Greece offers free week-long trip to Rhodes to tempt back holidaymakers after tourists forced to flee wildfires

2 February 2024, 18:08

Fires broke out across Rhodes, forcing tourists to flee
Fires broke out across Rhodes, forcing tourists to flee. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

Greece will offer tourists who were caught up in last year's wildfires free trips to Rhodes.

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People whose holidays turned into a burning hell as blazes broke out on the island will be offered a free weeklong stay to welcome them back.

More than 5,000 Brits had to flee their hotels as wildfires spread. They forced entire resorts to be evacuated as airlines kicked off repatriation flights.

It's thought the "Rhodes Pass" will allow people to visit between March 15 and May 15, and between October 1 and November 15.

Final details are still being thrashed out, according to The Times.

It means Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis is making good on his pledge last year.

As evacuations got people off the island he said: "For all those whose holiday was cut short as a result of wildfires, the Greek government, in co-operation with local authorities, will offer one week of free holidays on Rhodes, next spring, next fall, so that we make sure they come back to the island and enjoy its natural beauty."

The blaze ripped through Rhodes and forced tourists and those living there to sleep rough in schools and public buildings.

Similar passes are being made for other parts of Greece that were affected, like the Evros area.

Deadly fires struck across the country during the summer of 2023. Some 20,000 people were evacuated from resorts across the country were engulfed in blazes that were compared to scenes from a "disaster film".

They burned for days as an international firefighting and rescue effort was launched.

The fires were blamed on the heatwave that ripped through much of Europe, though some arrests were made for arson.