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Dog-friendly Koroni in Messinia Greece

Dog-Friendly Greece – Travelling with Your Dog in Greece 

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Last Updated on 28/03/2024 by Claire Coney

Greece is a stunning dog-friendly destination for travellers who wish to take their furry friends. This country is in southeast Europe and has a rich and ancient culture to discover. You can admire the stunning scenery of the mainland and the many islands along its coast. 

A traditional Greek village.
Me and my Dogs Exploring a traditional Greek village in Messinia.

My connection with Greece is unique. As a young girl, I visited Greece and loved its culture. Some years later, I adopted two stray puppies who I found hiding under village bins. Now I have two English dogs, Abigail and Charlie, who adore visiting Greece. 

To make your trip enjoyable, you must know the EU and local rules for dogs. You should also research the best dog-friendly places to visit in Greece. In this blog post, I have tips on planning a successful trip to Greece with your furry friend

Travelling to Greece with Your Dog 

When travelling to Greece from the UK or an EU country, the standard rules apply. Your dog will need a microchip, an EU health certificate or EU pet passport, and a valid Rabies vacation at least 21 days before travel. 

If you want to travel to Greece with your furry friend, you should look at dog-friendly transportation. Some ways are more dog-friendly than others, depending on how much money, time, and comfort you want. Here are some travel options. 

Driving

For me, driving is the most dog-friendly way to travel to Greece. When I travel with my fur buddies I like to use my vehicle. Travelling in a car with my dogs keeps them safe and comfortable. It gives me the flexibility to set my own pace and make stops as needed. However, driving can be tiring, expensive, and time-consuming. Especially if you must cross borders, and pay tolls and vignettes. Make sure your car is in good condition for the trip. Your car must also meet the requirements of the countries it will be passing through. 

Cairn Terrier travelling in a car.
Abigail enjoying her road trip.

Flying

Flying is the quickest, dog-friendly way to travel to Greece. But it can also be stressful and risky for your furry pal. Not all airlines accept canines. Each airline has different policies on size, weight, and breed restrictions. Some airlines only allow small dogs in the cabin, while others must travel in the cargo hold. Therefore, your dog might need an airline-approved crate. Before booking your flight, check with your airline and carefully follow their instructions. 

Train

Train travel is not the best option when travelling to Greece with your dog. Greece has limited international train connections with Italy, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Your tickets must be booked in advance, and your furry friend will need to wear a muzzle. 

Coach

Coach companies operating between Greece and other European countries are not always dog-friendly. You may also have to pay an extra fee for your furry companion. Additionally, you will need a muzzle and a crate for your dog. Check with the coach company before booking tickets for you and your fur buddy. 

Ferry

When I travel with my dogs by ferry to Greece, I choose a company with dog-friendly cabins. Although they are expensive, they are the best and safest option. I would not recommend putting your dog in the onboard kennels. The kennels are not usually well maintained, and they can be dirty. During the summer months, some ferry companies offer onboard camping. With this option, your dog will be allowed to stay in your vehicle with you. I have not tried this, but it might be a cheaper option for you.

Several ferry routes connect Greece with Italy, Turkey, and some Greek islands. It is advisable to book your tickets in advance and be prepared to pay an extra fee for your dog. You will also need a muzzle and a leash for your dog. Each ferry company has its own facilities for dogs, depending on the duration of the journey. You may also be allowed to have your furry friend with you in the passenger area. 

Road trip - Europe
Taking a break on our road trip.

Dining Out with Your Dog in Greece 

Dining out with my dogs in Greece is a delightful dog-friendly experience. I love the alfresco style of the cafes and restaurants. Even in the winter, people prefer to eat and relax outside. If I am going to a new eatery, I always ask the owner before bringing my dog along. Often, the staff has offered my dogs water bowls, treats, and even special menus. However, canines are generally not permitted in restaurants or cafes except for service dogs or small dogs. 

Dog-Friendly Restaurant in Greece
Austin and Charlie enjoying a dog-friendly taverna in Messinia Greece.

Travelling in Greece with Your Dog by Public Transport 

Greece’s public transit system is a cheap way to explore the country after you have arrived. You and your dog can travel by bus and between Athens and Thessaloniki by train. In Athens, you might like to try the metro or the tram. Alternatively, taxis will often allow your dog to accompany you. However, there are guidelines and limitations that your dog will need to adhere to. Your dog will also need to be on the lead, wear a muzzle, or be in a crate, and fees usually apply. Check with the transport company in Greece before booking your tickets to find out if they are dog-friendly. 

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Greece 

Dog-friendly accommodation is not difficult to find in Greece. There are many options available, but you need to research and plan. Not all accommodation providers accept canines. The accommodation that does may have different policies on size, number, and breed. In Greece, extra fees usually apply. It is important to respect the rules and regulations of the place you are staying. There are several types of dog-friendly accommodation in Greece: 

Dog-friendly accommodation in Greece
Views from our dog-friendly accommodation in Greece
  • Hotels are a comfortable dog-friendly option in Greece. Many hotels accept dogs but check with the hotel before booking. 
  • Apartments are another dog-friendly choice in Greece if you want more space and privacy. Many apartments accept dogs. You can use online platforms or local agencies to find dog-friendly apartments. 
  • Camping is a fun and adventurous option if you enjoy nature and outdoor activities. There are dog-friendly camping sites in Greece for tents or caravans. 
Exploring Greece with dogs.
Exploring Greece with Abigail and Charlie on a rainy day.

Dog-Friendly Archaeological Sites in Greece   

The Greek Ministry of Culture changed its regulations in April 2023, allowing dogs to accompany their owners to 120 archaeological sites nationwide. These sites include famous landmarks like the Acropolis of Athens, Delphi, Olympia, and Epidaurus. However, there are rules that dog owners must follow, such as keeping their dogs on a leash, using a muzzle, and ensuring that they do not cause any damage or disturbance to the monuments or artefacts.   

The Ministry is also providing dog crates at an additional 110 sites where dogs are not allowed inside. These crates are equipped with water bowls, toys, and blankets for the dog’s comfort. Dog owners can safely leave their pets in these crates while they explore the sites. The crates are free of charge, but owners must provide their contact details and return them within two hours. 

Dog-Friendly Places to Visit in Greece   

Greece is a beautiful place for you and your dog to explore. You can learn about the ancient history and culture of this country, as well as admire the beautiful landscapes of the mainland and the islands. Here are some places where you and your dog can have a great time together. 

Petalidi harbour, Messinia
Charlie at Petalidi harbour, Messinia Greece.

Messinia

Messinia is in the southwest of the Peloponnese, and I often visit this area. I like Messinia because it’s off the beaten track and is ideal for exploring with my dogs. Messinia also has lots of remote dog-friendly beaches where my dogs love to swim in the sea. You might like to visit the ancient sites and medieval castles and experience the local culture and cuisine. You can also explore the nature trails, waterfalls, and the Neda River. Messinia is a great place to unwind and have fun with your dog. 

Koroni in Messinia
A day out Koroni in Messinia Greece

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is a city in northern Greece by the Aegean Sea. It is the second-largest city and the most important centre of the area, 502 km north of Athens. Thessaloniki is an ideal dog-friendly city experience. You can explore the White Tower, the Archaeological Museum, Byzantine churches, and the waterfront with your dog. There are also plenty of dog-friendly cafes, restaurants, and bars where you can savour local cuisine and enjoy the nightlife. 

Views of the mountians in northern Greece
Views of the mountians in northern Greece

Meteora

This unique attraction is in Thessaly, Central Greece, and is 222 miles (357 km). Meteora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It showcases monasteries perched on top of rock formations. While visiting, you can admire the breathtaking views and the architecture of the monasteries with your dog. However, remember to keep them on a leash and outside the buildings. You can also go hiking along the trails connecting the monasteries and discover the region’s natural beauty. 

Santorini

Santorini is a Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 kilometres southeast of Athens. It is part of the Cyclades group of islands, along with Mykonos, Paros, and Naxos. Santorini is one of Greece’s most renowned and picturesque islands. It offers stunning views of the caldera, volcano, and sunset. You can relish these sights with your dog. Additionally, there are dog-friendly beaches like Perissa, Kamari, or Monolithos that you can visit. 

Delphi

Delphi is an ancient site in Greece that was home to the famous oracle of Pythia. It is located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, about 180 kilometres northwest of Athens. Delphi is an ancient site considered the centre of the world by the Greeks. What’s more, it’s another dog-friendly destination in Greece. You can explore the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, the Oracle, the theatre, and the stadium with your furry companion. There is also a nearby museum that exhibits artefacts found at the site. Remember to keep your dog on a leash and outside the buildings while visiting both places. 

The Mani

The Mani is a region in the southern Peloponnese where the descendants of the ancient Spartans live. It has rugged mountains, olive groves, and coastal coves. If you are looking for dog-friendly things to do in Greece, this could be the place you are looking for. You and your dog can enjoy hiking, beaches, tower houses and villages, and visiting the Diros Caves and Cape Tenaro. Mani is a place of history, culture, and natural beauty that will captivate you. 

Hiking with a dog in Greece.
Austin and Charlie on a hike through the olive groves in Greece.

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Greece 

Yes, Greece has loads of dog-friendly beaches! Greece is a paradise for beach lovers, and I love sharing this experience with my dogs. I always check with local dog owners to find out which beaches are dog-friendly. Charlie and Abigail love going to the remote beach of Messinia. Other beautiful beaches are Sarakiniko Beach in Milos, Navagio Beach in Zakynthos, and Porto Katsiki Beach in Lefkada. However, you should be aware of the risks of your dog ingesting sand on the beach. It can cause serious health problems. To avoid this, make sure your dog drinks enough water, and do not let your dog eat or chew anything with sand on it. Some of the symptoms of sand ingestion are vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. If you notice these signs, take your dog to a vet as soon as possible. 

Dog-friendly beaches in Greece
Charlie on Bouka beach Messinia in Greece

You should remember the local laws and respect the other beachgoers. Always keep your dog on a leash or under your control. Do not let your dog disturb or approach people who are uncomfortable with dogs. Also, make sure you clean up after your dog and dispose of the waste properly. Do not leave any traces of your dog’s presence on the beach. Follow these rules, and you and your dog can enjoy the stunning beaches of Greece without any problems. 

Are There Dedicated Dog Parks in Greece? 

Yes, there are dedicated dog parks in Greece. In Kalamata, there is a dog fun park. It holds various events and meet-ups where you and your dog can socialise together.

You might also like the two dog parks that opened in Athens in 2021. The dog parks are in Probonas and Neos Kosmos. The parks feature zones for small and large dogs, water stations, benches, and shade areas. The dog parks are open from dawn to dusk and allow dogs to exercise, socialise, and train off-leash in a secure environment. 

How to Prevent Mediterranean Dog Diseases in Greece   

One of the health risks for dogs in Greece is contracting a Mediterranean dog disease, such as leishmania or dirofilaria. Parasites (sandflies and mosquitoes) transmit these diseases between May and October. To prevent these diseases, you should: 

  • Avoid taking your dog to areas with high concentrations of parasites, especially at dawn and dusk, when they are more active. 
  • Use preventive treatments such as spot-on products, collars, sprays, etc. that repel or kill the parasites. 
  • Check your dog regularly for signs of parasites, and remove them promptly. 
  • Consult a vet if you notice any symptoms such as fever, weight loss, skin lesions, anaemia, etc. 
Cairn Terrier sitting under an olive tree.
Abigail enjoying life in Greece.

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit Greece With Your Dog? 

My preference is to visit Greece in the off-peak winter months of October to June. These months are cooler than the summer months of July to September. With fewer people on the beaches, Charlie is more likely to get to swim in the sea. However, sometimes I need to visit Greece with my dogs during the summer months. Here are some tips on how to keep your dog cool in Greece’s hot summer months. 

Pylos Messinia Greece in May
Charlie in Pylos Messinia Greece in the month of May.
  • Avoid walking your dog during the hottest hours of the day (between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.). Choose shady and cool places instead. 
  • Provide plenty of fresh water and ice cubes for your dog to drink and cool down. Even with the windows open, this can cause heatstroke or death. 
  • Do not leave your dog in a car or enclosed space without ventilation or air conditioning. 
  • Use cooling mats, fans, or wet towels to lower your dog’s body temperature. 
  • Trim your dog’s fur if it is long or thick, but not too short, as it can cause sunburns. 
  • If your dog shows signs of overheating (such as panting, drooling, or lethargy), you should cool them down with wet towels or a fan and take them to a vet immediately. 

Stray Dogs and Cats in Greece 

Stray dogs and cats are common in Greece and face many challenges and dangers. Some of them are cared for by animal welfare groups that offer food, shelter, medical care, sterilisation, and adoption services. You can help these groups by donating money or supplies or volunteering your time. Also, you can help stray animals directly by giving them food, water, or medical care. You can also contact a local animal shelter if you want to adopt or foster a stray animal or witness any abuse or neglect. However, be careful not to approach or touch a stray animal that is aggressive, injured, or sick. They might bite or scratch you. You should also avoid feeding animals near busy roads or tourist attractions. It might cause accidents or complaints. 

Greek Attitudes Towards Dogs    

The relationship between Greeks and dogs has changed a lot over time. In ancient times, dogs were revered as companions and guardians of humans and gods. In modern times, street dogs are often seen as nuisances. But, thanks to the efforts of animal welfare organisations and activists, the situation has improved in recent years. More Greeks are adopting dogs as pets, spaying and neutering their dogs to control the population. They are also supporting shelters and rescue groups that care for stray dogs. People and authorities are also more aware and educated about responsible dog ownership and animal rights. 

Messini Messinia Greece
Messini Messinia Greece

Enjoy Your Dog-Friendly trip to Greece  

Greece is a beautiful place to visit with your dog. I love Greece and it will remain one of my favourite places to go with my dog. Your dog can have fun and adventure with you in this picturesque country. You can see some of the most famous landmarks in Greece with your dog. You can enjoy some of the most stunning beaches in Greece with your dog. Also, you can discover some of the most picturesque areas in Greece with your dog. Follow the tips and advice in this blog to make your trip safe and comfortable for you and your dog. I hope this guide has provided helpful information and suggestions for your holiday in Greece with your dog. Enjoy your dog-friendly trip to Greece! 


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