Seven months after a major landslide at the iconic Navaghio (Shipwreck) beach on the island of Zakynthos, a plan to manage visitor safety is ready, a geology specialist said on Thursday.
“We have made significant progress. We had pointed out the problem three years ago,” said Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and president of the Geology and Geoenvironment Department Efthimios Lekkas, about the possibility of landslides.
Lekkas added however that, following safety concerns, “We are pleased to present the first visitor flow management plan for Navagio beach, which will designate and demarcate areas” for tourists that will include three zones. He said that access to the first zone will be free under conditions; the second zone, restricted after rainfall or an earthquake, will be supervised; and, finally, the third zone will be closed off to all visitors, he said.
Lekkas explained that “we could not forbid access to tourists entirely, becase there is an economic cost, and we generally can’t exclude tourists from visiting our country and admiring it.”
The professor explained that “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.
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 minimise the possibility of accidents for visitors.