Greece started experiencing a heatwave in early June which to date has not let up. This was the time that the first of a number of tourists was lost and some are still missing. If you like to hike or go for walks to experience the best of views, read on.

Firstly, hike as early in the day as possible; that way you avoid the midday heat, especially during Greek summers. Allegedly some of the people missing started their hike a lot later in the day.

Secondly, never hike alone; hike with your partner or better yet with a group of friends.

Thirdly, ensure you take your cell phone fully charged , so if needed you could seek help.

Furthermore, ensure you are equipped for the task with proper clothing and hiking boots. Our understanding is that some of the people missing had neither a phone nor were they equipped for a hike. Always have some food and water with you; again, we believe one or more of the people missing did not have either.

The main issue, is heat and the intense sun. The sun of Greece is glorious and has inspired poets from Homer to Seferis, but it can also be deadly if one is not prepared. Many who live elsewhere assume that the sun of Greece will be just like that of your country of origin. I can assure you it is not. Its heat and intensity, particularly at midday in the summer, can turn a hike into a nightmare. Oh and to state the obvious, when you do hike always wear a hat.

In short, hikers should be proactive and prepared for the worst-case scenario when hiking in Greece, or anywhere else for that matter. There is only one thing that we believe local municipalities, or, better yet, local hiking clubs can do: have better signs to indicate the right path.

My partner and I got lost twice, once in the Sarakina Gorge and another time when we were hiking around Vamos on Crete (in both cases there were signs by the local hiking club but a few more were needed). Both times we found our way back fairly quickly, but if one was alone and dehydrated the outcome might have been different.

At the time of writing we have reports of two more tourists dead on Symi and Samos, and three or four missing; I hope the outcome in their case is better.

Our motto: Always hike in the mornings and always hike prepared!

Author: admin