Last week we visited Chrissi Island near Creta, Greece. Chrissi Island (also called Gaidouronisi, literally meaning Donkey Island) is located 7.5 nautical miles from Ierapetra in Creta, and you can easily go there in the period May-September from Ierapetra port by getting a ferry. Chrissi Island is an island covered with white sand & wild ceder trees, creating a majestic landscape, a perfect place for escaping from the city life. Some of the ceders are more than 300 years old!
In the island, the default beach that all tourist guides recommend is the Pelegrina (Chrissi Beach). Near Pelegrina, the Kataprosopo beach resides. Tou Vouyou To Mati beach is located just near the tavern at the port where the ferries are stopping.
The trip with the ferries is around 45 minutes and costs 25 € (?!!) for the roundtrip…and this is from where the profiteering and the full exploitation of the island’s wild beauty starts. After visiting the island, i was informed that with us, 2000 – 3000 people entered the island in one day & this happens everyday during the summer season!!
I also forgot to mention that Gaidouronisi comes under Natura 2000, thus it is a special protection area & and an archaelogical area. How exactly this area is protected from the human factor? Who protects the island and the agelong ceder trees?
Who allows the entrepreneurs that dictate the island from doing whatever they want? Where is the Municipality of Ierapetra & what are its responsibilities & commitment towards protecting & preserving the island’s wild life?
The beach bar in Pelegrina beach has literally plagued the whole beach with sunbeds, 4 rows of sunbeds that cover the whole beach from the start til the end. And the price? 15 € per sunbed (?!?!?!?!)
When i was a kid & visiting the island, i remember that Pelegrina was covered with tiny shells instead of sand, you could literally swim inside a mountain of shells. But through the years, the only remaining shells are located in the rightmost corner of the beach. All the others have been picked up by visitors of the island, that thought “Hey! I’ll fill this plastic bottle with these shells for my house! What a great idea!”. Well, by deduction, the majority of shells have been vanished and the Pelegrina beach is full of sunbeds, plastic coffee containers, beer bottles & cigarette ends…
The exploitation of the island must stop now, those who exploit & along their actions need to be monitored by the Municipality of Ierapetra, which must be more active & present for the islands’ sake & rescue from the teeth of the unlimited profiteering.