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 country 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. Import regulations for medicines are strict; if you are taking medication, make sure you get a statement from your doctor before you leave home. It is illegal, for instance, to take codeine into Greece without an accompanying doctor’s certificate.
It’s strictly forbidden to export antiquities (anything more than 100 years old) without an export permit. This crime is second only to drug smuggling in the penalties imposed. It is an offence to remove even the smallest article from an archaeological site. The place to apply for an export permit is the Antique Dealers and Private Collections section of the Athens Archaeological Service website.
If you happen to be carrying more than €10,000 in cash, you must declare it.
Duty-free allowances (for adults) are:
- 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
- 1L spirits
- 2L wine
- other goods up to the value of €430 (€150 for under 15 years)
Citizens of most Western countries can enter Crete without a visa; other nationals may need a Schengen Visa.
Generally not required for stays up to 90 days (or at all for EU nationals). Some nationalities need a Schengen Visa – check with the Greek embassy.
Greece is a Schengen Agreement nation and governed by those rules.
- EU & Schengen countries No visa required.
- Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand & USA No visa required 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. Applications for a Schengen Visa must be filed with the embassy or consulate of the country that is your primary destination.
- Other countries Check with a Greek embassy or consulate.