Can you drink tap water in Greece? This questions comes up almost daily in our Facebook Group so its great to get the facts. Drinking tap water in Greece is generally considered safe, especially in the major cities and tourist areas. The water supply systems in the main cities are modern and well-maintained, ensuring that tap water meets the standards set by the European Union. However, as with any country, there are nuances and regional differences to consider.

In Athens, Thessaloniki, and other major cities, tap water is not only safe but also frequently tested to ensure it remains potable. The water in these cities comes from large reservoirs and is subject to stringent purification processes.

Most locals and tourists alike drink tap water without any issues. The quality of water in these urban areas is comparable to that found in other major European cities, thanks to modern infrastructure and regular monitoring by health authorities.

In fact in the recent study conducted by Greece was ranked equal first place with 9 other European countries, all receiving a perfect score of 100.

In the islands and rural areas, the situation can be a bit different. While tap water is often safe to drink, there can be variations in taste and mineral content due to local water sources and treatment methods. On some smaller islands, such as Santorini,  water may be desalinated seawater, which can have a different taste compared to mainland water. In such cases, while the water is safe, tourists might prefer bottled water. 

Additionally, in certain remote areas or places with older infrastructure, there may be occasional advisories about water quality, particularly after heavy rains which can affect the clarity and safety of local water supplies. In these instances, local authorities usually provide clear guidance, and bottled water becomes a temporary alternative.

Greek hospitality often extends to providing water to guests, and it is common to be offered tap water in restaurants and cafes. However, some establishments in tourist-heavy areas might opt to serve bottled water, primarily due to tourists’ preferences and perceptions about tap water safety.

can you drink tap water in Greece?

For tourists concerned about water quality, here are a few practical tips:


  • Ask the locals: the best way to ensure water safety is to ask locals or hotel staff. They can provide up-to-date information on the quality of tap water in the area.
  • Observe Locals: In restaurants or cafes, observe whether locals are drinking tap water. This can be a good indicator of its safety.
  • Bottled Water: If unsure, bottled water is widely available and affordable in Greece. It is a common practice for both locals and tourists to buy bottled water, especially in regions where the taste of tap water is less appealing
  • Community taps/wells: On some islands and many parts of the mainland you will see wells and/or taps where you can refill your water bottle. This water usually comes down from hills and mountains and is fresh rainwater and quite safe. Hikers, pilgrims and locals have used these spouts for centuries, but if you have concerns you can use the tablets or filters as listed below.
  • Water machines: You will also find water machines scattered across the country. It usually costs just €.50 a litre.
can you drink the water in Greece

Local well on the Pelion

Water ATM in Ano Syros, Syros Island

There are some items that tourists can pack that can provide peace of mind and convenience. Such as:

Portable Water Filter: A portable water filter, such as those made by brands like LifeStraw or Sawyer, can filter out bacteria and protozoa, making tap water safe to drink. These are compact and easy to carry.

Water Purification Tablets: These tablets can be added to tap water to kill harmful pathogens. They are lightweight and can be used as a backup when other methods are not available. Brands like Aquamira and Potable Aqua offer reliable options.

Filtered Water Bottles: Bottles with built-in filters, such as those from Brita or Grayl, allow you to drink directly from questionable water sources by filtering out contaminants. These bottles are convenient for on-the-go use.

UV Water Purifier: Devices like the SteriPEN use ultraviolet light to purify water. They are effective against bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, making them a handy tool for travelers.

Collapsible Water Bottle: A collapsible water bottle is convenient for carrying filtered or purified water. It takes up minimal space when empty and can be filled when needed.

Hydration Bladder: For those who hike or travel in remote areas, a hydration bladder (like those from CamelBak) can store a significant amount of filtered or purified water and is easy to carry in a backpack.

*note if you are doing any of the big hikes in Greece – i.e Zeus Cave, Samaria Gorge, Vikos Gorge – we strongly recommend something like this!

Reusable Water Bottle: Bringing a durable, reusable water bottle encourages you to fill up from safe sources whenever available, reducing reliance on single-use plastic bottles and ensuring you stay hydrated. You may also want a water bottle carrier to ensure you aren’t juggling multiple things, especially when you need to take so many photos!

Hand Sanitizer: While not directly related to water purification, maintaining good hygiene practices like using hand sanitizer can help prevent ingesting harmful germs when handling water bottles and food.

Using these items, tourists can ensure they have access to good drinking water, reducing the risk of waterborne illnesses and enhancing their travel experience. Preparing with these tools provides peace of mind and the flexibility to stay hydrated safely, no matter the destination.


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