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This Popular Mediterranean Hotspot Just Introduced 4 New Rules That Tourists Need To Know

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The Mediterranean has always been one of the most coveted destinations on Earth, but never has it seen the level of popularity it’s experiencing right now.

While the entire region is witnessing millions upon millions of visitors flocking to its pristine shores, one country, in particular, is leading the way as the trendiest hotspot of the moment – Greece.

Woman on a boat enjoys the view to the famous shipwreck beach, Navagio, in the island of Zakynthos, Greece

And if current trends are anything to go by, this upcoming summer will be busier, more crowded, and more chaotic than ever, which is why the Greek government is moving quickly to negate any possible side effects of this massive wave of tourism.

In his latest TikTok post, the country’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced a brand new set of rules concerning Greek beaches that were introduced to make both travelers' and locals’ lives a bit easier.

The prime minister also stressed that drones will be used to enforce these strict new regulations, so if you or anyone you know is planning to go to Greece this summer, this is critical info you need to know.

Greek Beaches Will Become Sunbed-Free For The Most Part

One of the main points made by Kyriakos Mitsotakis in his newest announcement was the importance of making Greek beaches accessible to everyone.

shipwreck beach

That’s why, starting this summer, all of them need to be at least 70% free from sunbeds, allowing people to lounge around with their own umbrellas/chairs/towels at no additional fees.

And that’s just the starting point.

Beaches in protected areas need to be at least 85% free from sun loungers, whereas ecologically sensitive regions, home to what many call “untouchable beaches,” will be – you guessed it – completely sunbed-fee.

Aerial view of Marathonisi Island in Zakynthos, Greece

These are usually places like Marathonisi (Zakynthos), where even tourists aren’t allowed to set up their own umbrellas since turtle eggs are buried in the sand during nesting season.

Locals and visitors who’ve been spending their summers in Greece for decades now (me included), find this to be the perfect solution to the overcrowding problem created by the endless array of restaurants and hotels that occupy the shoreline.

chairs and umbrellas on a beach in greece

Taking your own towel and umbrella is the norm on most beaches across Greece, so up until now, in places where sunbeds took over most of the coastline, they would often go unused, and the little public space that was available became overcrowded – hopefully, this new rule will make the overall experience much more enjoyable for tourists.

Sunbeds Can’t Be Closer Than 4 Meters (13 Feet) To The Shoreline

Have you ever wanted to lounge or walk along a shore just to see a line of sunbeds and umbrellas blocking your way?

That’s exactly what this new rule is set to avoid.

All sunbeds (yes, your own included) can’t be closer than 4 meters or 13 feet to the shoreline, so keep that in mind while making yourself comfortable on some Greek beach this upcoming season.

colorful umbrellas are set up on a beach near Athens

A New Climate Tax Will Take Effect

OK, this one might not seem like the most beneficial to you as a tourist right now, but this newly imposed tax will make the lives of locals and future travelers that much easier.

This climate sustainability fee will be charged to overnight visitors and range from €1.5 to €10, depending on the type of accommodation you choose.

The Lake Hotel in Greece, outdoor pool area

Look through the table below to check what you’ll be expected to pay this summer:

Type of AccommodationSustainability Fee (Per Night)
Apartment, 1-star hotel, 2-star hotel€1.5 (~$1.62)
3-star hotel€3 (~$3.25)
4-star hotel€7 (~$7.58)
5-star hotel€10 (~$10.82)

At the end of the day, this extra fee won’t affect your travel budget too much, and it’s expected to generate over €300 million, which will be used to help restore climate-damaged infrastructure (from the fires and floods that have affected the country throughout the years).

Your Favorite Beachfront Bar Or Restaurant Might Be Gone This Summer

Remember how I mentioned that there are too many businesses occupying the Greek coastline?

The government is trying to sort through them, too.

beach bar in mykonos, greece

Businesses will now have to compete in online auctions if they want to buy beachfront space – the overall number of restaurants and hotels offering their services on the actual beaches will drastically decrease, so if you’re looking forward to going to a specific place, make sure to check whether it’s still offering the same services beforehand.

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