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  • Greece Is Closing an Entire Island to Tourists
chrissi island, chrisy island, Crete

Overtourism: Greece Is Closing an Entire Island to Tourists

From now on, a popular Greek destination is closing its doors to visitors. We've compiled the available info about the island's closure.

Published by
Tobi·5/19/2022
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Tourism has undoubtedly many positive effects worldwide, and sometimes goes hand in hand with the prosperity of entire regions and, in many places, the protection of flora and fauna. However, its darker side is just as visible, and this has now led to a ban on entering an entire island in Greece.

So Which Greek Island Is Closing?

To the east of Crete, about 15 kilometers off the coast, lies the small, actually uninhabited island of Chrissi (also Chrisy, translated: "The Golden [Island]").

© OpenStreetMaps

What happened to make Greek authorities close Chrissi?

Because of its fantastic beaches and unique nature, more and more visitors started to come to the island. It was estimated that in recent years, around 200,000 day visitors came to the island each year. Some even settled completely in tents and self-built huts for entire summers. All in all, this led to several problems:

  • Garbage being left behind

  • Consumption of groundwater, which the plants can't really spare

  • Trampling of younger plants

  • Bringing goats, which ate smaller plants

The Chrissi cedars, some of which are over 100 years old, are particularly affected by this. Many of them have already been uprooted and dried out.

So what exactly is now prohibited?

Between May 1, 2022 and October 31, 2022 and from sunrise to sunset, the island may not be entered by anyone.

Why could the ban still be overturned?

Most of the boats to Chrissi departed from the municipality of Lerapetra. Folks over in Lerapetra are afraid of losing extensive business and have appealed to the Council of State against the committee's decision shut down Chrissi.

But if you're heading to Crete this summer, don't hold your hopes high for a day trip to Chrissi.

🔍 Source: dpa, efsyn.gr