Greece travel warning to UK holidaymakers over strict drinking rules, including Crete, Athens and Santorini

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The UK Foreign Office warns that tourists can be fined for breaking local rules

British holidaymakers heading to Greece this summer are urged to be mindful of strict rules in place for tourists, particularly around drinking.

Visitors to Greece are expected to abide by local laws and customs across the islands and those who fall foul could be issued with hefty fines, or even prison sentences in some cases.

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Local police will not tolerate any “rowdy” or “indecent” behaviour, especially in relation to excessive drinking and partying. The UK Foreign Office has warned that Greek police will arrest those who behave indecently, with holidaymakers urged to consume alcohol sensibly to avoid getting in trouble with the law.

People are also advised to avoid donning fancy dress costumes while out on the town in Greece, as some outfits could be deemed offensive.

British holidaymakers heading to Greece are urged to be mindful of strict local rules (Photo: Getty Images)British holidaymakers heading to Greece are urged to be mindful of strict local rules (Photo: Getty Images)
British holidaymakers heading to Greece are urged to be mindful of strict local rules (Photo: Getty Images) | SOOC/AFP via Getty Images

The government body said: “The Greek police won’t accept rowdy or indecent behaviour, especially where excessive drinking is involved. The police will make arrests and the courts are likely to impose heavy fines or prison sentences on people who behave indecently.

“Some fancy dress costumes may be regarded as offensive and therefore against decency laws. Your travel insurance may not cover you after drinking.”

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Holidaymakers are also warned against drug use of any kind in Greece, with the Foreign Office warning that Greek authorities are now clamping down on the sale of nitrous oxide as it is illegal to buy or sell for recreational use in the country.

Anyone caught using it will be liable for arrest and may face a possible fine. Driving any vehicle while over the legal drinking limit can also result in a heavy fine and/or imprisonment.

As in the UK, smoking is illegal in all public places in Greece and those who violate the law face a fine of up to €500 (around £427). Holidaymakers should also note that it is a requirement in Greece to carry a copy of your passport or other photographic ID which confirms British nationality at all times.

The rules are similar to local laws in place in parts of Spain, particularly in the Balearic Islands, as the country attempts to clamp down on drunken behaviour.

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Limits on the sale and availability of alcohol are in force in the holiday resorts of Magaluf (Calvià), Playa de Palma on the island of Mallorca and San Antonio (San Antoni de Portmany) on the island of Ibiza, with the likes of happy hours, open bars, two-for-one drinks, pub crawls and party boat trips all banned.

Some local councils in Spain have also banned alcohol from being consumed in the street and will issue on-the-spot fines to rule-breakers, while booze limits are in place at all-inclusive resorts in the Balearic Islands.

Similarly, fines can also be issued in the popular holiday spot of Croatia for “inappropriate” behaviour, including climbing on monuments, sleeping in public areas and drinking alcohol near protected public spaces, such as schools.

Additionally, rules prohibit people from wearing bikinis, trunks, underwear or not clothes in a public space, and items of clothing that “promotes drug use” are also banned. Fines up to €150 (around £128) can be issued to those who flout the rules, which apply to both tourists and locals.

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