Seven months after the major landslide at the iconic Navagio shipwreck on the island of Zakynthos, authorities prepare a plan to allow limited access to the famous beach again before the tourist season starts again.
The plan to secure visitors’ safety foresees the creation of three zones. The first zone will be free for visitors under conditions; the second zone will be restricted after rainfall or an earthquake and will be supervised; and the third zone will be closed off to all visitors.
Port authorities on Zakynthos completely prohibited access to the famous beach “until further notice” on March 27th 2019. The decision prohibits the approach and mooring of all floating means as well as swimming in the area. Those violating the ban will face penalties.
Local authorities expressed concern whether the spectacular beach that attracts thousands of visiotrs every year, will be able to open again in due time.
“We have made significant progress. We had pointed out the problem of possible landslides three years ago,” Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and president of the Geology and Geo-Environment Department Efthimios Lekkas said last week.
However, following safety concerns, they have prepare a management plan for Navagio for the first visitors’ flow. “We will designate and demarcate areas at the beach” for tourists and these will include three zones.
Lekkas stressed that “we could not forbid access to tourists entirely, because there is an economic cost, and we generally can’t exclude tourists from visiting our country and admire it.”
He added that the “the plan will come into effect within the next few days, after some official bureaucratic procedures are completed, since the tourist season begins very early in the region and the beach has to be open for use.”
Special signs will be placed on the beach to explain the zones to tourists, while two or three people will be supervising the area for the strict implementation of the rules.
On 13. September 2018, a massive cliff sheet collapsed at Navagio beach while dozens of visitors were enjoying the area. Seven people were slightly injured. Access to the beach was temporary forbidden but authorities allowed access again even if under some restrictions.
Lekkas also said that there are similar safety plans being considered, tailored to needs at nine other Ionian Islands beaches including Porto Katsiki, Egremni and Aghios Nikitas on Lefkada, in order to minimize the possibility of accidents for visitors.