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Society

Early Alert in Greece: Avoid Gouging Seaside Tourist Trap Restaurants

ATHENS – The advent of warm spring weather has tourists already pouring into Greece and bringing a warning for them to avoid seaside restaurants in popular areas – some gouging customers – and to eat away from those sites and go where locals go.

In a review for Islands.com, correspondent Mina Elwell recommended tourists do due diligence on sites reviewing restaurants, such as Trip Advisor, which has taken the unusual step of cautioning them about a notorious Mykonos eatery.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tripideas/why-tourists-should-be-careful-when-eating-at-popular-beaches-in-greece/ar-BB1lztOY

That is the DK Oyster bar that each summer sticks unsuspecting visitors with bills of hundreds of dollars for a few appetizers and a couple of drinks, and having some burly security to make sure they don’t skip.

It’s allowed because Greece – which is luring tourists – hasn’t applied anti-profiteering measures to the restaurants as it did to supermarkets and international conglomerates over high food prices.

“Visiting the rocky beaches of Greece might be your dream vacation, but to avoid paying more than you need to, you might want to eat before arriving at the seashore, advised the writer.

“If you want to experience Greek cuisine at the beach without being surprised by a high bill at the end of your meal, you’re better off ordering your keftedes at a restaurant away from these often touristy areas – or at least doing your research before you start ordering,” she added.

Alas, the warnings are often not needed or not seen and the Mykonos spot every summer is the product of stories about whacking customers with huge bills and has survived vicious reviews on social media, including Trip Advisor.

The story also pointed to another place on Mykonos, which has become known for hedonism, high prices, tax evasion and ripping off tourists without intervention from the police or governments, which wants people to keep coming at any cost.

CALORIES EMPTOR

That’s an eatery called Eclipse on Platis Gialos Beach, with the British newspaper The Mirror reporting it charged $80 for one serving of calamari, seaside and resorts areas especially known as dubious for food quality and prices.

“Even in less extreme cases, there is a risk of getting ripped off when you decide to eat at popular beaches. Make sure to check the reviews first, especially if they’re offering you deals that seem too good to be true, the piece added.

The report said guests were lured in with offers of two-for-one drinks that turned out to be full-price drinks followed by some vouchers, and promises of “free” sunbeds that required them to buy extremely overpriced drinks.

Of course, Greece has many peerless places for food and relaxing crowd-free vacations but Mykonos isn’t one of them and bookings for the island are showing a decline over waves of negative publicity.

“Where there are tourists, there are tourist traps. If you’re spending all day on the beach, it might seem convenient and relaxing to walk over to the nearest restaurant and watch the sun set over the waves while enjoying dinner and a nice bottle of wine – but you might end up paying much more than expected,” the story said.

“It can take a little experience to know the authentic local spots from the overpriced options. If you’re planning to visit any of the major tourist attractions, you should beware of conveniently located restaurants,” the story added.

“The goal should be to eat at a place that people who live in the area enjoy, both because you won’t accidentally end up in a tourist trap and because it gives you a more authentic experience of the local food. If you walk into a restaurant and everyone else there is a tourist, too, that’s not a good sign.”

And savvy travelers will already know this, along with wearing pick-pocket proof clothes and avoiding restaurants where they are hawkers trying to bring them in or with signs bigger than they are: “You can’t go wrong with a cozy local taverna or a delicious-smelling street food stall!”

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