In an effort to enforce newly implemented stringent beach regulations, Greece has launched the ‘MyCoast’ app, empowering users to report beach violations effortlessly.

Announced by Greek Economy & Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis and Digital Governance Minister Dimitris Papastergiou, the ‘MyCoast’ app offers a user-friendly platform accessible for free on smartphones and tablets. With GPS services activated, users can pinpoint beaches on the map and verify their concession status.

Should users encounter unauthorized installations or restricted access issues, such as excessive sunbeds or umbrellas, they can swiftly lodge complaints with a brief description. These complaints will be recorded in the Economy Ministry’s “Register of Coast and Beach Concessions” for review by pertinent authorities. In the near future, the app will integrate artificial intelligence technology to monitor reported violations in real-time, bolstering enforcement capabilities.

Aligned with broader governmental goals of ensuring equitable beach access, enhancing concession transparency, optimizing public property usage, and fostering environmental conservation, ‘MyCoast’ aims to address concerns raised by residents and tourists regarding restricted access due to commercial activities.

In instances of app malfunctions, users can escalate violations directly to the police for prompt action. Available for download on the App Store and soon to be accessible via the Play Store, ‘MyCoast’ represents a proactive step towards safeguarding Greece’s renowned coastlines.

Accompanying this technological intervention is a new legislative framework imposing stricter beach regulations. Mandating that 70% of beach space remain free of sunbeds, the bill aims to alleviate overcrowding and ensure orderly beach environments. Additional measures include maintaining 85% sunbed-free space in protected areas and enforcing a minimum four-meter distance between sunbeds and shorelines to facilitate easy access to the water.

Furthermore, the prohibition of sunbeds, umbrellas, and other constructions on 198 designated beaches, known as “Apatites Paralies” (Untouchable beaches), underscores the government's commitment to preserving shoreline integrity. Identified in collaboration with the Natural Environment & Climate Change Agency (OFYPEKA), these protected beaches include areas near or within Natura 2000 sites, marine parks, and various islands and mainland locations.

As Greece prepares for the summer season, these comprehensive measures seek to ensure enjoyable and sustainable beach experiences for residents and visitors alike. Photo by Elenapaint from Hellas (Greece), Wikimedia commons.