Western Greece is dynamically entering the tourist season with a growing number of Russian visitors who fly to Araxos Airport or travel by cruise. But except for holidays, Russians are visiting Western Greece in order to invest mainly in buying land.
The large majority of Russian tourists arrive in Western Greece through the Araxos civilian airport. There are three airline companies which offer direct flights from Moscow to Araxos. According to Araxos’ airport master, Yorgos Gouvitsas, Russians are expected to flood Western Greece this year. At the same time, more and more tourist agents from Russia are arriving to arrange holiday packages.
According to the president of Elis’ Chamber of Commerce, Kostas Nikoloutsos, most Russians stay at the big hotels in the village of Killini or in Skafidia in Elis.
In the summer of 2013, 330 big cruise ships are expected to dock at Katakolon Port carrying around 700,000 passengers, according to the estimates of Dimitris Apostolopoulos, the president of the Katakolon port fund.
The same rise in Russian visitors is also observed in Zakynthos. Arrivals at the island’s airport have increased by 33 percent compared to last year.
As far as Cephalonia is concerned, flights from Saint Petersburg have already started to arrive, while this year flights from Moscow will also arrive on the island. As the mayor of the island said, the rise in Russian visitors will reach 120 percent.