Greeks Go On Holiday Longer Than Any Other Europeans



The port of the island of Hydra

Greeks go on vacation for almost double the amount of time for any other European Union citizen, according to an analysis of new Eurostat data by The Independent.

Greeks spend an average of 9.9 days on vacation, which is almost double the EU-wide average of 5.1 days.

The only other nation’s citizens who stay away from home routinely for more than a week were those from Luxembourg, taking 7.1 days off. Eurostat’s survey of 1.3 billion leisure and business trips shows some other surprisingly wide disparities in the travel habits of people across the EU.

Some other key findings of the survey are those who take the shortest trips. Estonians and Latvians average just 3.3 days. Next to them are the Finns, just across the Baltic, who surprisingly take only 3.4 days away from their homes in the northern climes.

British travelers take holidays which last for an above-average 5.5 days, but the Irish average is substantially lower, at 4.6.

The Statistical Office of the European Union found half of all trips involving at least one overnight stay were for holidays and leisure, one-third were for visits to relatives and friends, and one in eight were for business, according to The Independent.

Eurostat’s figures for the proportion of trips taken outside the home country show that only six percent of Romanians take “staycations” at home. The only country with overseas trips in the single figures was Spain, which saw only 9.4 percent of its citizens leave to vacation elsewhere.

While the Europe-wide average showed that 26.7 percent of trips were taken abroad, the always well-traveled British were well above that, with almost one in three people, or 32.8 percent, leaving the country for holidays.

Navagio beach shipwreck, island of Zakynthos

In addition, according to The Independent, citizens from smaller, landlocked countries have a far higher propensity to go on foreign vacations. Fully four out of five trips by Belgians are taken outside the country.

For centrally-lofted Slovenia, the figure is almost two out of three, and Austrians take one half of their vacations outside their borders.

However, tiny Luxembourg is far more extreme in this regard, appearing to have almost no domestic travel industry to speak of. Only 1.7 percent of its citizens take a trip involving an overnight stay in the Grand Duchy itself.

The people of Luxembourg also take the highest proportion of trips by air of any nation in Continental Europe, at 42 percent. They are beaten only by the island-dwellers of Ireland, at 43 percent, Cyprus, at 49 per cent, and Malta, with 63 percent.

The Eurostat figures also show that three out of ten trips made by UK citizens involve flying.

By far the largest proportion of vacation journeys are made by car, with an average of 64 percent across all of Europe. Slovenians are the people most in love with their cars, which are used for 85 percent of their trips.

More than three-quarters of trips which begin in Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Czech Republic involve an automobile.

Among the British, exactly half of trips are taken by car. The only countries to score lower than the UK in this respect were Luxembourg, Cyprus and Ireland – which were all at 48 per cent, reflecting the high proportion of citizens who travel by air.

The most enthusiastic rail users are the French and the Germans, but very surprisingly, even then only one in seven trips is taken by train.

The EU-wide average for rail journeys is one in nine, but the UK came in at one in eight. Amazingly, only one Greek in 90 uses a train for a holiday or business trip involving an overnight stay.

While long-distance travel by coach is a less-popular activity across the European Union, with only 5.5 per cent, the figure is much higher in the Balkans. Bulgaria, with 16.2 percent of those who travel by coach, Croatia, with 18.7, and Romania, with 19.2 percent of coach riders, top the list.