Acropolis Closed Again in Athens Due to Heatwave

Due to an unusually intense heatwave, authorities in Greece closed the Acropolis, the country’s most popular ancient site, for the second consecutive day on Thursday afternoon. The Culture Ministry announced the closure from midday to 5 p.m. local time due to the extreme heat.

All other archaeological sites in Athens were also shut during the same hours. Visitors with pre-booked tickets for this period are allowed to use them later in the day until the sites close at 8 p.m., according to the ministry.

Temperatures in much of central and southern Greece, including the greater Athens area, the Cyclades, and Crete, surpassed 104 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday.

Officials are on high alert as the country faces the annual threat of wildfires.

Vassilis Kikilias, the minister responsible for civil protection, warned that Thursday posed an especially high wildfire risk due to the combination of extreme heat and winds. He emphasized, “The early start of the heat waves, combined with the dry winter, has led to a very difficult fire season.”

The fire service also issued a warning of a very high wildfire threat for Friday.

In Athens, authorities are providing air-conditioned spaces for the public and have distributed fans to secondary schools where end-of-year and university entrance exams are being held.

Temperatures are anticipated to decrease on Friday and Saturday.