The VATC’s team has been to Greece for a week and offers its impression and some examples of things you can see there, with your fluffy ball.
When we talk about Greece, we think about gods of Olympus, Ulysses and also feta cheese and wine. But the Hellenic Republic is also a great cultural heritage, archaeological sites, breathtaking landscapes and warm temperatures, even in October. For this first journey in the land of Gods, we decided to focus on the North of the country, starting with the second largest city: Thessaloniki.
The papers and vaccines of your dog must be in order to enter the territory. If you come from a member country of the European Union, your animal must be identified with an electronic chip, or a tattoo if it was born before July 2011. You must have with you his European passport, delivered by a veterinarian, his vaccines up to date as well as his anti-rabies titration. It’s valid for 21 days after the first injection of rabies vaccine and valid for life, as long as the vaccination is done on the due dates. If, on the other hand, you come from a country outside the European Union, your dog must be identified, you must have with you the serum titration of anti-rabies antibodies (attesting to its vaccination against rabies. The titration is carried out at least 30 days after vaccination by an approved laboratory) and a health certificate issued by a veterinarian designated by a competent authority from the country of origin.
So be sure to go ahead and be on time.
In addition to the papers, you must book your flight. Find here the list of airlines that accept dogs.
For our part, we left with Transavia, a company that accepts animals on board. You can take your companion to the cabin if he weighs less than 10kg and his cage has the following dimensions: 47X30X27. Count 40 euros for one way. If it weighs between 10 and 75kg, your dog will go in the cargo hold and his flight will cost you 60 for one way. In both cases, remember to reserve your place at the same time as yours because the number of animals on each flight is limited to four in the cabin and two in the hold.
When you disembark at the Thessaloniki airport, you are 30min from the city center by cab or car and 1h by bus. The city is full of small streets and monuments to visit. You can also enjoy the seaside for a walk and its large park. The city is lively and it is better to keep your pet on a leash, for more security.
In order to enjoy your stay and get around, the easiest thing is to rent a car, if you have the permit. Dogs are accepted by companies like Avis or Sixt. However, be careful to make the car clean, otherwise you will have extra cleaning to pay for the damage caused by your doggie.
In terms of accommodation, you can make your reservations through Airbnb – to find owners who accept fluffy balls – or by looking on comparators such as Booking that allow you to find only establishments who accept the dogs.
One of the things to see and do in northern Greece is of course the ascent of Mount Olympus. Its highest peak – Mytickas – rises to 2918 meters. The climb can be done in two days and a refuge awaits you after 3 hours of walking in the mountain. You can take your dog with you, as long as he’s fit and is able to sleep outside. Remember to provide him with a little wool! On the road to the summit, you will come across many dogs, who have taken up residence at the shelter but seem to have fun going up and down all day.
There are lots of stray dogs and cats in Greece, but they’re not aggressive. Most of the time they are just looking for something to eat or even affection. However, cases of rabies have been reported recently in the country, so it is better not to get too close to the animals. Make sure your dog stays a good distance and if you ever feel threatened by a stray dog, it is recommended to stoop as if you were going to catch a stone and throw it away. They use to get hurt by stones and will naturally move away from you.
The monasteries of Meteora are a high place of Orthodox monasticism. These are monasteries built on rocks and which were classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, in 1988. There are still 6 to visit and if you can walk around, enjoy the view and climb some stairs for free, the entrance of the monasteries is paying.
Sithonia is one of the three peninsulas of Chalkidiki, located in northern Greece. You can easily go around in the day and it is full of small coves and beaches.
During Summer, it’s the place where all the inhabitants of Thessaloniki go on weekends, to take a break. If you go during another period, you will have the chance to enjoy the sand and turquoise water alone. Many hotels line the roads and there you will find something to eat easily.
As for your fluffy ball, he has every right to be on the beach and even swim in the Aegean. You simply have to keep it on a leash and have
your passport or health record on you.