The beautiful Greek island offering ‘free’ holidays to tourists

Symi town cityscape, Dodecanese islands, Greece
-Credit: (Image: (Image: Getty))


A beautiful Greek island has launched a scheme offering ‘free stays’ to tourists whose holiday was impacted by wildfires last summer. Devastating fires broke out across Rhodes in July 2023 with thousands of tourists evacuated.

Holidaymakers had to flee resorts across the island, and some were even accommodated by locals or put up in emergency shelters. The island has recovered from the wildfires since but Brits have started to favour other more popular Greek destinations instead, the Express reports.

To ensure those impacted by the wildfires can truly experience the island, the Greek tourism ministry has launched a programme to encourage them to return. The initiative promises to cover the cost of six nights on Rhodes this spring or autumn for those who had to cut short their holidays due to the devastating fires in 2023.

READ MORE: The city with incredible food, beaches and pints under a fiver a £40 flight from Manchester Airport

Called “Rhodes Week”, it applies to any adult, regardless of nationality, who stayed in a hotel which was evacuated during the wildfire. The voucher covers a week-long stay at accommodation of a similar category and room type to the one they were staying in last year, this means it can be worth up to 500 euros for hotels with 4 and 5 stars.

The vouchers cannot be used for the peak summer season, and the period in spring when they could be used has already passed. However, they can be used again in the autumn from October 1 until November 15 2024. For more details and how to apply, you can visit the Greek government website here.

Flames burn a hill on the Aegean Sea island of Rhodes, southeastern Greece, on Monday, July 24, 2023.
Thousands of tourists had to be evacuated due to the wildfires -Credit:AP

Since the wildfires locals have worked hard to rejuvenate their island, ensuring that it remains an attractive destination for travellers. This renewed energy is palpable in the island’s vibrant towns, restored historical sites, and pristine natural landscapes.

New and returning visitors are being encouraged to explore Rhodes's diverse offerings. The island boasts a rich tapestry of history, with sites like the ancient city of Kamiros, the Acropolis of Lindos, and the medieval Old Town of Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Nature lovers will find Rhodes equally appealing. The island's varied terrain includes everything from lush valleys and rolling hills to sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Popular spots like the Valley of the Butterflies and the Seven Springs offer unique natural experiences that highlight the island’s stunning landscapes. Cultural enthusiasts can immerse themselves in local traditions and contemporary Greek life. The island’s culinary scene is a delightful fusion of traditional Greek flavours and modern gastronomy, with local markets and seaside tavernas offering fresh seafood, locally grown produce, and the island’s famous honey and olive oil.

For more of today's top stories, click here.