Most of the Dutch people who wanted to leave Rhodes, which was hit by forest fires, have returned to the Netherlands. In the night from Monday to Tuesday, three planes arrived at Schiphol from the Greek island with evacuated holidaymakers on board. According to Corendon and Sunweb, almost everyone on the island with their organizations and wanting to go home has now returned. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has tightened the travel advice for Rhodes, Corfu, and Evia from green to yellow.
The Belgian Lara Geerardin arrived at Schiphol with her husband, two young children, and parents on the Corendon flight. On their second day of vacation in Kiotari, they had to leave their hotel in a hurry because of the forest fires. “It was very hectic, especially with two children. We had to leave on our own and see if we could get anywhere,” said Lara. The family had to walk three kilometers in the heat. They got shelter in another hotel, which they were pleased with. They are less enthusiastic about Corendon. “They were difficult to reach.”
The family saw the evacuation coming. “In the morning, there was ash on the towels on the terrace, and you could smell it. We went to the beach anyway, but the plume of smoke was getting darker and darker.” So they decided to pack everything up. “We kind of followed our instincts,” said Lara. After a report on the phone, they had to leave the hotel. “We would have liked to have stayed. We still had eight days.” From Schiphol, the family traveled by bus to Brussels and then to their nearby home. “Fortunately, that has been arranged.”
Corendon flew back the last approximately 100 affected Dutch travelers on holiday with the organization on Rhodes. Holidaymakers who traveled to Rhodes with the travel organization Prijsvrij also traveled home on the Corendon plane. A Transavia flight made a stopover on Rhodes from Lesbos on Monday to pick up a few dozen Dutch tourists traveling through Sunweb. According to the travel organization, it involved about 70 people. TUI fly also flew from the Greek island to Schiphol on Monday evening.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from Rhodes due to the forest fires. That includes many dozens of Dutch people.
Code yellow travel advice
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs tightened the travel advice for the three Greek islands of Rhodes, Corfu, and Evia from green to yellow due to the forest fires. Travelers who want to visit one of these islands should contact their travel organization first.
Travel organizations like Sunweb, Prijsvrij, Corendon, and TUI previously canceled holidays to the south of Rhodes. These will be resumed later. There are still holidaymakers in the north of Rhodes.
Netherlands residents on the islands who need information can call the Greek Crisis Management Unit, the Ministry reported. It can be reached at +30 210 3681259 and +30 210 3681350. “Always follow the instructions of the local authorities and adhere to the safety instructions. Keep a close eye on local media,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Reporting by ANP