5h agoRussian assault kills four as Ukraine prepares for first December Christmas
10h agoBlock Truss's resignation honours, Sunak urged ahead of list being published
10h agoHumza Yousaf says relatives in Gaza face 'indescribable' festive period

Greece holidays: Free stays and slashed prices at fire-hit resorts hoping to lure tourists back

The Greek prime minister has offered holidaymakers whose trips were disrupted by wildfires a week’s free stay on Rhodes

Hotels on fire-ravaged Rhodes are offering significant discounts, as the popular Greek island attempts to revive its tourism industry following a fortnight of chaos.

Thousands of holidaymakers were forced to flee in late July, as wildfires fuelled by successive heatwaves and strong winds scorched around 10 per cent of the island.

With the fires now under control, some hotels are offering cut-price deals in an apparent effort to tempt visitors to book there despite the heat.

Manolis Markopoulos, president of the Rhodes Hotel Association, told i that hotels in the south of the island are offering discounts and offers “to bring tourists back”.

“Day by day we are coming back to normality,” he said. “The huge majority of the resorts on the island have not been affected.

“Resorts in Kiotari and Gennadi will take more time to return to normal – but only three hotels out of more than 600 have decided not to open because they have been damaged.

“In the beginning there were many cancellations – no matter where hotels were located – because the image in the media was that the whole island was on fire, which was not true. People panicked.”

He said the financial hit to the island may have been short-term but it was “a significant amount”.

On Wednesday, Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis offered holidaymakers whose trips were disrupted by the wildfires a week’s free stay on Rhodes.

“The island is perfectly back to normal,” Mr Mitsotakis said. “For all of those whose holidays were cut short as a result of the wildfires, the Greek government – in cooperation with the local authorities – will offer one week of free holidays on Rhodes next spring and next fall, so that we make sure that they come back to the island and that they enjoy its natural beauty.”

Before then, tourists are being enticed back to fire-hit resorts with a range of last-minute deals. The Lindos Sun Hotel, a four-star resort just a few kilometres east of where the worst fires took place, is offering a 31 per cent discount – over £760 off – through

A couple can book a double room for seven nights from 4 August with breakfast and dinner included for £1,717 – down from £2,480.

Lindian Myth Sea View Studios, also in the Lindos area, is offering a 34 per cent discount over the same period. A double room/apartment is on offer for £795, down from £1,203.

Absolute Kiotari Resort, just south of where the worst fires took place, is offering a 20 per cent discount for a standard double room, from £1,393 down to £1,118 for a week.

Independent travel agents said Greece and the islands remains a top selling destination – but bookings have dropped since the wildfires.

Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of The Advantage Travel Partnership, told i: “Greece was our fifth top selling destination last week, reflecting a slight drop from previous weeks, but we are still seeing strong sales to the mainland and the islands.

“Across our travel agency partnership, we have found that those customers who were impacted by the situation in Rhodes, in many cases, are opting to travel to different parts of Greece with many continuing to choose to holiday in Rhodes.

“We haven’t seen any evidence of holidays to Greece being heavily discounted, following the recent wildfires, but as usual at this time of the year, attractive prices are driving demand.”

Most Read By Subscribers