Entry & Exit Formalities
Entering Crete is usually a very straightforward procedure. If arriving from any of the Schengen countries (ie EU member states plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), passports are rarely given more than a cursory glance, but customs and police may be interested in what you are carrying. EU citizens may also enter Greece on a national identity card. Visitors from outside the EU may require a visa. This must be checked with consular authorities before you arrive.
There are no longer duty restrictions within the EU. Upon entering the Crete from outside the EU, customs inspection is usually cursory for foreign tourists and a verbal declaration is generally all that is required. Random searches are still occasionally made for drugs. Note that codeine is illegal in Greece, so if you take medication containing this substance, carry your prescription or a doctor's certificate in case you are questioned.
It is strictly forbidden in Greece to acquire and export antiquities without special permits issued by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture/General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage (firstname.lastname@example.org). Severe smuggling penalties might be incurred. It is an offence to remove even the smallest article from an archaeological site.
Cash in excess of €10,000 must be declared.
Duty-free allowances (for anyone over 17) arriving from non-EU countries are:
- 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
- 1L spirits over 22% volume or 2L under 22% volume
- 4L wine
- 16L beer
- other goods up to the value of €430 (€150 for under 15 years)
Having stamps from certain countries (eg Israel, Cuba) in your passport does not automatically disqualify for entry into Greece.
Generally not required for tourist stays up to 90 days (or at all for EU nationals). Some nationalities need a Schengen Visa – check with the Greek embassy or consulate.
Greece is a Schengen Agreement nation and governed by those rules.
- EU & Schengen countries No visa required.
- Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand & USA Among the countries not requiring a visa for tourist visits of up to 90 days. For longer stays, contact your nearest Greek embassy or consulate and begin your application well in advance.
- Other countries You need a Schengen Visa from the embassy or consulate of the country that is your primary destination. For details, check with a Greek mission in your country.