15 of the best Airbnbs in Greece, from a penthouse with views of the Acropolis to a pool villa in Mykonos

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An infinity pool in Greece
The best Airbnbs in Greece include homes with pools and great views.

  • Greece is top of mind for vacationing Americans this summer thanks to a vaccination-friendly policy.
  • Greece’s islands and cities offer something for everyone and Airbnbs are often cheaper than hotels.
  • We found top-rated Airbnbs in Greece with beautiful locales, great design, and cheap prices.

With the sparkling Aegean stretching out in front of it, Greece’s seafront shores and historical cities have long been at the top of American travelers’ bucket lists.

This summer, Americans are flocking to Greece in unexpectedly huge numbers thanks to its vaccination-friendly policy, and the launch of nonstop flights to Athens from hubs like Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas.

Rather than staying in chain hotels or too expensive seaside resorts, there are many top-rated Airbnbs in Greece that offer the opportunity to live like a local (or a royal) while immersed within the local culture. They are also more cost-effective for families and typically more spacious than European hotel rooms, which run quite small.

As a Europe-based travel writer who’s visited multiple Greek islands, I turned to several local experts to determine the best places to vacation in Greece and used their advice to find the best Airbnbs Greece.

Browse all the best Airbnbs in Greece below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

Here are the best Airbnbs in Greece, sorted by price from low to high.

Rose-tinted apartment in downtown Nafplio

Rose-tinted apartment in downtown Nafplio
Nafplio is a seaside port town that was the first capital of Greece.

Book this Nafplio apartment on Airbnb

This stylishly designed apartment is comfortable, cozy, and right off the old town in Nafplio, placing you within walking distance of top sites like the Nafplio National Gallery.

Simple but well-decorated, the apartment features rose-colored walls and fashionable touches like rattan chairs and a black-and-white geometric backsplash with pops of color from turquoise appliances. 

While it doesn’t offer a lot of extra amenities, the central location makes up for it. You won’t even need a car to get around. 

Minimalist, monochromatic Thessaloniki apartment

Minimalist, monochromatic Thessaloniki apartment
Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city and this apartment is in the heart of the city.

Book this Thessaloniki apartment on Airbnb

This minimalist apartment is great for a couple coming to take in the city’s culture and history for a couple of days. Modern and monochromatic in black and white, it’s warmed up with warm wood accents like paneling on the walls and honey-toned floorboards.

There’s a big kitchen with a Nespresso machine and a couch to sprawl out on in front of the large-screen smart TV. The bedroom is cozy with a plush mattress, plenty of pillows, and crisp, clean bed linens, plus a wall-to-wall wardrobe for hanging up vacation clothes. 

This home is located in the heart of downtown, just three minutes on foot from the waterfront, and less than a minute to popular pedestrian areas like Iktinou as well as the Mitropoleos shopping street. If Aristotle Square is on your must-see list, it’s just a seven-minute walk.

Modern penthouse in Chania

CHōRA penthouse
This penthouse in central Chania is a modern base to explore the city.

Book this Chania apartment on Airbnb

This spacious apartment offers a modern take on beach living in Nea Chora with all the benefits of being in town. It’s close to the sand beach and just a 10-minute walk to dining out and the old town in Chania.

Inside is clean and minimalist with bohemian touches as well as local ones that give color and context to your stay. The beds are guaranteed to be comfortable too, with mattresses that come from a highly-regarded Greek manufacturer and linens that are are 100-percent cotton. 

Spacious apartment within a castle in Monemvasia

Spacious Apartment with Balcony & Amazing Sea View
Stay in an actual castle when you book this Airbnb.

Book this Monemvasia castle on Airbnb

In a town with a castle, it doesn’t get much better than actually staying in one. This particular home is located within an 11th-century castle, and the details inside reflect and enhance the building’s history with vaulted timber ceilings, stone walls, and vintage-looking rugs and wall hangings.

The house can sleep a family, and bedrooms are well-appointed with white linens and traditional wooden furniture. The larger bedroom is particularly spacious with a terrace immediately off of it that includes lounge chairs positioned to gaze out over the tiled rooftops of the port town and the sparkling sea beyond.  

Ground-floor island apartment in Lasithi with ocean views

Ground-floor island apartment with ocean views
This stunning oasis boasts beautiful decor and views.

Book this Lasithi condo on Airbnb

This Instagram-ready apartment is loaded with soothing beach vibes thanks to a swinging rattan chair, jute rugs, basket lamps, and stunning views out to sea.

If you must work while you’re away, the furnished balcony off the living room looks out onto the water and has enough space for a table and your laptop. Better yet, curl up with a book on the chair of the terrace that is located off the bedroom. Cool concrete cabinetry in the kitchen and a large glass walk-in shower in the spacious bathroom keep the look streamlined. 

Cycladic house in Santorini with panoramic views

Cycladic house with panoramic views
A quintessential Santorini stay means booking a Cycladic house like this with impressive cliff views.

Book this Santorini Cycladic house on Airbnb

This Cycladic house is located in one of the best positions possible for great views. It offers a 180-degree panorama from the highest point in the village with views of the whole island and the sea beyond from its blue-lattice-topped roof terrace.

Furnishings are breezy and modern with a Cycladic touch. Think white upholstery, walls, and tile floors, with pops of color and texture from the woven pillows and rattan furnishings. The look is minimalist but bohemian. The pink tiles in the kitchen with washed blue cabinetry set the tone for a laid-back vibe. 

Seafront house in Halkidiki

Elizabeth's ikia by the sea 2
Stay here and the sea will be part of your front yard.

Book this Halkidiki house on Airbnb

Newly built and right on the beach, this home has everything needed for a modern, comfortable stay with the ocean just steps from the front gates.

A large terrace forms the front yard, with sunscreens, a ceiling fan, and loungers, as well as an outdoor shower to rinse off between dips. The interior is simple, with monochromatic tones, a large kitchen, plenty of common space, and even an organic garden.

Beachfront apartment in Naxos with rooftop terrace

Seafront apartment with rooftop terrace
The island of Naxos is a must-visit for beach lovers.

Book this Naxos apartment on Airbnb

This apartment takes full advantage of the gorgeous views the island of Naxos offers with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the water. Large, spacious rooms come with dark wood and white linens, and the rooftop terrace shines with long, cushioned built-in benches, a dining set, and a lattice to help filter the sun’s rays. 

Just know that the beach in front of the house isn’t good for swimming thanks to sea urchins, so this isn’t the place if you like to wake up and take a morning dip. But, there are plenty of other swimmable beaches nearby. However, history buffs might not mind as there’s the old sunken city of Naxos in the waters right in front of the house. 

Corfu island stone cottage escape

Corfu island stone cottage escape
This charming stone cottage includes the use of a stunning infinity pool.

Book this Corfu cottage on Airbnb

Located in a rural part of the island about a 20-minute drive from the main town and 30 minutes from the airport, this stone cottage is a great getaway if you want an escape in nature, with stunning views of the sea.

It’s designed as a little studio, with a pillow-stacked bed in linens that reflect the stone behind it, timbered ceilings, and a spacious bathroom with a great shower. The living quarters are cozy — the sofa is also the bench for the dining table — but beautifully designed. 

The grounds are shared with the owner, who can work out a schedule for the pool and barbecue so it still feels like your own private hideaway. Three beaches are less than a 15-minute drive, and the central location makes it a great base for day trips if you rent a car. 

Mediterranean island retreat with sea terrace in Porto Cheli

Mediterranean island retreat with sea terrace
The standout feature of this house is a waterfront deck with direct steps into the water.

Book this Porto Cheli home on Airbnb

Equipped for ocean lovers with your own private ladder for direct a dip into the water, this spacious vacation home boasts a beautiful waterfront location with a stone terrace with gorgeous views.

Inside is cozy and welcoming, with a kitchen big enough to cook for a group, and a pillow-lined seating area. Outdoors, a six-seat dining table is tucked under the cover of leafy trees and a shady stone path down to the water, where there’s a large sundeck overlooking crystal clear water. Think of it as the perfect seaside holiday, just without the crowds. 

Modern penthouse in Athens with Acropolis views and a terrace

Modern penthouse with Acropolis view and terrace
No visit to Greece is complete without a stop in Athens.

Book this Athens apartment on Airbnb

This airy, tranquil, 861-square-foot apartment is located in a historic building that is just a five-minute walk to the square that forms the heart of Plaka. And while it’s close to the action, it’s also a relaxing sanctuary to come home to.

Spotlessly clean, the apartment features a palette of warm wood and white, accented by woven and rattan textiles and furnishings. The bedroom is spacious and breezy with hotel-quality linens, and while some might not love that the WC opens onto the actual bedroom, there’s also another half-bath (and it has plenty of storage space for toiletries too). If you plan to cook, or even just make coffee, the kitchen is seamlessly laid out and spacious. 

The best part, however, is the terrace, with a roll away sliding shade tarp that helps you stay cool when you want to catch views of the Acropolis. There’s also a high bar and patio table outside so you can enjoy a scenic nightcap.  

19th century traditional seafront mansion in Spetses

19th Century Traditional Seafront Mansion
This historic mansion dates back to the 1800s.

Book this Spetses mansion on Airbnb

Sink into island life in this Spetses mansion, which was built in 1834 and has plenty of room for a group of friends or a family. The interior is simple but clean, with furnishings and antiques that evoke the house’s younger days.

The bedrooms have white lace curtains, traditional furniture, crisp linens, and various configurations of beds. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen and a generously sized living area and dining room. 

The view to the sea below, directly under blue wrought-iron balconies, is extraordinary and a stunning terrace comes with plenty of space and a barbecue and panoramic views of the ocean. There’s also a beautiful veranda with lounge furniture and a shade cover.

Mykonos sea-view house with a terrace

Mykonos sea-view house with terrace
This villas includes a sweeping terrace with panoramic sea view.

Book this Mykonos villa on Airbnb

This modern, island-inspired house is away from the hustle of tourist crowds in Agios Stefanos, and it’s well worth the payoff for being a little away from the center of the action.

A sweeping terrace showcases a panoramic view of the ocean and harbor beyond, with minimalist, all-white Cycladic vibes. The living room is generous, with rattan chairs and a sand-colored sofa, while the all-white bedroom with a Queen bed forms a retreat at the end of the day. Wi-Fi and a 32-inch smart TV also come as part of the holiday, so you can chill out with a film at the end of a hot day in the sun.    

While it could be useful to have a car or scooter for exploring the island (parking is free), a bus stop is nearby that can take you into Chora, a hub for taking buses around the island. 

Paros villa with an infinity pool

Paros Cycladic villa with panoramic sea view
This spacious all-white home has a beautiful private infinity pool.

Book this Paros house on Airbnb

It doesn’t get much chicer than a Cycladic villa with an infinity pool and incredible views over the ocean.

Four bedrooms and six beds sleep eight total, and with two and a half bathrooms, there’s room for everyone. Inside is pristinely white with thoughtful decor that pays homage to Greek island life. Splashes of Aegean blue color statement walls and three patios are well furnished for sunning and lounging. 

If you can tear yourself away, the sandy beach is just a three-minute walk away and trust us, you’ll want to catch it for sunset. 

Villa in Kos with a private pool by the sea

Villa with private pool by the sea
For ultimate luxury, book this highly-rated home with a pool.

Book this Kos villa with a pool on Airbnb

Located in Tigaki, this villa is set into the countryside and can hold up to 10 guests, enough to lodge a family reunion, large family, or group of friends traveling together. And although it’s not on the ocean itself — though you can see the water (as well as Turkey) from the patio — it has a generous terrace with a private pool and plenty of space for entertaining. 

The three bedrooms are on the first floor and face the sea and frame the sunset beautifully. The common areas, like the living room, dining area, and open kitchen, are all on the second floor, and there are two outdoor verandas to dine and enjoy a digestif on. Inside is comfortable but sparsely decorated — the focus is on the outside, though the kitchen is big enough to cook up a big meal. 

The villa is also full of amenities beyond the pool including a (very) small gym with a hydro massage and steam chamber, and the villa is serviced three times a week with linen and towel changing as well as pool cleaning. 

You’ll probably want a car to get out and about and make the most of the island, but with that comes another bonus as the hotel is close to Kos airport (less than six miles), so it’s easy to get in and out. 

FAQ: Airbnb in Greece

Is there Airbnb in Greece?

Yes, there is Airbnb in Greece. You can search the entire country on Airbnb, or look at specific areas on the platform’s website or app. 

Where should I stay in Greece?

Where to stay in Greece depends on what kind of vacation you want, and Greece has a scene for pretty much anyone, whether it’s groups of friends looking to party in Mykonos, families seeking a getaway with kids, couples looking to stay on a remote island, or vacationers wanting to soak up culture and food in cosmopolitan cities.

For an off-the-beaten-track stay (at least for Americans), check out the Ionian islands (especially Corfu) or lesser-known islands; or mix it up by alternating beach time with city breaks. The good news is that with ferries and flights at fairly inexpensive rates, you can really design the trip of a lifetime with easy connections to wherever you want to go. 

How much should I budget per night?

Prices for an Airbnb in Greece are all over the map, with a rental available in seemingly every budget. Of course, you might pay more for a sea view in some places, and others, like Port Cheli, might be more expensive thanks to luxury reputations.

Lesser-known islands and cities, however, can easily offer well-rated Airbnbs for around $50 per night. 

How do I find an Airbnb with a pool?

Once you plug in the minimum search parameters (date range, guests, and destination), you can click the “more filters” button to pull up a range of other criteria.

Under the “Facilities” section, you’ll find a checkbox for “pool.” If you tick it, your results will show properties with pools. Just read carefully to see if they’re private or shared with the host or other guests.  

What should I look for in a Greek Airbnb?

One of the first things to look for is making sure you’ll be comfortable in the summer heat. Air conditioning units or windows that allow for cross-ventilation are a must.

You should also look for kitchens or barbecues if you plan to cook.

More of the best places to stay in Europe

Hotel De Jobo
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Why the Allies and the Nazis learned opposite lessons from the first major airborne invasion in history

Nazi Germany paratroopers Fallschirmjagers
German paratroopers landing on Crete during Operation Mercury, May 20, 1941.

  • The German invasion of Crete in May 1941 was the first major invasion led by paratroopers.
  • It was a costly victory for the Germans, which led Hitler to dismiss such operations in the future.
  • But the Allies saw the importance of paratroopers and invested heavily in their use during the war.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Early on May 20, 1941, thousands of German paratroopers, known as Fallschirmjägers, in hundreds of transport planes and gliders were preparing to assault the Greek island of Crete.

It was the first time a large-scale invasion was spearheaded almost entirely by paratroopers. The battle was the final part of the Axis invasion of Greece, and on paper, the numbers favored the Allies.

Germany’s 22,000-man invasion force was up against a combined British Commonwealth/Greek force of about 42,000, the Royal Navy was much stronger than its Axis counterparts in the Mediterranean at the time, and the only way Germany could win was by capturing Crete’s three airfields with Fallschirmjägers.

British intelligence knew this before the battle and told the commander on the island, Maj. Gen. Bernard Freyberg. When the Fallschirmjägers landed, they encountered intense resistance, but after a brutal 13-day slog, the Germans took the island.

The victory came at a huge price for the Fallschirmjägers – so much so that Hitler soured on large-scale airborne operations, remarking that “the days of the parachute troops are over.”

The Allies, meanwhile, learned the complete opposite lesson.

A costly victory

Nazi Germany paratroopers Fallschirmjagers
German paratroopers on their way to the cargo planes before their jump into Crete, May 20, 1941.

By the time Crete was invaded, the Fallschirmjägers had earned a reputation as elite soldiers, having assaulted air fields and strategic positions in Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

At Crete, they would seize the island’s three main airfields, whereupon the rest of the invasion force would be airlifted in. Small amphibious landings were also planned, but the airfields were the prime objective, making the Fallschirmjägers the key to victory.

But the German victory at Crete was due as much to Allied communication and leadership failures as it was to the skill of the German paratroopers.

British soldiers bayonets Crete
British soldiers with fixed bayonets in a trench on Crete, May 1941.

Freyberg was convinced that the real German invasion would come from the sea and positioned most of his forces along the coasts, neglecting to properly defend or sabotage the airfields. Even when the airfields were under attack, Freyberg refused to commit his reserves to their defense.

Capturing the airfields was still difficult and costly for the Fallschirmjägers- only one of the three was taken, and only after high German casualties.

When the battle was over, Germany and Britain had both suffered over 3,000 killed.

About half of the British losses came from the Royal Navy, which lost eight ships to Luftwaffe air attacks. The Germans also lost 146 aircraft (mostly transports) destroyed and had another 165 damaged.

Inferior airborne equipment

Nazi German paratroopers parachutes
German paratrooper volunteers board a plane during military training, June 23, 1938.

A major reason Fallschirmjäger losses were so high was their equipment. German parachutes were based on an old Italian design and didn’t have risers, which meant Fallschirmjägers could not steer or change course in the air and had no control over where they landed.

The design of German parachutes also tended to force Fallschirmjägers into hard landings at dangerous angles, increasing the chances of fracturing or breaking bones far higher than those of Allied paratroopers.

German parachutes also did not have a quick-release system, which meant they could drag German soldiers along the ground if caught in high winds before they were fully detached, or leave them stuck for longer periods of time if they landed in trees.

Nazi Germany paratroopers Crete
German paratroopers take cover behind a wall during an advance on Crete, May 1941.

Finally, because they jumped at lower altitudes than Allied paratroopers and had poor parachute setups, almost all Fallschirmjägers jumped without their primary weapons, carrying only pistols or knives. Instead, their armaments were dropped in canisters that the paratroopers had to retrieve once on the ground.

These defects had disastrous consequences for the Fallschirmjägers at Crete. Many were killed before they even had a chance to fight.

On a number of occasions, Cretan civilians swarmed and killed Fallschirmjägers who were stuck in trees or didn’t have guns. Such widespread civilian resistance was a first for the Germans, and led to many reprisal killings after the battle.

Lessons learned

Nazi German paratroopers Italy
German paratroopers during their rescue of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, in Italy, October 2, 1943.

Fallschirmjägers continued fighting after Crete. They conducted a number of smaller jumps around Europe, including as part of the Battle of the Bulge. For the most part, however, they were used as elite ground-based infantry.

Although they had lost the battle and inflicted heavy losses on the Fallschirmjägers, the Allies recognized the importance of paratroopers and invested heavily in perfecting the deployment of airborne infantry.

Allied airborne assaults were conducted on a much larger scale, usually in conjunction with a larger ground or amphibious assaults that paratroopers could link up with. American and British paratroopers also had much better parachutes and jumped fully equipped for battle.

The superiority of Allied paratroopers was demonstrated on D-Day in June 1944, when over 18,000 paratroopers jumped behind enemy lines in Normandy. Despite being scattered and confused after the jump, and without much of their equipment, groups of paratroopers were able to regroup and accomplish many of their objectives.

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European countries will soon accept vaccinated US travelers. Here are the documents you’ll need and how to know when it’s safe.

airport mask
A federal police officer checks the document of a passenger at Frankfurt Airport in Germany.

  • EU representatives voted Wednesday to allow fully vaccinated US travelers to visit soon.
  • Americans will need to prove they’ve had their shots, but the specific rules may vary by country.
  • Greece and Iceland, among the few countries already open to US tourists, are accepting CDC cards.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Hold on to your vaccination cards: European Union representatives agreed on Wednesday that Americans who have been fully immunized should be allowed to visit the EU’s 27 member nations. They won’t have to show a negative COVID-19 test result or quarantine upon arrival, NBC News reported. Children may also be able to accompany their vaccinated parents abroad, regardless of their own vaccination status – provided that they have a negative coronavirus test.

The new travel guidelines are expected to be formally approved by the European Council later this week, meaning travel from the US to Europe could be possible this summer.

It’s likely that Americans will need to show government-issued vaccine certificates to visit most European countries. For now, neither EU nor US officials have specified whether people will need to show the white vaccination card issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other documentation.

Lisa Lee, a public-health expert at Virginia Tech, said European countries will probably have patchwork of different rules for US travelers.

“Some have said they’re only going to accept electronic [vaccine records] so it can be verified,” Lee told Insider. “Other people are afraid that the CDC cards are too prone to fraud and they won’t accept the paper cards.”

In an interview with Ouest France, French President Emmanuel Macron said foreign tourists could visit France with a “health pass” starting June 9. Macron didn’t expand on what that pass would look like, though.

Spain’s tourism secretary, meanwhile, has said the country is prepared to let travelers return in June – as long as visitors show proof they’ve been vaccinated, recently tested negative for the coronavirus, or recently recovered from COVID-19.

“One thing is clear: All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by EMA,” Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, told The New York Times in April, referring to the European Medicines Agency. The EMA has authorized all three vaccines used in the US: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Already, a few European countries – including Greece and Iceland – are allowing visitors from the US. Their policies could offer a hint at what to expect from other nations moving forward.

The US still doesn’t recommend travel to Europe

A TSA officer wears a mask at Logan International Airport in Boston in March 2020.
A TSA officer wears a mask at Logan Airport in Boston in March 2020.

The CDC currently recommends avoiding all international travel to European countries, with the exception of Iceland and the UK. (The agency says Americans can travel there for essential visits only.) Similarly, the US is denying entry to visitors from the EU or UK unless they’re US citizens.

The Biden administration hasn’t said whether it will remove these restrictions in the near future, but travel and aviation groups are pushing the US government to open its borders to more countries, with testing requirements in place.

For now, the US also requires fully vaccinated Americans to test negative before reentering the country.

Lee said this policy helps protect the population from highly transmissible variants that are more prevalent in other countries and might evade protection from vaccines.

“These vaccines are incredibly effective, but they’re not 100% – and they’re certainly not 100% or as effective against strains that we don’t know about yet that might be developing through transmission, so it’s still a good time to be somewhat cautious,” she said.

Greece and Iceland are accepting CDC cards as proof of vaccination

tourist greece
Tourists wear face masks at the the Akropolis in Athens, Greece on November 2, 2020.

As of April 19, Greece is welcoming US travelers with a few stipulations: Visitors are asked to fill out a locator form at least one day before entering or leaving the country. Americans must also provide proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated – a CDC card is sufficient – or present a negative PCR test.

US travelers don’t need to quarantine under this policy, a change that came with the new rule. Previously, Americans entering Greece had to isolate for a week. If a person tests positive upon arrival, however, they’ll be transported to a hotel, where Greek authorities will confirm the test results and ask them to stay inside for 10 days.

US travelers to Iceland can also avoid the nation’s mandatory quarantine by presenting a CDC card that shows they are fully vaccinated. Alternatively, a person can provide proof that they’ve had COVID-19 already – either through a positive PCR or antibody test result.

iceland tourists
Tourists walk in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 3, 2020.

But those going to Iceland still need to take another COVID-19 test upon arrival, then wait at their accommodation until the results are back (which can take up to 24 hours). Hotels in Iceland may ask to see your CDC vaccination card as well.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Montenegro aren’t requiring US travelers to quarantine, either, if they show proof of vaccination. Italy is similarly allowing American visitors to bypass quarantine requirements with a negative COVID-19 test.

UK residents have been able to travel internationally since May 17 – but Americans who want to visit the UK must still present a negative COVID-19 test, quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, and get tested twice during their visit.

Travel requirements aside, an international trip brings risks

airport travel
A traveler wears a face mask at Los Angeles International Airport on January 25, 2021.

Just because a country is accepting US travelers doesn’t mean a visit is low-risk. For Americans trying to decide whether to travel or where to go, Lee recommended that fully vaccinated people look at two key metrics: low levels of transmission and case numbers that are declining day over day.

“If you look at Portugal, for example, the incidence is a lot lower than Spain and they’re right next to each other,” Lee said.

On average, Spain is recording nearly 102 daily cases per 1 million people, while Portugal is recording around 39 daily cases per 1 million people. The CDC defines low transmission as fewer than 5 cumulative new cases per 100,000 people over the prior 28 days, and moderate transmission as fewer than 50 cumulative new cases per 100,000 people over 28 days.

If you’re looking to lower your risk of infection, choose less crowded locales where you’re unlikely to bump into people who haven’t been vaccinated. Opt out of large events like concerts or soccer matches, too.

london UK reopening
Outdoor dining in London on April 18, 2021.

“If you’re planning a trip to the countryside, that’s a very different calculus than if you’re planning a trip to the middle of a bustling city,” Lee said.

Of course, outbreaks can also change course quickly, so a country that looks safe now may have high levels of transmission in three months.

“Check the requirements frequently, right up until the departure date, as every country’s policies are going to be changing in response to the way the epidemic evolves,” Lee said.

The website Skyscanner offers real-time updates on countries’ travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. Make sure to prepare the necessary documentation for each country you plan to visit.

“You don’t want to get from one place to another and discover, ‘Oh, whoops, they need this piece of paper or that piece of software and I don’t have that,'” Lee said.

This story has been updated. It was originally published on May 2, 2021.

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Delta and United are now offering flights to all of the European tourist countries welcoming vaccinated Americans

United Airlines and Delta Air Lines aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines and Delta Air Lines aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport.

  • Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have added flights to the three mainstream European countries open to Americans: Iceland, Croatia, and Greece.
  • All three countries are welcoming US tourists with proof of vaccination, with some also allowing for just a negative COVID-19 test.
  • American Airlines hasn’t been as nimble, focusing more on South America and only launching flights to Greece and Israel for the summer.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Europe is once again just a flight away for many Americans.

US airlines were quick to adjust their route maps when coronavirus pandemic travel patterns shifted towards domestic destinations. And with Europe gradually opening up to American tourists, airlines are making similar adjustments to accommodate the international jet set.

Delta Air Lines announced its latest international route between New York and Dubrovnik, Croatia, scheduled to start on July 2. Flights will operate four-times-weekly with departures from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and return flights from Dubrovnik Airport on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

It’s Delta’s first and only route to the Southern European country, which has seen newfound interest from Americans as vaccinated travelers, as well as those presenting a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery, will be able to enter the country. Croatia is situated on the Adriatic Sea and boasts countless historical towns and villages on its over 1,000 miles of coastline.

United Airlines will also serve Croatia with flights between Newark and Dubrovnik launching on July 8. The three-times-weekly flights from Newark Liberty International Airport depart on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and return from Dubrovnik Airport on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.

Both airlines will use Boeing 767-300ER wide-body aircraft on their respective routes to Dubrovnik.

Croatia also borders Montenegro, another European country open to vaccinated Americans, according to the US Embassy in Montenegro. Dubrovnik itself is only 25 miles from the border with Montenegro and US citizens need only present proof of recent vaccination or recovery, or a negative COVID-19 test less than 72 hours old, when entering.

Delta and United have been the most eager to serve the reopening European continent, and have also launched flights to Iceland and Greece, the two other mainstream European tourist countries opening to Americans.

Iceland will be served by United this summer from Newark, starting June 3, and Chicago, starting July 1. Delta serves the Land of Fire and Ice via Reykjavik from New York and begins flights from Boston and Minneapolis on May 20 and May 27, respectively.

Greece, also welcoming vaccinated Americans or those with a negative COVID-19 test, is also served by the two airlines.

United will fly to Athens from Washington, DC starting July 1 and resume its Newark-Athens route on June 3. Delta will similarly resume its New York-Athens route on May 28 and launch a new route between Athens and Atlanta starting July 2.

American Airlines has been less nimble than its competitors on Europe’s reopening, focusing instead on the Americas. Some additions east of the Prime Meridian have been the New York-Athens route starting on June 3, Miami-Tel Aviv route starting on June 4, and New York-Tel Aviv route that launched on May 6.

While Greece is opening its doors to all vaccinated or COVID-19-negative Americans, however, Israel is being more restrictive with its opening and is only slated to welcome vaccinated group tours on May 23 but not individual tourists yet.

Read More: Qatar Airways chief strategy officer reveals how airplane diplomacy let the airline add new destinations to its route map and earned international praise during COVID-19

South America has been American’s main focus with new flights to cities in Chile, Colombia, and Brazil starting this year. American has not yet relaunched flights to Iceland or Croatia, despite serving both countries prior to the pandemic.

But American could soon shift to Europe as more countries welcome US citizens. For now, airlines can rejoice that European route launches are once again common after more than a year.

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Europe may allow vaccinated US travelers this summer. Here are the documents you’ll need and how to know when it’s safe.

airport mask
A federal police officer checks the document of a passenger who landed from Prague at Frankfurt Airport in Germany.

  • European countries could accept fully vaccinated US travelers this summer.
  • Americans would need to prove they’ve had their shots, but the specific rules may vary by country.
  • Greece and Iceland, among the few countries already open to US tourists, are accepting CDC cards.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Hold on to your vaccination cards: Americans who have been fully immunized could be allowed to travel to Europe this summer, the president of the European Commission recently told The New York Times.

While the European Union hasn’t yet announced the formal requirements to enter its 27 member nations, it’s likely that Americans will need government-issued vaccine certificates. For now, neither EU nor US officials have specified whether people will need to show the white vaccination card issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other documentation.

Lisa Lee, a public-health expert at Virginia Tech, said European countries will probably have patchwork of different rules for US travelers.

“Some have said they’re only going to accept electronic [vaccine records] so it can be verified,” Lee told Insider. “Other people are afraid that the CDC cards are too prone to fraud and they won’t accept the paper cards.”

In an interview with Ouest France, French President Emmanuel Macron said foreign tourists could visit France with a “health pass” starting June 9. Macron didn’t expand on what that pass would look like, though. Spain’s tourism secretary, meanwhile, said this week that the country is prepared to let travelers back in in June – as long as visitors show proof they’ve been vaccinated, recently tested negative for the coronavirus, or recently recovered from COVID-19. And UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested earlier this month that British people could start traveling internationally on May 17.

“One thing is clear: All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by EMA,” Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, told The Times, referring to the European Medicines Agency. The EMA has authorized all three vaccines used in the US: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Already, a few European countries – including Greece and Iceland – are allowing visitors from the US. Their policies could offer a hint at what to expect from other nations moving forward.

The US still doesn’t recommend travel to Europe

A TSA officer wears a mask at Logan International Airport in Boston in March 2020.
A TSA officer wears a mask at Logan International Airport in Boston in March 2020.

The CDC currently recommends avoiding all international travel to European countries, with the exception of Iceland. (The agency says Americans can travel there for essential visits only.) Similarly, the US is denying entry to visitors from the EU or UK unless they’re US citizens.

The Biden administration hasn’t said whether it will remove these restrictions in the near future, but travel and aviation groups are pushing the US government to open its borders to more countries, with testing requirements in place.

For now, the US also requires fully vaccinated Americans to test negative before reentering the country.

Lee said this policy helps protect the population from highly transmissible coronavirus variants that are more prevalent in other countries and might evade protection from vaccines.

“These vaccines are incredibly effective, but they’re not 100% – and they’re certainly not 100% or as effective against strains that we don’t know about yet that might be developing through transmission, so it’s still a good time to be somewhat cautious,” she said.

Greece and Iceland are accepting CDC cards as proof of vaccination

tourist greece
Tourists wear face masks at the the Akropolis in Athens, Greece on November 2, 2020.

As of April 19, Greece is welcoming US travelers with a few stipulations: Visitors are asked to fill out a locator form at least one day before entering or leaving the country. Americans must also provide proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated – a CDC card is sufficient – or present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their arrival.

US travelers don’t need to quarantine under this policy, a change that came with the new rule. Previously, Americans entering Greece had to isolate for a week. If a person tests positive upon arrival, however, they’ll be transported to a hotel, where Greek authorities will confirm the test results and ask them to stay inside for 10 days. After that, they can be released following a negative PCR test.

US travelers to Iceland can also avoid the nation’s mandatory quarantine by presenting a CDC card that shows they are fully vaccinated. Alternatively, a person can provide proof that they’ve had COVID-19 already – either through a positive PCR or antibody test result.

iceland tourists
Tourists walk in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 3, 2020.

But those going to Iceland still need to take another COVID-19 test upon arrival, then wait at their accommodation until the results are back (which can take up to 24 hours). Hotels in Iceland may ask to see your CDC vaccination card as well.

Croatia, Georgia, Montenegro aren’t requiring US travelers to quarantine, either, if they show proof of vaccination.

Travel requirements aside, an international trip brings risks

airport travel
A traveler wears a face mask at Los Angeles International Airport on January 25, 2021.

Just because a country is accepting US travelers doesn’t mean a visit is low-risk. For Americans trying to decide whether to travel or where to go, Lee recommended that fully vaccinated people look at two key metrics: low levels of transmission and case numbers that are declining day over day.

“If you look at Portugal, for example, the incidence is a lot lower than Spain and they’re right next to each other,” Lee said.

On average, Spain is recording nearly 180 daily cases per 1 million people, while Portugal is recording around 45 daily cases per 1 million people. The CDC defines low transmission as fewer than 5 cumulative new cases per 100,000 people over the prior 28 days, and moderate transmission as fewer than 50 cumulative new cases per 100,000 people over 28 days.

If you’re looking to lower your risk of infection, choose less crowded locales where you’re unlikely to bump into people who haven’t been vaccinated. Opt out of large events like concerts or soccer matches, too.

london UK reopening
Outdoor dining in London on April 18, 2021.

“If you’re planning a trip to the countryside, that’s a very different calculus than if you’re planning a trip to the middle of a bustling city,” Lee said.

Of course, outbreaks can also change course quickly, so a country that looks safe now may have high levels of transmission in three months.

“Check the requirements frequently, right up until the departure date, as every country’s policies are going to be changing in response to the way the epidemic evolves,” Lee said.

The website Skyscanner offers real-time updates on countries’ travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. Make sure to prepare the necessary documentation for each country you plan to visit.

“You don’t want to get from one place to another and discover, ‘Oh, whoops, they need this piece of paper or that piece of software and I don’t have that,'” Lee said.

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United and Delta will offer daily flights to Iceland and Greece this summer, the first European destinations to open to vaccinated Americans

reykjavik Iceland volcano eruption
Weekend hikers visit the area where a volcano erupted in Iceland.

  • United and Delta will offer seasonal daily service to Iceland and Greece this summer.
  • Both countries are heavily dependent on tourism, and the EU is under pressure to reopen to travelers.
  • International travel was still down more than 75% in March compared with 2019, industry data show.

US tourists eager to go abroad will be able to visit three European destinations this summer, so long as they can prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Monday, United Airlines announced it would begin seasonal daily service to Iceland and Greece beginning in July.

United’s move follows Delta’s announcement last month that it would offer daily service to Iceland from three US cities (Boston Logan, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airports) beginning in May, and Delta’s route map indicates flights from JFK to Athens will resume in June.

In addition, United will offer thrice-weekly routes to Croatia, reflecting an increase in search activity on its website over the past month, the company told Bloomberg. Each of the European routes are new for United and are as follows: Chicago to Reykjavik, Iceland starting June 3; Washington-Athens, Greece starting July 1; and Newark to Dubrovnik, Croatia starting July 8.

Iceland is part of the Schengen zone of visa-free travel, but is not a member of the European Union, and is therefore exempt from the general restriction on visitors from outside the EU. Iceland Air recently warned international travelers that the country could not be used as a kind of backdoor to the continent, saying, “further travel from Iceland to the rest of Europe is currently not permitted for non-Schengen residents.”

Greece meanwhile just lifted its restrictions for travelers from the US who can provide a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID test result. As an EU member, Greece’s move puts additional pressure on the bloc to reopen travel more broadly.

Both Greece and Iceland are heavily dependent on tourism dollars. Tourism constitutes roughly a tenth of Greece’s economy, and those revenues plummeted 80% as a result of the pandemic. In 2019, tourism represented 42% of Iceland’s economy. In an attempt to incentivize visitors, Iceland Air is promoting round-trip prices as low as $349 and waiving change fees to give flyers greater flexibility when traveling.

Data from an industry trade group shows international travel was still down more than 75% in March compared with 2019.

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Royal Caribbean just announced more ‘fully vaccinated’ cruises this year, this time in the Mediterranean

Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas ship.
Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas ship.

  • Royal Caribbean just announced fully vaccinated seven-night cruises sailing from Cyprus.
  • The cruise series will sail around Cyprus and Greece from July through October.
  • Royal Caribbean has been announcing a string of summer cruises with COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Royal Caribbean just unveiled a new summer series of fully vaccinated cruises in the Mediterranean, only one day after it announced a different collection of vaccine-mandated sailings from Bermuda.

Vaccinated against COVID-19 and craving a warm summer escape aboard a cruise ship? Royal Caribbean’s newly announced seven-night Mediterranean cruises may be a good fit for you. From July 10 through October, the cruise line’s 13-deck Jewel of the Seas ship will bring guests from Limassol, Cyprus to different destinations around Cyprus and Greece, including Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini.

This will be Royal Caribbean’s first time sailing from Cyprus.

“We are delighted that Royal Caribbean will call Limassol its home port for the first time ever,” Savvas Perdios, Cyprus’ deputy minister of tourism, said in a press release. “This has been an ambition of ours for many years, and we are thrilled that, finally, this dream has come to fruition.”

Read more: Carnival and Royal Caribbean salaries revealed: From $32,000 to $383,000, here’s how much the cruise industry’s power players pay some of their employees

Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas ship.
Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas ship.

These new Mediterranean sailings will cruise with a vaccine mandate. This means all crew members and adult guests aboard the ship will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19, while passengers under 18-years-old will instead have to test negative for the virus. However, Royal Caribbean notes that these protocols may change “as they are evaluated on an ongoing basis.”

Besides this Mediterranean cruising announcement, Royal Caribbean has unveiled three different series of “fully vaccinated” cruises in March. This includes the Odyssey of the Seas sailings from Israel, Adventure of the Seas from the Bahamas, and Vision of the Seas from Bermuda. All of these cruises are set to sail this year, addressing the general pent-up demand for cruising and travel.

“The vaccines are clearly a game-changer for all of us, and with the number of vaccinations and their impact growing rapidly, we believe starting with cruises for vaccinated adult guests and crew is the right choice,” Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said in a March 19 press release. “As we move forward, we expect this requirement and other measures will inevitably evolve over time.”

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