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Kreta > Travel info > Health and security tips

Health and security tips

Travel Insurance

You should take out comprehensive travel insurance covering you for private medical treatment and for evacuation if necessary, as well as for loss or theft of belongings and expenses incurred due to delayed or cancelled flights. Make sure your policy will pay for medical and hospital fees direct and that it covers you for holiday activities such as trekking, scuba diving, riding, and motorcycling, as well as for personal liability in the event of damage to rented cars or motorcycles.

Sunburn, Heatstroke

Cretan sun has quite much burning power, which you should never underestimate. It can be punishing as early as April. You should use a high-factor sunscreen or sunblock, especially on boat trips. Do not attempt strenuous hiking or mountain riding in July or August, drink plenty of water and wear a hat. Symptons can be aggravated by alcohol - drink an extra half litre of water for each unit of alcohol you consume.

Insects and Pests

Hornets, scorpions, tarantulas and vipers all exist in Crete but are not dangerous unless handled. Their bites and stings are painful but not normally lethal to adults, though medical attention should be sought if small children are bitten.

Breakdowns and Accidents

You should set up a warning triangle if possible - your hire car should be equipped with one. If anyone is injured, passers-by are required to stop and help, and you must contact the police. If involved in a collision, never admit liability, sign any statement of responsibility, or lose your temper. Contact your travel insurance company as soon as possible.

Doctors

There are private medical clinics in all the main towns. Many doctors speak good English. Consultations must be paid for in cash.

Dentists

Dentists are proficient and can be found in all main towns. You must pay for your treatment in cash.

Hospitals

Greek public hospitals leave much to be desired, but private hospitals and clinics are as good as any in the world. Make sure your insurance covers private treatment.

Pharmacies

Greek Pharmacists are highly qualified, provide comprehensive advice on minor ailments and injuries, and can dispense a wide range of remedies including antibiotics, anti-inflamatories and painkillers. Most speak good English. Pharmacies (farmakia) are marked by a green cross sign.

Crime

Crete has a very low crime rate and is one of the safest holiday destinations in the world. However, thefts from tourists do occur. Take sensible precautions, including locking rental cars and hotel rooms, keeping passports, tickets and spare cash in hotel safes, and watching your belongings in public places.

Emergencies

Police : 100

Ambulance : 166

Fire : 199

Roadside assistance : 104

Coastguard : 108