British tourists flee to beaches as wildfires edge close to Rhodes hotels

Tourists flee fires in Rhodes
By Linsey McNeill
22/07/2023
Home » British tourists flee to beaches as wildfires edge close to Rhodes hotels

Hundreds of tourists have been ordered to evacuated at least two hotels on the Greek island of Rhodes due to the threat of nearby wildfires.

Many have fled on foot to beaches, while local Greek news site Rokiaki said more than 30 buses had been requisitioned to transport hotel guests to safety.

Travel Gossip understands two hotels affected are the Lindian Village Beach Resort on Lardos Beach, and Rodos Village Beach Hotel & Spa, which is 12km from Lindos village.

Lindian Village is a Hilton hotel with guests from several UK tour operators including Jet2holidays and BA Holidays, plus OTAs including On the Beach and Thomas Cook.

Rodos Village is part of Mitsis Hotels and has guests from operators including easyJet holidays and TUI as well as OTAs such as On the Beach and Thomas Cook.

An easyJet holidays spokesperson told Travel Gossip today: “We’re aware of the fast-moving and evolving situation and we’re currently working with our dedicated team in resort in order to comply with requests of local authorities.

“The safety and well-being of our customers is of paramount importance to us and we are contacting our customers to support them.”

TUI said ‘a small number of hotels’ have been affected by the fires. In a statement, it said: “We’re aware of wildfires in an area in the south of Rhodes and our teams in resort are following advice from the local authorities.

“A small number of hotels have been impacted and as a precaution we’re relocating affected customers and providing them with alternative accommodation.

“Flights continue to operate as normal and we will be in contact with customers should their holidays be impacted.

“Our main priority is always the safety of our customers and we’ll continue to keep a close eye on the situation.”

Jet2 said customers in affected areas should follow the advice of local authorities or their hotels.

In a statement, it said: “We are aware of the fast-moving situation in Rhodes, and our in-resort teams are working to comply with the guidance of local authorities.

“The health, safety and well-being of our customers will always be our number one priority and we ask any customers in affected areas to follow the advice of the local authorities, or their hoteliers who will be acting under the advice of the authorities.”

According to local media reports, tourists have been told to head to Lardos beach, where the Greek Coast Guard has deployed a number of boats in case an evacuation is necessary, according to the Greek Reporter.

Photos and videos posted on social media show hundreds of tourists evacuating hotels on foot, in scorching temperatures of around 100F.

Guests in some other hotels have been warned that services might be limited today as staff living in villages close to the wildfires rush home to evacuate their properties.

Also, a large part of Rhodes island is without electricity as a power plant in the south has been shut down for safety reasons, said the Greek Reporter.

Emergency services have been fighting wildfires on Rhodes since the start of the weeks, with several around the popular resort of Lindos.

The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to Greece today to warn of ‘extreme temperatures affecting many areas of Greece’. It added: “There are a number of active wildfires.”

It went on: “Wildfires are highly dangerous and unpredictable. The situation can change quickly, so you should stay up to date with official advice.”

It advised tourists to follow 112Greece on Twitter for official updates. Tweets are in Greek but users can hit the ‘Translate’ link for English updates.

“Ensure emergency alerts are enabled on your phone to receive SMS updates from the Greek Civil Protection.

“The Civil Protection Authority also published a daily map during the high risk period detailing fire risk by area.”

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