Traveling to a new country is an exciting experience filled with new cultures, traditions, and sometimes, unique sanitary practices. When planning a trip to Mykonos, one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, you may find yourself wondering – Can I flush toilet paper in Mykonos?
Though a seemingly odd question, it’s a crucial one to consider. The answer is not quite as straightforward as you might expect. Below, we delve into everything you need to know about using washroom facilities in Mykonos and, more broadly, in Greece.
Understanding the Greek Plumbing System
Greek plumbing systems, a remnant of the country’s historical infrastructure, are different from those found in many other parts of the world. The primary issue lies in the diameter of the sewage pipes. In Greece, the diameter of these pipes is substantially smaller than in countries like the United States or the United Kingdom.
This narrowness makes it difficult for anything other than human waste to pass through the pipes without causing a blockage. Flushing toilet paper, for instance, can lead to clogs, back-ups, and, in severe cases, even flooding.
So, What About Toilet Paper?
In light of the above, the rule of thumb in Greece, including Mykonos, is to avoid flushing toilet paper down the toilet. This might sound peculiar to visitors from countries where flushing toilet paper is the norm. However, in Greece, there’s a practical alternative.
The Greek Way: Bins Beside the Toilet
So, if you can’t flush toilet paper, what do you do with it? The answer is simple. In Greek bathrooms, you’ll typically find a bin beside the toilet. This bin is meant for the disposal of used toilet paper.
These bins are designed to be hygienic and easy to use. They often come with lids and foot pedals for hands-free opening, so you won’t have to worry about sanitation issues. Also, they are emptied at least once a day, ensuring they don’t overflow or start to smell.
An Important Note about Greek Toilets
While this ‘no toilet paper in the toilet’ rule is widely observed in Greece, there may be exceptions. Some modern hotels and newly built resorts have updated plumbing systems that can handle flushed toilet paper.
However, it’s generally safer to assume that you should not flush toilet paper unless explicitly told otherwise. Most bathrooms even have signage to remind visitors of this rule.
Traveling to Other Parts of Greece
The practice of not flushing toilet paper isn’t exclusive to Mykonos. Whether you’re in Athens, Crete, or any other part of Greece, you’ll find the same rules apply. Even in Athens, where the plumbing system might be slightly more advanced, the pipes are still too narrow to handle toilet paper.
So, when in Greece, remember to follow local practices to avoid any potential issues.
Drinking Water in Greece
Now that we’ve covered toilet etiquette, let’s move on to another important aspect of hygiene – drinking water. According to European Union standards, tap water in Greece is safe to drink. However, due to its high mineral content, it might not taste great and could potentially upset sensitive stomachs. Therefore, it’s often recommended to stick to bottled water when in Greece.
Tipping Etiquette in Greek Hotels
Even in luxurious hotels around Mykonos, tipping is not a requirement. However, if you receive exceptional service and want to show your appreciation, you can certainly leave a tip.
Other Greek Bathroom Etiquettes
Beyond not flushing toilet paper and drinking bottled water, there are a few more bathroom etiquettes to keep in mind when visiting Greece. For instance, Greek bathrooms often don’t have locks, especially in restaurants and cafes. The reason for this is to avoid accidents where children may get locked in.
In Greece, it’s also common to find bidets in bathrooms. Bidets are a practical and environmentally friendly alternative to toilet paper, providing a hygienic way to clean up after using the toilet.
In conclusion, when it comes to the question, “Can you flush toilet paper in Mykonos?” the answer is typically “no.” This practice is part of the unique charm and culture of Greece. By adhering to these local customs, you can ensure a smooth and respectful travel experience, free from any unnecessary plumbing disasters.
Remember that travel is all about embracing new experiences and learning about different ways of life. So next time you’re in Mykonos or elsewhere in Greece, don’t forget to use the bin beside the toilet for your paper disposal needs!