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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

“No” to organized beaches, say Greek islands

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There are islands in our country that go against the current and invite visitors to enjoy nature, beaches and the sea, following a way of vacation with respect for the environment and ecological consciousness. The always pioneering Lipsi have been welcoming tourists in recent years to an island without cars or swimming pools and now without sunbeds. “It is our philosophy to remove the superfluous and to keep the essence. “Thus, we compose a luxury of simplicity, without having to copy the practices of others”, notes the mayor of the island, Fotis Maggos, to “NEA”.

Municipality and residents, although for a long time they have said “no” to sunbeds and umbrellas on the beaches, this year their decision was ratified by the parliament, with the local authorities undertaking to contact it. “Our goal is not to chase away those who want sunbeds, but to show them that there is another way to vacation. At the same time, our goal is to reach those who seek exactly this vacation but also to inform that our beaches are free, so those who visit them should be properly prepared. “

As the mayor points out, the island is visited by more and more tourists. In fact, according to the data, 26,000-30,000 are the visitors who arrive by ferry and about 20,000 vacation in Lipsi by sailboat. “At the same time, the rooms are increasing, however, our beaches are not growing. So, if we allowed the sunbeds, this would mean a reduction in living space. In addition, we are not in favor of a separation on the beach – some on sunbeds and others who can not afford to be on the sand. “In a way, a class inequality is created that does not express us”, adds Fotis Maggos.

Without swimming pools

The “no” of Lipsi on the sunbeds, after all, is not the only one: “We have already decided not to have a swimming pool on the island, to protect our water”. In Lipsi you will not find trash cans in public places and this is because the collection of waste is done door to door, with a division into mixed and organic. “We also urge our visitors, consistently, to come to the island without a car, as the distances are short and the four wheels are not necessary”, the mayor concludes.

In the same spirit and the Koufonisia, which since the middle of the last decade are free from such summer… commitments and the full exploitation of the beaches. Thus, the beaches of the island do not have sunbeds and umbrellas, while tourists will not find equipment for recreational activities in the sea, such as inflatable toys or jet skiing.

Free camping

At the same time, in the southernmost tip of Greece and Europe, in the alternative Gavdos, and this summer, the municipal authority demands the respect of all for the unique ecosystem. As the mayor of the island, Lillian Stafanaki, has repeatedly pointed out, residents but mainly visitors should enjoy the gifts of nature, without, however, working to its detriment. “We recognize the limited possibilities of the island in accommodation and beds. That's why we do not chase free campers. Always, however, in moderation and with respect for the peculiarities of Gavdos and its sensitive environment. “Let's not forget that the whole island belongs to the Natura network”, he points out. Most tourists, as the mayor explains, are aware and pay attention to the place where they camp. At the beginning of the month, she and a municipal crew demolished the makeshift huts, which some had set up on the island's beaches and lived in winter-summer. “So, this is completely different from the way of vacation we want for our island. “These people considered the coasts as their property”, concludes the mayor of Gavdos.

Source: politis.com.cy

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