Best time to travel to Greece

Sea Turtles in Greece

Visit some of the wonderful Greek beaches, which are home to the adorable Caretta turtles

Best time: late May–October

Sea Turtles
Sea Turtles

Once you are in Greece, make sure you have these beaches on your list. Zakynthos, Kyparissia, Lakonikos, Rethymno, Chania, Messenia, and Koroni are seven biggest egg-laying destinations for turtles.

During the nesting season, which lasts from late May to August, you can observe sea turtles in their natural habitat during the daytime. The Caretta or Loggerhead Sea Turtle can measure up to one meter in length and weigh up to 90 kg. Be careful and make sure to leave the beaches before night time to give them space to nest.

Later on, hatchlings appear, starting from late July. At this time, beach-goers are asked not to interfere with the baby turtles when they start getting out of their nests. The only thing that people can do is brush off the hot sand so it's easier for them to get to the sea. Tourists should stay away from and not try to lift the turtles and carry them to the sea because this first journey is supposed to strengthen their bodies. Also, tourists shouldn't pour water on turtles because it may confuse them. Only one in a thousand baby turtles survives after the hatching.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit the Greek beaches to observe sea turtles?

If watching sea turtles is your thing, plan your trip to Greek beaches from late May to October. This coincides with the nesting season and you can observe sea turtles in the daylight. The hatching season begins from late July, and baby turtles start popping out of their nests. When you visit during this time, make sure not to interfere with the babies and give them their space. Show more

Where are some of the biggest egg-laying destinations for turtles in Greece?

For the best chance to spot egg-laying Caretta turtles up close in Greece, you should visit Zakynthos, Kyparissia, Lakonikos, Rethymno, Chania, Messenia, or Koroni. Local authorities carefully monitor these seven beaches to protect the turtles and their nesting locations. These places are hotspots for observing these gentle creatures in their natural habitat. Show more

How can tourists help during hatching season?

If you're visiting Greek beaches during the hatching season and want to contribute to the survival of baby turtles, please give them their space. Brush off hot sand for easier access to the ocean and do not interfere or try to lift or carry baby turtles. You can also avoid pouring water on the turtles, which can increase their confusion. Give them a chance to strengthen their bodies for the journey to the sea. Show more

What is the size and weight of the Caretta or Loggerhead Sea Turtle?

The Caretta or Loggerhead Sea Turtle, the largest hard-shelled turtle species in the Mediterranean, can range up to one meter in length and weigh as much as 90 kilograms. Easily identifiable by their heart-shaped shells, these turtles come in a variety of colors from yellow and olive to reddish-brown. They prefer nesting sites in warmer waters and have long lifespans, up to 50 years. Show more

What is the survival rate of baby sea turtles after they hatch in Greece?

Baby sea turtles face an uphill battle to survive from their first steps on Greek beaches. The survival rate is one in a thousand, so it's imperative for beach-goers to refrain from interfering with the baby turtles during this time. Without interference, these vulnerable creatures have a much better chance of reaching the open sea and gradually improving their odds of living a long, healthy life. Show more

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