Tag: landslide

The bewitching but dangerous beauty of Santorini’s Red Beach

Share

Red Beach Santorini

Santorini’s Red Beach is seen in an image from EscapeGreece.com 

 

[Editor’s Update: If you plan to visit Santorini in 2018, please beware that Red Beach is officially closed to the public. Click here to read about a landslide that occurred on Red Beach in April 2018 and led island authorities to re-issue warnings that the beach is off limits because it’s too dangerous to visit.] 

 

Rockfall risk: Since Santorini enjoys a worldwide reputation for superlative natural scenery, it’s not surprising that the island’s remarkable Red Beach regularly garners glowing accolades from international travel publications and leading lifestyle websites — along with ample attention on social media, where thousands of people have posted selfies that they shot on and near the colourful coastal attraction.

During my routine online work and research, I frequently find articles in which travel magazines and websites declare Red Beach to be one of the world’s “best,” “most beautiful,” “most unusual” or “most colourful” beaches, and recommend it as a “must-see” for anyone visiting Santorini.  Photos of the distinctive strand, which is also known as Red Sand Beach, appear even more often on websites and social media pages dedicated to travel in Greece, and in particular for hotels and tour companies operating on Santorini.

What the articles, posts and photo captions rarely mention, however, is that Red Beach is a veritably perilous place to sunbathe, swim or stroll. In recent years, there have been several significant rockfalls and landslides from the crimson-coloured bluffs that rise behind the narrow strip of scarlet-tinged pebbles and stones, and geological experts believe it’s possible that more cliff sections could collapse onto the beach at any time. (There are anecdotal claims that two beachgoers were killed by a landslide a few years ago, but I couldn’t find any news reports confirming the fatalities or date of the accident.)

 

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by TripAdvisor member Chris B

Red Beach is seen on a sunny April afternoon in a photo by TripAdvisor review contributor Chris B

 

Red Beach Santorini

During peak season in past years, sunbeds have been available for rent, as seen in this photo from the Santorini Hotels Facebook page

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Cecil Ramirez

In April, Facebook member Cecil Ramirez captured this photo of the imposing red stone cliffs that tower above Red Beach

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Daena K Nicholas

Major rockfalls have occurred at Red Beach several times in the past decade. Two of the larger landslides are clearly visible in this photo shared on Facebook by Daena K Nicholas

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Jc Male

Red Beach has been “closed” since August 2013 because of fears more landslides could occur, and since stones and boulders loosen and plunge from the cliffs on occasion. But warning signs like this one, shown in a Facebook photo by Jc Male, have not deterred thousands of people from going to the beach.

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Daniel Dias da Silva Facebook photo of Red Beach Santorini

Sunbathers sit near the foot of one of the larger landslides, seen in a Facebook photo by Daniel Dias da Silva. Fences were installed to keep people from climbing the cliffs and landslip rubble because that could trigger further collapses of the rock face.

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Nikky Dudek

The safest way to see Red Beach is from the sea or from a distance on a hilltop vantage point like this one captured in a Facebook photo by Nikky Dudek

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading about Red Beach on page 2 of this post, where you can view videos and dozens more photos of this singular Santorini beach.

 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Pages: 1 2

Two of Lefkada’s top beaches buried by landslides during November 17 earthquake

Share

Egremni beach on Lefkada

This photo of Egremni beach, from Lefkas.net, shows why it has often been cited as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches 

  Egremni beach Lefkada

Most of Egremni is now buried from landslides triggered by the earthquake that struck Lefkada on November 17, as shown in this aerial photo by Antonis Nikolopoulos for the Eurokinissi press agency

 

Clifftops collapsed:  An earthquake that struck Lefkada island on November 17 made headlines around the world, with international media reporting what little information was available at the time about collapsed buildings, widespread property damage and two deaths directly attributed to the Richter 6.1-magnitude tremblor. Greek media have since revealed that two of the island’s top beaches also sustained extensive damage from landslides that occurred during the quake.

Egremni beach, which has often scored high rankings on lists of the world’s best and most beautiful beaches, suffered the most severe damage, with landslides burying much of the long, narrow strand. Landslides also damaged the scenic beach strip at popular Porto Katsiki, but the rockfalls there apparently were much less extensive and destructive. Tons of soil, sand and rocks swept onto the beaches after being shaken loose from the dramatic 150-meter-tall cliffs that tower over the two spectacular seasides.

I have never been to either beach,  but have been enthralled by both from awe-inspiring photos I have viewed online and in travel publications, and from all the good things I’ve heard about them — and about Lefkada in general — from a Greek-Canadian acquaintance who has long been urging me to visit the island, his personal favourite holiday destination in Greece.

Although I didn’t have plans to visit Lefkada in the next two years, I did hope to get there sometime in the future. It’s sad to think the two beaches might never look as gorgeous as they did before the quake, though there is a strong chance that Porto Katsiki, at least, may eventually regain much of its former glory with the help of Mother Nature. Greek news reports have quoted geological engineering experts as saying that winter weather will probably wash away much of the soil debris that currently covers parts of Porto Katsiki beach. In fact, the normal course of nature could restore much of that beach to its former look by the time next summer’s tourist season rolls around, one expert surmised. 

 

Porto Katsiki beach Lefkada

Dreamy Porto Katsiki beach is seen in this inviting image that Flickr member Out to Lunch captured during a visit in the summer of 2014. It’s one of my favourite photographs of the beach, and illustrates one of the reasons why I hope to visit Lefkada sometime — I want to see the amazing scenery in person.

 

Porto Katsiki beach Lefkada

Large mounds of sand and stone cover much of Porto Katsiki beach in this image provided to Greek website newsbeast.gr by Efthimios Lekkas, a professor at the University of Athens and President of the Earthquake Planning and Protection Organisation (EPPO)

 

Please click here or on the link below to continue reading on page 2 of this post, where you can view more photos along with videos showing Egremni and Porto Katsiki before, during and after the earthquake.

 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Pages: 1 2

error: Content is protected !!