Clear blue skies and turquoise seas have made Greece a popular vacation destination for decades. But a backdrop of financial crisis, political uncertainty and capital controls means a trip to the country right now can be far from idyllic.
Although Greece is close to sealing a third, 86 billion euro ($94 billion) bailout deal with lenders, Greek banks have been closed for over two weeks and capital controls mean cash withdrawals have been restricted to 60 euros ($65.3 euros) a day.
These controls are expected to be lifted on Monday, but even then, Greece's tourism industry is not out of danger. Lenders have demanded that Greece implement far-reaching tax rises -- including hiking the sales tax (VAT) applied to restaurants, hotels and on Greek islands – the backbone of the country's tourism industry.
CNBC's Head of News and Programming, Michael Kearns, learnt the hard way how Greece's ongoing crisis is affecting holidaymakers – he's currently on vacation on the island of Mykonos.
Here, he shares some "survival tips" for a vacation in the country.
Book early and book as much as you can using your credit card, in order to pay in advance. We did a mixture of hotels and homestays. All were paid in advance which took some of the stress out of the cash/credit conundrum. They also have protection plans for the consumer in case anything goes wrong.
We booked all of our ferries in advance, also with a credit card online. This isn't essential, but it took a lot of the stress out of our multi-island journey, enabling us to beat the crowds crushing into the ports for last-minute tickets.
Figure out early if you'll need to rent a car where you're staying. There are limited numbers of cars on the islands and getting stranded in a scenic, but remote and rocky villa isn't much fun. You might be able to get one on arrival, but be prepared to pay a premium. The number of taxis is also quite limited on the islands.
Carry cash and in small denominations -- not every business will accept a credit card. Many shops, ferry canteens, small supermarkets and family restaurants are running low on change, and will ask you for exact change if possible.
If you're looking to save a euro or two, visit some of the islands off the beaten path. Mykonos is gorgeous, but you will pay a hefty premium for the glamorous scene.