Greek Islands See Influx From Türkiye Following Visa-On-Arrival Launch

Greek islands have been registering a high number of arrivals from Türkiye following the launch of the special visa programme that allows them to obtain a visa upon arrival.

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While Greece has many popular islands among travellers, Rhodes Island is the most sought-after destination by Turkish tourists, with the island seeing a surge in arrivals, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Last week alone, Rhodes Island registered more than 5,000 Turkish tourists. Such a high number of tourists from Türkiye chose Rhodes Island due to its proximity to Marmaris and Fethiye.

The other Greek islands that have implemented visa-on-arrival for Turkish tourists have also been seeing increased numbers of tourists, Hürriyet Daily News explains.

According to a tour operator, more than 20,000 Turkish tourists have reached the Greek islands through the special visa programme.

In addition to Rhodes, Chios also saw around 5,000 Turkish visitors. On the other hand, Kos and Samos both registered 3,000 Turkish tourist arrivals.

Greece Introduced Visa-On-Arrival Services for 10 of Its Islands on April 1

In an attempt to attract more Turkish tourists to the country’s islands, Greece introduced visa-on-arrival services for ten of its islands on April 1.

Under the scheme, Turkish tourists can obtain a visa upon arrival in Rhodes, Lesvos, Limnos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Symi, and Katellorizo.

The visa upon arrival at one of these ten islands is granted at the designated ports. The process for getting this visa-on-arrival includes passport verification and the obtaining of fingerprints.

The price of the visa-on-arrival for Turkish tourists travelling to any of the ten Greek islands mentioned above costs €60, and the document is valid for one entry only.

Moreover, the visa-on-arrival permits Turkish tourists to stay only for up to seven days.

As Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis explained, the visa will be issued to Turkish tourists all year round and not only during the summer months.

The same emphasised that this measure aims to bring more “traffic” to the islands and help the local economies.

Greek Visa Issued Upon Arrival to Turkish Tourists Does Not Permit Entry to Other Schengen Member States

While Turkish tourists are now able to obtain a visa-on-arrival when visiting ten Greek islands, the authorities have highlighted that the document cannot be issued to enter the other Schengen member states.

The visa-on-arrival issued by the authorities of the islands can only be used for the purpose of entering the islands for a limited period of time.

To make sure that no breaches occur now that this new programme is in place, Greek authorities have said that they will conduct inspections, suggesting that all those who do not meet the rules face penalties.