This week it was announced by Greece’s Culture Ministry that leashed pets will soon be allowed to accompany their owners to more than 120 archaeological sites throughout the country. With the exception of certain sites like the famed Acropolis in Athens, this is a step forward for responsible pet owners who pick up after their pets and keep them under control.
The new policy change was unanimously approved by the country’s Central Archaeological Council, but the organization has not yet specified a date for the new regulations to take effect. In other words, don’t book your tickets for Fido just yet.
To date, only guide dogs for disabled visitors have been allowed onto archaeological sites within the country.
Other spots that will continue to be off-limits to pets are Knossos in Crete, Olympia, and Delphi, said to be due to their large annual influx of visitors. Further restrictions include ancient theaters, temples, graves, and monuments with mosaic floors. While this is understandable, we’re actually pretty surprised they’re relaxing the rules at all.
Culture Minister Lina Mendoni noted in a statement that the recent decision is “a first, but important, step toward harmonizing the framework of accessibility to monuments and archaeological sites with the standards of other European countries, where entry rules for pets already apply.”
As referenced above, the new policy stipulates that dogs must be on a leash, but the requirements specify leads can be no longer than 3 feet in length. Animals can also be carried by their owners in a bag or pet carrying case, but if they have to be set down, they will likely need to be leashed, so bring one with you regardless. Larger dogs will also be required to wear muzzles, which will enrage some people but they can always stay home.
The culture ministry said pet owners will also be required to show health certificates for the accompanying animal and carry all supplies necessary for picking up after them if they want to be granted access to the sites. You should also make sure you have plenty of water for them and that they can tolerate the heat before going.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “after any ‘primary’ rabies vaccination, your pet must wait 21 days before traveling to the EU.” They will receive a transit health certificate, which is one of the items you’ll need to show.
Visitors who change their minds at the last minute about touring historic sites with their pets in tow will have the option of leaving them in pens installed at the entrances of more than 110 archaeological sites, the ministry clarified.Whizzco