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Travel operators are offering cheap holidays to Greece following the crisisGETTY

Travel operators are offering cheap holidays to Greece following the crisis

With the prospect of villas, hotels and apartments lying empty during the busiest time of the year, companies have taken the axe to flights and package deals to lure holidaymakers as Greece struggles to stay afloat.

In the past few days, banks and cash machines have closed with reports of food and medical supplies running low.

In a last-ditch attempt to boost flagging bookings amid fears of strikes and soaring crime, holiday prices have plunged by up to 70 per cent.

Experts warned travellers to Greece to take plenty of cash in euros and check small print on insurance documents. As pressure on authorities mounts to submit to tough austerity measures, holidaymakers risk cash, food and medical shortages.

A man sits alone with his thoughts as protesters gather outside the Greek parliament

PA

Anti-EU protester holds a Greek flag in front of the parliament building

Bob Atkinson, travel expert at MoneySuperMarket, said possible strike action could disrupt ferries and airports.

He said: “Falling victim to theft or even cancellation of flights is the last thing you want or need when you’ve been looking forward to a holiday. Those travelling independently by booking their own flights and accommodation should ensure they have a policy with cover for ‘end supplier failure’. It is important to check the terms and conditions to ensure the level of cover offered is adequate and your holiday remains as stress-free as possible.”

Flights to Greece have fallen in price in the past few weeks with some more than £150 cheaper than this time last year.

Return tickets to Thessaloniki, Corfu and Crete this month all come in under £200 with Athens and Santorini also below average.

The average price of a return flight to Greece last July was around £335, according to the Skyscanner website.

A man sits alone with his thoughts as protesters gather outside the Greek parliamentThomson has cut up to £400 per person off deals to Rhodes, Corfu, Kos and Zante with complete packages coming in at less than £300. On Crete, a seven-night self-catering holiday to Rethymnon is now £220 per person, with a week’s bed and breakfast in Stalis, Heraklion, available for £280.

Thomas Cook is also offering huge discounts on family holidays to Sissi, Crete, Kalamaki and Rhodes.

It is not just UK holiday operators who are desperately vying for custom, resort costs have tumbled in the past few weeks.

Local prices are down about 10 per cent in Corfu with restaurant and bar owners doing their best to attract visitors.

A family meal on the island costs around £40, with ice creams just over a pound and a day trip coming in at £60, according to Post Office Travel Money.

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Spokesman Andrew Brown said: “We are advising our customers to plan carefully by taking enough cash in euros to see them through their holiday.

“They should set a daily limit to ensure they don’t run out of cash before the end of their holiday.

“Don’t worry about euros being accepted. Whatever happens in the coming days and weeks the euro will still be the legal currency and will continue to be accepted for the foreseeable future.”

Travel agents said a still healthy tourist trade on the Greek islands means there is less risk to travellers than on the mainland.

Deals

Airtours – 7 nights in Zante from £545 per person including transfers - based on 2 adults and 1 child sharing. Staying at the 3 star smartline Princess on a bed and breakfast basis, flying from Manchester on August 2.

Airtours – 7 nights in Rhodes from £239 per person – based on 2 adults sharing. Staying at the 3 star Stella Apartments on a self-catering basis, flying from Manchester on October 14.

Signature from Thomas Cook – 7 nights in Rhodes from £515 per person – based on 2 adults sharing. Staying at the 4 star Lindos Princess on an all-inclusive basis, flying from London Gatwick on October 7.

Thomson - 7 nights self-catering in Rethymnon from £220 per person - one room apartment. Staying at the Marva Apartments and Studios, flying from Exeter on July 21.

Thomson - 7 nights self-catering in Faliraki, Rhodes from £271 per person - studio apartment. Staying at Tina’s Studios and Apartments, flying from Manchester on July 22.

Source: www.express.co.uk
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