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Forty new beaches to be added to Greece’s ‘Untrodden Beaches’ list

The number of protected so-called “untrodden” beaches in Greece – known as ‘Apatites Paralies’ – has been increased by 40 to reach a total of 238, the environment and energy ministry announced on Friday. The enlargment of the list was conducted in collaboration with the national economy and finance ministry, the announcement said, based on requests made by citizens, municipalities and the Organisation for the Natural Environment and Climate Change for both the addition and exemption of specific beaches.
There were some “corrections” to the list, to ensure that existing rights were not included, the ministry said.
The institution of ‘Untrodden Beaches’ was established for the first time in 2024, in a bill outlining the exploitation of public property on the shore, and established strict restrictions that forbid any kind of businesses activity in order to protect the natural environment. Existing and active contracts are not, however, to be affected until their expiration.
Consequently, with the amendment of a Joint Ministerial Decision signed by Environment and Energy Minister Theodoros Skylakakis and National Economic and Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, the government has determined which are the ‘Untrodden Beaches’ throughout the country that lie within the Natura 2000 network and where all concessions and installation of beach umbrellas and sunbeds is prohibited.
Beaches on the list were decided based on a series of criteria that include their proximity to ecosystems protected under EU or national law, rare endemic species of plants and animals, whether they perform important ecological functions for protected species, whether they are Crucial Biodiversity Regions, or the presence of important ecosystems that require protection, preservation or restoration.
All economic activity that might endanger the morphology and integrity of the beaches or their ecological functions, including the simple use of the beach and shoreline, is banned on ‘Untrodden Beaches’. This includes the presence of mechanised vehicles, events with the participation of more than 10 people, using electronic equipment to play or amplify music for activities, placing non-permanent objects such as tables, chairs, umbrellas, sunbeds etc on the beach, providing services or equipment for marine sports and recreational activities or the operation of towed or driven mobile canteens.