Zakynthos - Laganas Bay

Project areas

Zakynthos - Laganas Bay

Loggerhead sea turtles were discovered to reproduce on the sandy beaches and crystal waters of Laganas Bay, Zakynthos, in 1977. Today Laganas Bay including the islets of Marathonisi and Pelouso is part of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos and is known as is one of the most important areas for the species in the Mediterranean.

ARCHELON researchers and trained volunteers have been recording and protecting the nests of the loggerhead sea turtle in Zakynthos systematically since 1984, and, since 2004 they work in cooperation with the National Marine Park.

You can meet the ARCHELON volunteers and find out more about sea turtles at the Information Station in Solomos Square(Zakynthos town), or in front of the Crystal Beach Hotel in Kalamaki.

There are six turtle nesting beaches in Laganas Bay, with a total length of 5.5 km: Marathonisi, east Laganas, Kalamaki, Sekania, Dafni and Gerakas, where an average of 1,200 nests are made per year. The beach of Sekania has the highest density of loggerhead nests and is designated as Area of Absolute Protection where public access is not allowed. The rest of the beaches are designated as Nature Protection Areas, where special measures are in place to protect the sea turtle breeding population.

See the directions below for visitors in the area.

Attention beach users!

You are sharing the beaches with the protected loggerhead sea turtles. The beaches of Marathonissi, East Laganas, Kalamaki (Crystal), Daphni and Gerakas, are sea turtle nesting beaches designated as Nature Protection Aites in the National Marine Park of Zakynthos. You are welcome to visit the nesting beaches from 7am until the sunset.

Be aware that..

  • driving vehicles on the nesting beaches, as well as walking dogs or riding horses is prohibited.
  • your beach activity needs to be kept up to 5 meters from the seafront.
  • sea turtles lay their nests at the middle and back of the beach. Any beach activity needs to be kept within 5 meters from the seafront.
  • beach furniture available on the beaches of East Laganas, Kalamaki (Crystal), Daphni and Gerakas are removed each night to make room for the nesting activity of the sea turtles.
  • beach furniture and private beach equipment is not allowed on Marathonissi.

How can you help?

  • Protective cages on nests are there for a reason, please respect them
  • Hatchlings need to be allowed to reach the sea by themselves, please do not touch them
  • Beaches need to be kept clean, please do not litter and take your rubbish with you.
  • Human presence during the night hours is prohibited and the area is guarded, please keep off the nesting beaches after sunset until 7am
  • Ask for an ARCHELON sea turtle presentation in your hotel.

Attention: turtles at sea!

When booking a turtle boat trip…
…ask that the voluntary code of conduct for sea turtle observation at sea, endorsed by the National Marine Park, is respected.

Before you climb aboard… …be informed of the turtle-friendly observation practice: a maximum of 2 vessels observing one sea turtle at a time, with very low speed –less than 2 nautical knots– during the observation. All other vessels must be at least 45 meters away.

When aboard and observing…
…make sure that silence is kept and that the maximum observation time is 10 minutes.

When piloting a vessel in the bay…
…respect the “no go areas” and the 6 nautical knots speed limit.

Keep in mind that…
…turtles at sea must always be approached from the side and observation vessels must keep a 15 meters distance from the animal at all times.

Keep in mind that…
…sea turtles live in the wild, please avoid feeding as well as touching or swimming with the animals.

The National Marine Park of Zakynthos was founded in 1999, with the initiative of ARCHELON and the support of other environmental organizations. The Park is a Natura 2000 site , part of the European Ecological network of site (GR2210002). About 25,000 visitors were informed in the summer of 2022 by ARCHELON about the protection of sea turtles in Zakynthos.

ARCHELON was founded in 1983, it is a non-profit association with the aim of studying and protecting sea turtles and their habitats. Every year, more than 500 volunteers from all over the world help us protect sea turtles in Greece.


Crete- Rethymno


Amvrakikos Gulf

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