By Andrea Rodrigo BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 04/25/2016

By fertility tourism we make reference to the displacement of people across countries in the pursuit of a reproductive solution that allows them to be on parenthood.

Many of them may choose Greece as their destination, mainly for the following reasons:

  • Greece’s well-advanced and lax regulations
  • The cost of fertility treatments, more cost-affordable than those of other European countries

Egg donation and sperm donation are reproductive treatments not allowed in every country, or allowed but under certain conditions that do not fit the needs of some patients. This is the reason why they end up having no choice but to travel to another country like Greece.

Mainly due to employment-related reasons, patients decide to match their holiday period with their fertility treatment. Besides, the serenity and relaxation this period may bring to the patients may translate into better treatment outcomes.

Assisted Reproduction in Greece

The Greek law governing medically assisted human reproduction (Law 3305/2005) emphasizes that both egg and sperm donation must be anonymous and altruistic procedures. As regards this latter point, the law allows donors to be compensated for any inconvenience caused, travel expenses, and working days lost due to the treatment.

Both characteristics permit a greater amount of donors to be available, which makes the donor-recipient matching easier, while at the same time donor conception turns out to be a feasible and easy-to-perform procedure.

On the other hand, the cost of fertility treatments is lower here than in other European countries. This characteristic is another boosting effect for international patients when it comes to travel abroad for undergoing a fertility treatment.

Surrogacy is another treatment that promotes fertility tourism in Greece, as the group of European countries where surrogacy is allowed for foreigners is a very small one. Even though at first just national citizens where allowed to pursue surrogacy in Greece, after a legislative change in July 2014 non-national citizens are also allowed to undergo such fertility treatment within Greek territory.

Finally, it is important to point out that sex selection is allowed only on medical grounds, and assisted reproduction techniques cannot be performed on women above 50 years of age.

Traveling to the Hellenic Republic

Greece has 16 international airports that allow the arrival of patients from different European, Asian, and Australian countries above all. Most common airports are the ones located in Athens, Thessaloniki, Alexandroupoli, Kalabaka, and Heraklion.

Other foreign patients have a preference for taking important cruise ships to visit Greece.

To move across the country, one can do so by train, small ship, car, or plane. Domestic flights between islands are not characterized by being specially cheap, but they help you save travel time. Traveling by train can be cheap, but at the same time it is a slow form of transportation. Ferries are usually the most comfortable way of moving across Greek islands, while at the same time enjoying the charms of the coastline, especially in summer time.

As for the language, the vast majority of fertility clinics have an international department in order to make the communication process with the staff easier during the treatment and to make the process understandable for everyone.

Last but not least, the prices. Greece’s official currency is the Euro. So, if you are traveling from another European country, comparing the costs between clinics and treatments will be an easy task. If you come from outside the European territory, the currency conversion won’t be too difficult, as the Euro is a widely known currency. Besides, understanding the cost of fertility treatment in different clinics will be rather easy as well.

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Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information
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One comment

    1. Angelina Depp

      Woww!! If only I could afford traveling to Santorini for egg donation… It would be amazing: having a baby while at the same time enjoying such an amazing scenery… So relaxing and comfortable, but anyway I think it would be an expensive trip no matter how cheap the cost of fertility treatment is…