The Truth About Shark Attacks in Greece: Are the Waters Safe?

So you are planning your trip to Greece and read something about Shark attacks in Greece and whether the waters of Greece is safe or not?

Well, I know that feeling because I was there 3 years back when I was planning my trip to visit the Islands of Greece. So don’t worry I will try to answer all your questions about this and I hope you will have a good holiday in Greece.

Greece, with its crystal-clear waters and stunning coastline, is a popular destination for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts.

However, the presence of sharks in the Greek waters has raised concerns and sparked debates about the safety of swimming in these mesmerizing seas.

In this article, we delve into the truth about shark attacks in Greece to provide valuable insights for anyone venturing into the Greek waters.

Let us dive in!

Is it safe to swim in Greece?

Shark Attacks in Greece

In short, yes it is safe to swim in Greece. Shark strikes are very rare, and it’s mostly safe to go to the beaches to swim in Greece. But like anywhere else in the world, you should always be careful and aware of your surroundings.

To stay safe while enjoying Greece’s clear seas, follow these precautions: listen to advice, stay near the shore, and avoid swimming where sharks have been seen.

Also, don’t swim at dawn, dusk, or at night when sharks are more active. By following these guidelines, you can feel confident and secure while swimming, snorkelling, and doing water sports in Greece.

Are there dangerous sharks in Greece?

While there are various species of sharks in the waters surrounding Greece, the majority of them do not pose a threat to humans. Greece is located near the Mediterranean Sea, which is home to an astounding 47 different types of sharks. However, only a few of these sharks are considered dangerous.

Among the potentially hazardous species are the Great White Shark, Tiger Shark, and Bull Shark. It is important to note, though, that these types of sharks are rarely spotted in the Mediterranean and even more seldom do they engage in attacks.

The vast majority of sharks found in Greek waters, such as the dogfish shark and basking shark, are harmless. Therefore, despite the presence of sharks in Greece, most of them do not pose any danger or threat to individuals.

Are great white sharks common in Greece?

Shark Attacks in Greece

Great White Sharks are not commonly found in Greece or the Mediterranean Sea in general. While occasional sightings have been reported, they are believed to be highly uncommon.

The Mediterranean Sea is not favored by Great Whites due to its warm water and limited food sources, which do not meet their preferences.

Furthermore, due to factors such as hunting, overfishing, and pollution, numerous shark species, including the Great White, are experiencing a decline in population within the Mediterranean region.

What are the types of sharks found in Greek waters?

When it comes to the types of sharks found in Greek waters, a diverse range of species can be encountered.

The Mediterranean, where Greece is situated, serves as the habitat for several shark species. These include the blue shark, shortfin mako, and basking shark, among others.

While some species, such as the thresher and dogfish, are relatively harmless to humans, others, like the great white shark and tiger shark, can pose a potential threat.

Are great white sharks commonly found near Greece? While the great white shark is known to inhabit the Mediterranean, including the waters around Greece, encounters with this formidable predator are rare.

However, it’s essential to be aware of their potential presence, especially in deeper oceanic areas.

Are there any known dangerous sharks in the Greek waters? Yes, certain species, including the aforementioned great white and tiger sharks, have the potential to be dangerous to humans. It’s crucial to understand the behavior and habitat of these sharks to mitigate the risk of encounters with them.

How common are shark attacks in Greece?

Historically, Greece has experienced a limited number of shark attacks. Records indicate that over the past few decades, there have been approximately 15 recorded shark attacks in the waters around Greece.

While these incidents are relatively rare, they have contributed to the ongoing discussions about the safety of swimming in Greek waters.

Are shark attacks fatal in Greek waters? While shark attacks have occurred in Greece, they rarely result in fatalities.

Most encounters with sharks are non-fatal, and the victims usually recover from their injuries. However, precautionary measures should always be taken to minimize the risk of shark encounters.

How frequently do shark attacks occur in the Aegean Sea? The Aegean Sea, encompassing numerous Greek islands, has witnessed a few recorded shark attacks over the years.

Despite this, the overall risk of shark attacks in the region remains low, and millions of tourists continue to enjoy its beautiful shores every year.

How many people have died from shark attacks in Greece?

Shark attacks are exceedingly uncommon in Greece, with only a handful of incidents reported in the past century.

According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), there have been a total of 15 reported shark attacks in Greece since 1900, and only a small portion of them were fatal.

When compared to other regions globally, this figure is remarkably low. To put it into context, the chances of being injured by a shark in Greece are significantly slimmer than the risk of being involved in a car accident or being struck by lightning.

Interestingly, despite the rarity of such incidents, Greece stands out as the European leader in terms of shark attacks.

Is it safe to swim in the Greek waters despite the presence of sharks?

Despite the presence of sharks in the Greek waters, it’s generally safe to swim in these beautiful seas as long as certain precautions are taken.

Precautions for swimming in areas known for sharks include staying close to the shore, avoiding swimming during dusk or dawn, and refraining from wearing shiny jewellery that could attract sharks.

Moreover, some Greek islands are known for rarely seeing sharks, providing a safer environment for swimmers.

Can shark attacks be prevented while swimming in the Greek seas? While there are no foolproof methods to completely prevent shark attacks, understanding shark behaviour and adhering to safety guidelines significantly reduce the risk.

By remaining alert and avoiding behaviours that could provoke or attract sharks, swimmers can minimize their chances of encountering these creatures.

What to do if encountering a shark while swimming in Greece?

If encountering a shark while swimming in Greece, it’s crucial to remain calm and refrain from making sudden movements.

Tips for safely encountering a shark in open waters include keeping eye contact with the shark, slowly backing away without turning your back on the shark, and moving towards the shore or a secure place.

Additionally, reporting shark sightings to local authorities and adhering to their protocols are crucial for ensuring the safety of beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts.

Shark-spotting and reporting measures in Greek coastal regions play a vital role in monitoring shark activities and ensuring swift responses to potential threats.

By proactively reporting unusual shark behavior, individuals contribute to the overall safety of the coastal areas and aid in minimizing any potential risks.

What are the most dangerous sea creatures in Greece?

Weever Fish (Trachinus draco)

  • The weever fish is known for its venomous spines, which are found on its dorsal fin and along its gill cover.
  • Stepping on or being stung by a weever fish can cause intense pain, swelling, and other symptoms.
  • They are typically found in sandy or muddy areas near the shore.

Mediterranean Jellyfish (Pelagia noctiluca)

  • The Mediterranean jellyfish, also known as the mauve stinger, is a common species in the Greek waters.
  • Its sting can cause severe pain, skin irritation, and in rare cases, allergic reactions.
  • Avoid swimming in areas where jellyfish blooms are present, especially during the warmer months.

Common Lionfish (Pterois miles)

  • The common lionfish is an invasive species that has established populations in the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece.
  • It has venomous spines on its dorsal fins and can deliver painful stings if threatened or touched.
  • Lionfish are often found near reefs and rocky areas.

Sea Urchins (Echinoidea)

  • Sea urchins are spiky marine creatures commonly found in the Greek waters.
  • Accidental contact with their spines can cause puncture wounds, which may lead to infection if not treated properly.
  • Be cautious when walking on rocks or exploring tide pools.

Moray Eel (Muraenidae)

  • Moray eels are nocturnal predators found in the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece.
  • While they are generally shy and non-aggressive, they can bite if provoked or threatened, causing deep wounds.
  • Keep a safe distance and avoid touching or provoking them.

Blue-Ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena)

  • Although rare, the blue-ringed octopus can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece.
  • It is one of the most venomous marine creatures, and its bite can be life-threatening.
  • Do not handle or disturb octopuses you encounter while diving or swimming.

Stonefish (Synanceia)

  • The stonefish is a well-camouflaged fish species found in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • It has venomous spines on its back that can cause excruciating pain and other complications if stepped on or handled.
  • Take caution when walking in shallow waters or exploring rocky areas.

Thresher Shark (Alopiidae)

  • Thresher sharks are occasionally found in the waters around Greece.
  • While they are not aggressive towards humans, their long tail fin can be powerful and potentially dangerous if approached too closely.
  • Maintain a safe distance if you encounter a thresher shark while diving or swimming.

Scorpionfish (Scorpaenidae)

  • Scorpionfish are bottom-dwelling fish species found in the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece.
  • They have venomous spines on their dorsal fin that can cause intense pain and swelling if stepped on or touched.
  • Be cautious when walking on the seabed or near rocky areas.

Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

  • Although extremely rare, there have been occasional sightings of great white sharks in the Greek waters.
  • While they are known to be apex predators, attacks on humans are extremely uncommon.
  • If you encounter a great white shark, maintain a calm demeanor and slowly move away from it.

Boat Tours in Greece

If you’re looking for a fun-filled day out on the water in Greece, you’re in luck! With the generally safe swimming conditions in the Greek waters, it’s a fantastic idea to embark on a boat trip and enjoy some exciting activities. Allow me to suggest three incredible tours around the Greek islands that you won’t want to miss:

If you happen to be near the island of Naxos and have a passion for scuba diving, then this tour is tailor-made for you.

Corfu is a beautiful island that offers a wonderful boat tour with a beach BBQ for you to enjoy.

You can also take Corfu to Santorini Guide Tour which is really a good option for your to try.

How can tourists stay informed about shark activities in Greece?

For tourists visiting Greece, it is important to stay informed about shark activities and safety measures. Subscription services that provide updates on shark-related information and safety measures can be valuable resources for staying updated on any potential risks.

Understanding the behavior and habits of sharks around the Greek islands is also essential for tourists. This knowledge can help them make informed decisions and enjoy their experiences in the Greek waters.

Another crucial aspect of tourist safety in the Greek waters is reporting unusual shark behavior to local authorities or conservation agencies. By actively participating in the monitoring and reporting of shark activities, tourists contribute to the safety and conservation efforts in these beautiful aquatic environments.


There are Sharks in Greece water but it is generally safe to swim in the Greece waters. All you have to make sure is that you are swimming around the allowed space in Greece.

It is important to exercise caution and pay attention to advice from others to fully enjoy the stunning beaches of Greece without any safety concerns. It is worth noting that sharks play a vital role in maintaining the overall health of the marine ecosystem.

Prepare yourself for an amazing beach getaway in Greece by packing your swimsuit and sunscreen. And don’t worry about the possibility of shark attacks!

If you are also curious about more animals in Greece? Check out my post about the national animal of Greece.

If you are in the planning phase for your Greece trip then check out my Travel Resource for Greece.

And if you’re interested in this specific shark topic, check out my post about shark attacks in Croatia!

Shark Attacks in Greece: FAQs

Q: Are shark attacks common in Greece?

A: Shark attacks are rare in Greece. There have been only 15 shark attacks reported in Greece over the last 180 years.

Q: What are the most dangerous sharks in Greece’s waters?

A: The most common species of sharks in the Mediterranean Sea around Greece are blue sharks, shortfin makos, and occasionally, the great white shark. However, shark attacks by these species are extremely rare.

Q: Is it safe to swim or dive in the waters of Greece?

A: Yes, it is generally safe to swim or dive in the waters of Greece. While sharks may lurk in the area, they are rarely a threat to humans. Practicing common sense and avoiding specific behaviors, such as swimming in areas known for high shark activity or diving near fishing areas, can help to reduce any potential risk.

Q: What should I do if I encounter a shark while swimming or diving in Greece?

A: If you happen to encounter a shark while in the waters of Greece, it is important to remain calm and slowly back away while maintaining eye contact with the shark. Avoid making sudden movements or splashing, and try to exit the water as smoothly and safely as possible.

Q: Are there specific areas in Greece where sharks are more commonly found?

A: Sharks are more likely to be found in deeper waters or near rocky and coral reef areas where marine animals, which are their prey, are abundant. Avoiding swimming or diving in these specific areas can reduce the chances of encountering a shark.

Q: Are there any measures in place in Greece to protect against shark attacks?

A: In Greece, there are efforts to promote awareness and understanding of sharks and their behavior to ensure that people can safely enjoy the beautiful beaches and waters. Additionally, measures are in place to prevent overfishing and to protect the marine ecosystem to maintain a balanced and healthy environment for both humans and sharks.

Q: What types of sharks are commonly found in the waters of Greece?

A: The most common species of sharks in the waters of Greece are blue sharks and shortfin makos. These sharks are often found in the Mediterranean Sea and can fascinate divers and marine enthusiasts with their presence.

Q: What are the best practices for staying safe from shark attacks in Greece?

A: Some best practices for staying safe from shark attacks in Greece include avoiding swimming during dusk or dawn, not swimming or diving near fishing areas, and being aware of the local marine life and habitats. Additionally, always follow the guidelines set by local authorities and experts for safely enjoying the waters of Greece.

Q: Can sharks in Greece be found in shallow waters?

A: While sharks are less likely to be found in shallow waters, it is not impossible for them to venture closer to the shore. It is important to remember that sharks, like any other marine animal, can be present in various parts of the ocean and to always practice caution and respect for their natural habitat.

Q: What is the likelihood of encountering a shark while in the waters of Greece?

A: The likelihood of encountering a shark while in the waters of Greece is very low. With the right precautions and awareness of the surrounding marine environment, one can safely enjoy swimming, diving, and exploring the stunning Greek coastline without fear of encountering a shark.

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