The large number of visitors to the most popular tourist destinations in Greece is generally considered a boon.
But crowds that have gathered this summer on some of the Aegean islands have pushed infrastructure to the limit and raised fears that overcrowding will ultimately wreak havoc on their economies.
The islands of Santorini, Patmos, Naxos, Tzia and others received more visitors this summer than in the entire period before the 2019 pandemic. The result is almost constant traffic jams, long queues for restaurants, cafes and bars, crowded narrow streets, periodic power outages, water shortages and bad odors from overcrowded sewers.
The desire to make up for the missed summer of 2020 was palpable. At the same time in Paros, for example, 130,000 people lived in August, which is 10 times more than its permanent population, and 30,000 guests on Patmos filled to the limit a small island with a permanent population of just over 3,000 people.
As everyone rushes to take advantage of demand, construction is not held back either. For example, in Paros, 600 building permits were issued this year, mostly outside the city.
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