of the highlights of a visit to Zakynthos is sighting the beautiful
loggerhead sea turtle (Latina. Caretta caretta). The turtle
is an endangered species and can be found both on Zakynthos and
Kefalonia (Mounda Bay in Ratziki, Kefalonia).
separate beaches, approximately four kilometres in length, in
the bay of Laganas host 800
to 1800 nests. The mothers come ashore between June and August
at night and drag their 100kg bodies up to the dry part of the
sand where they leave over 100 eggs in a chamber 40 to 60 cm deep.
They lay their eggs on beaches and sandy coves late at night,
but can be frightened by human intervention such as bright lights
The mothers lay dozens of eggs under the warm sand at night to
The surviving hatchlings emerge about two months later and return
to the sea.
Twenty to thirty years later, the female adults will return to
their natal beach to reproduce.
recent years, numbers have dwindled to less than eight hundred
and in the bay of Laganas (one of the key nesting grounds) access
to the beach is prohibited after sunset to allow the turtles to
lay their eggs undisturbed.
grown turtles can reach a size of 1.2 metres in length and a weight
order to protect this endangered creature, boating activity and
watersports are severely restricted in the Bay of Laganas.
However, it is worth taking a boat trip to Marathonisi Island
in the bay. Known as 'turtle island' after its shape, one side
of the island is another breeding ground for the Caretta caretta.
Many boat trips around the island will stop in the waters outside
the Bay of Laganas to catch
a glimpse of the turtles. If you really want to get close to one,
I recommend you swim out from Gerakas
beach for a couple of hundred metres and keep your eyes peeled.
You need to be a confident swimmer and the best time of the day
is late morning when the water may not be too warm. However, the
effort is worth it!
Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece run a scheme whereby you
can sponsor a loggerhead turtle, a protected nest or a baby turtle.
All proceeds go towards the society's efforts in protecting this
ancient mariner. You can find more information here
or email the society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Along with the Greek Ministry of Environment, the Prefecture of
Zakynthos and other environmental organisations, the STPS has
established the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, which will
ensure the future of Caretta Caretta on the island.
Marine Park is situated on the southern coast of Zakynthos, and
covers the area of Laganas,
nearby beaches such as Gerakas and Keri Lake. The marine park
has offices in Argasi and
you can find out more information here
of email for more information at email@example.com.
It is strictly forbidden to remain on the beach after sunset.
Turtles emerge from the sea to lay their eggs in the hours of
Do not dig in the sand, particularly in the upper part of the
Do not use umbrellas that have to be stuck in the sand
Do not take vehicles on to the beach and do not allow dogs to
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