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Greece has implemented strict new regulations for its beaches, affecting tourists preparing to visit the country this summer.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the measures in a TikTok video, citing that his country is aiming to tackle overcrowding and ensure justice, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

He further has unveiled the country’s ‘new beach bill.’ According to him, starting this spring, one of the main rules requires that 70 per cent of beaches be sunbed-free to ease overcrowding. This requirement increases to 85 per cent in protected areas, while sunbeds will be prohibited entirely in ecologically sensitive areas designated as ‘untouchable beaches’.

While Greece remains a top choice for beach vacations, increasing visitors has brought challenges. The high demand for beach spots has led to overcrowding problems, with many businesses, such as restaurants and hotels, occupying large sections of the shoreline, leaving little space for the public.

A minimum distance of four meters between the shoreline and the sunbeds will now be also strictly enforced.

At the same time, beachfront businesses competing to rent sunbeds will now participate in online auctions to secure space. Drones will be used to monitor beaches and ensure compliance with these new regulations. These measures will take effect this spring.

European Beaches Impose Fines for Rule Violations

Greece is not alone in dealing with beach behaviour. Thus, in the Spanish resort of Benidorm, tourists can face fines of up to €1,200 (NZ$2,145) for swimming between midnight and 7 am. Sleeping on the beach during these hours also brings fines.

Portugal is also cracking down on beach behaviour, with fines of up to €36,000 for beachgoers using portable speakers.

Meanwhile, tourists are banned from stepping on the famous Spiaggia Rosa beach in Sardinia, Italy, with fines of up to €3,500 for violators.

Tourists Will Pay a New Climate Tax to Protect the Environment

Additionally, Greece has introduced a new climate sustainability fee for overnight visitors. This tariff addresses the impact of extreme weather events, such as fires and floods, on the country’s infrastructure. Expected to generate €300 million in 2024, the tax will contribute to restoring climate-damaged infrastructure.

Tourists visiting Greece from March to October will be required to pay the fee, which varies based on the type of accommodation, ranging from €1 to €4 per night.

Meanwhile, visitors staying in apartments and one or two-star hotels will be subject to a €1.50 tax per night. Those staying in three-star hotels will pay €3 per night. An additional €7 tax will be applied for four-star hotel accommodations, while guests at luxury five-star hotels will incur a €10 tax per night.

Source: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/greece-introduces-new-rules-for-holiday-beachgoers-in-2024/