This week me and the BF went to Zante for a few days! Specifically Laganas, not for the partying, but for turtles! The weather was beautiful – much better than England at the minute. Lovely warm sunshine and a beautiful coastline made the trip.
I knew Laganas was famous for the Loggerhead turtle before we went but I wanted to know more about the conservation and hopefully see one! (Which we did!) We went on a boat trip which started from the Laganas bay out to Turtle Island!! It was actually shaped like a turtle from afar! Before reaching the uninhabited island we came out of the bay to some caves in the cliff to have a swim – the water was crystal clear – just beautiful!
On turtle Island (the island is actually called Marathonissi) it was just amazing – so untouched and pretty. The public are only allowed onto the first 5 meters of the beach from the sea as the turtles nest on the island behind that. I learnt that tourism related buildings aren’t allowed on these beaches – there was nothing there apart from one boat that sold drinks. All boats have to vacate at night for the turtles as they use the reflection of the stars and moon to get to the sea – so no other light is allowed! On top of this – Zante has banned all night flights to land at the island for the same reason.
As well as this there are several rules and regulations for boats, which is why we had to be so quiet on the boat. Boats are allowed near the turtle nesting areas but for no longer than 10 minutes – so we only had a quick glimpse of these beautiful creatures when they were in the water. Of course touching the turtles isn’t allowed either which is why we weren’t swimming in the water in the bay.
I’m so so glad I could go on this little trip to Zante and see the turtles (from a distance obviously). I’m happy that the Greek Government, turtle protection societies and the boat trips have enforced these rules. I think it’s so important to look after as many species as we can, they are threatened or endangered because of human intervention/ destruction by us. I completely support ecotourism as it increases awareness of sea turtles (and other animals) and their protection. We only caught a glimpse of the turtle for no more than a minute – but this was completely fine as I knew we weren’t disturbing it or harming it.
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