The National Meteorological Service (EMY) issued a warning that the extreme heat will not begin to abate until Tuesday. Ta Nea reported EMY meteorologist Theodore Kolydas has described the conditions as an anomaly, citing the extreme differences in temperature currently being experienced between northern and southern Europe.
Last week the Greek environment ministry issued a heatwave warning, cautioning people to reduce activities such as driving which issue pollutants into the atmosphere. The Health Ministry issued a warning too, urging the elderly and very young to avoid physical exertions in the heat, and to remain indoors.
Whilst holidaymakers take advantage of the sun to top up their tans, Greeks, accustomed to high temperatures, are feeling the heat. In 1987 100 people died
in a similar heatwave when temperatures remained above 42 degrees Celsius for a prolonged spell.
Coping with such extreme temperatures, combined with high humidity, can be draining, particularly as many are wary of running up additional electricity costs to operate fans or air conditioning units. Early morning and early evening dips offer the best chance to cool off.
The afternoon siesta is a must for those not working during the hottest hours. Shops close during the afternoons, except in tourist areas, re-opening again in the evenings. Fire-fighters shelter under sun umbrellas as they keep watch for fires from high mountain vantage points, wary of the first sign of flames which could fan an out of control blaze.
Greek villages remain deserted during the afternoon heat as shutters remain closed against the sun.
Holidaymakers should take some tips from the locals in coping with the heat and staying out of the sun. However, each year many will burn to a frazzle and become dehydrated, by failing to take simple precautions. Top tips to cope are to remain in the shade and always have a bottle of cold water on hand.