The problem was to develop the area of Eastern Lemnos, with respect to its high environmental value.
The problem was to develop the area of Eastern Lemnos, with respect to its high environmental value. The area has a great physical advantage in terms of sea-shores and winds for surfing, whereas protecting the environment and biodiversity.
Initial initiatives included the characterization as a Natura 2000 protected area for biodiversity, the conduction of a Special Spatial plan which was set as a legislative framework to mainly set building restrictions. In a second phase a fully featured development plan was conducted, including infrastructure interventions (road widening, bird observatory, recreational areas), with parallel actions for touristic promotion with respect to the surrounding. An Information Center was established in the area. All private investments in the area respected Natura 2000 restrictions and built removable camping tents of high quality.
The site met world famous recognition, in the surfing community and the entire area of Eastern Lemnos, during the last five years met a touristic boom. Several abandoned villages are now filled with tourists.
The main stakeholders of this project are:
• The Region of North Aegean-Regional Unity of Lemnos
• Anel S.A
• The former Municipality of Moudros (now Municipality of Lemnos)

Resources needed

Several infrastructure projects have been funded the last 15 years, through the R.O.P OF North Aegean, Leader and national funds, with a total estimate of 2 million Euros. Human resources included Municipality and Development Agency staff as well as external experts.

Evidence of success

• The place became famous worldwide for surfers
• At the site touristic development has respected the environmental restrictions and only mobile infrastructure with natural materials has been used
• Tourist visits have boomed
• A high quality camping facility with watersport school is established
• A variety of environmental tours is offered
• Abandoned houses and settlements in Eastern Lemnos have been renovated and available to tourists
• Groups of scientists conduct Habitat research

Difficulties encountered

The main objective of the project was to convert an underdeveloped area of high environmental value in terms of landscape and protected habitat to a worldwide eco-friendly touristic destination with no negative impacts to the species and landscape and to avoid building housing and mass tourism.

Potential for learning or transfer

This is an innovative tourism project that can be exploited as a pilot initiative for isolated islands.
The transfer of knowledge would be in how to avoid interventions that are beyond the limited carrying capacity of the area, as well as touristically develop it, avoiding mass tourism.
The basic elements regarding the implementation of this good practice and the factors that may contribute to the success of its implementation and to the transferability of the practice to other regions or countries throughout Europe are:
• Conduction of a mid to long term plan for the development of the area, whereas institutional provisions and laws were set in action prior to any infrastructure or development interventions
• Exploit European and national funding
• Raise sensitiveness of local actors, enterpreneurs and visitors to respect environmental institutional rules and provisions
• Close co-operation among local authorities, development agencies and the private sector
Main institution
Κρήτη, Greece (Ελλαδα)
Start Date
February 2002
End Date
July 2016


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