Greece Allows Pets at Archeology Sites, but Not at All of Them

Greece Will Allow Pets at More Than 120 Archaeology Sites, But Not the Acropolis or Ancient Olympia, the Authorities Announced.

Apr 30, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The Acropolis of Athens viewed from the Hill of the Muses. Wikipedia


Greece recently announced the issuing of a permit for dog walking on archaeological sites. This list includes more than 120 archaeological sites. This will be a relieving circumstance, both for Greeks, and for tourists who visit these locations accompanied by pets. But, authorities excluded two from the decision – the Acropolis and Ancient Olympia.


Greece Allows Dogs for People With Disabilities

Pets in Greece
Two women walk their dogs at the foothills of the Athens Acropolis, in this March 29, 2020 file photo of the national lockdown. PHOTO BY PANAYOTIS TZAMAROS/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES


This announcement came this week from the country’s Culture Ministry. Greece’s Central Archaeological Council also approved this decision. Although this is a great relief for dog owners, they should not get their hopes up too much, because it is not known when this policy will actually start with the implementation. The exact date remains unknown.


Archaeological sites excluded from the list are: the Acropolis in Athens, Knossos in Crete, Olympia, and Delphi. They have the highest number of visitors every year, so the whole process will be dysfunctional with dogs. There are also ancient theatres, temples, graves and monuments with mosaic floors.


floor ruins pella hellenistic kingdom
Ruins of the Royal Palace in Pella, the capital of Macedon Kingdom, Greece, via Britannica


The country’s ancient sites currently only permit guide dogs for tourists who are impaired. The decision is ” the first, but important, step toward harmonizing the framework of accessibility to monuments and archaeological sites with the standards of other European countries, where entry rules for pets already apply”, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said in a statement.

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Safe People, Healthy Pets and Clean Environment

statue socrates athens
Statue of Socrates in Athens, Greece (Photo by Hiroshi Higuchi)


Dogs must be on a leash that is no longer than three feet, according to the new regulation. Owners can also transport their pets in a pouch or a pet carrying case. Larger dogs will have to use a muzzle. Large dogs can do “more damage” to archaeological sites than small dogs, which is why this regulation is needed.


Those who own pets will also need to pack the equipment required for cleaning up poop, according to the culture ministry, along with health certificates for the pet they are traveling with. Through this, the authorities ensure the health of animals, the safety of people and the cleanliness of the environment.


parthenon ancient greece greek ruins
Photograph of the Parthenon, via Wikimedia


More than 110 archaeological sites will have cages provided at their entrances for those with pets who choose against taking their four-legged companions on these historical excursions.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.