tell them. Instead of waiting and getting nervous that they didn’t remember to do it, simply ask. Sometimes happens they forget, and sometimes they simply wait until you tell them, so if you don’t, nothing will happen :)
No shower curtain. If your apartments are not new or recently renovated, you will probably have
no shower in the bathroom, often nore a curtain. Even if there is a curtain, spraying water will certainly be part of every shower. Completely wet bathrooms are something you need to count on when in Greece.
Low water pressure. If the water pressure is weak, it is really a problem and unfortunately, very big one recently. The infrastructure is not adapted to so many people in such small resorts. Lack of water and when all accommodation capacities are full, the water pressure drops. Not equally in all houses and in all places, but in some cases it becomes a serious problem. Be sure that the owners are the first who would like to solve this problem, so don’t be angry with them, nor agencies, but accept that unfortunately the holiday in high season carries with it the risk of water loss or low pressure. An increasing number of tourists is good for the Greek economy, but not for the environment, so there are more and more complaints that the construction of new accommodation facilities be reduced, in some places even prohibited.
Unwanted calling of friends in the accommodation. If your accommodation has an excellent, large yard, barbecue, shades and your friends are at the same time somewhere near you, it does not mean you can call them in your “yard” and hang out together. And if it happens they don’t tell anything, the owners will certainly not look at it with approval. First of all, because they believe that the space is usurped at the expense of other guests, and all those benefits are paid through the total price, while the guests from the side don’t pay for that. Sometimes we have serious discussions with the owners about this, but many of them stick to it. So do not be surprised if you are overlooked or get even a warning.
Septic tanks. As you know, in Greece sewage does not flow into the sea, but there are septic tanks. As far as their discharge is unpleasant, it is the price that is paid to keep the sea clean. Often we get a very bad critique of the accommodation in which everything was great except cleaning of the septic tank, but that is simply necessary.
Weak internet connection. We do not understand why the internet has to be so bad, but it’s bad in 90% of the accommodations in Greece, and that’s a fact. Instead of getting nervous, it’s best to leave from Serbia with the accepted fact that you will not be able to use the internet like at home, but possibly for viber and something like that. If you have an important job to do, consider in time the other options for the internet and do not rely on the internet in accommodation. If it turns out to be good, great. The Internet is not bad only in the accommodations, but also within the majority of cafes and restaurants. In some beach bars they give you a password and are “sure” it works, but in practice you can not go anywhere from typing a code. If you have booked a 4 or 5-star hotel, do not be surprised if the internet is extra charged or is only available in the lobby of the hotel.
Uncomfortable extra beds. You have booked accommodation with an extra bed. Always consider that this bed can not be as comfortable as the standard, and generally the dimensions are not the same.
It happens that the french bed can be more narrow than standard, the so-called one and a half bed, and not double, so it is not bad to check before booking what kind of french bed is about.
Robberies. If you are located in the ground floor of the house, you can not hold the windows and balcony doors open during the night, for your safety. The robbery is not common, but it happens. You have booked the ground floor - it means sleeping with closed windows and air conditioning when the nights are hot.
Car robberies happen on the parking lots, rarely, but it happens and the only thing you can do is not leaving anything worth in the car.
Air conditioning on when you are out. The really bad habit of tourists is to leave the a/c on when they go to the beach. It’s not good for many reasons, neither for the planet nor to the owners who pay for it. It takes only a few minutes to cool the room and all-day cooling while you are not in the apartment really does not mean anything. If the owners get angry about this, well, they have right.
Towels from the apartment are not for the beach. Yes, it is not allowed to bring the towels from the apartment to the beach. In Thessaloniki region, it often happens that towels in apartments are even not provided.
Do not worry, it will not hit you everything that’ve mentioned, but something probably will. It’s best to know and accept all possible problems, so you can be prepared. You go on vacation, because of the sea, beaches, evening walks, and everything else is just less important. And ten days quickly pass.