Association of Camping site owners in Crete talks about free camping

camping in crete

No to Free Camping in Greece

Should free camping be legal in Greece? Last month we published the opinions of those who suggest that free camping should be legal anywhere in Crete and the rest of Greece.

However, where there is action there is always some reaction as well, thus, the Association of Camping Site Owners in Crete responds with its announcement:


Free Camping is no one’s right. Free camping is a plague for our society and our country. It is an action against the self employed and everyone working on the field called organized camping and children camps, but above all against nature. Free camping is about occupying a space for some days or longer periods of time, as it happens for example in Elafonissi, Chrissi (in Ierapetra), in Karteros, in Sougia.

Nature belongs to everyone; we don’t have any right to want it just for us. There are thousands of visitors, locals and foreigners who find themselves daily at the beaches of Elafonissi, in Balos, in Falassarna, in Sougia, in Paleochora.

We all love nature and protect the environment, and certainly not only us who work with organized camping. Our experience has taught us, though, that where there is free camping, there is only impingement, garbage and filth.

Both the country and the island is going through some unfavorable times, therefore we all need to be more responsible and avoid talking about the generalization of free camping and consider absurd the fact that the law 2160/1993 doesn’t allow individuals or shop owners to accept more than one camper onsite. What should they do? Turn into camp sites every piece of land close to the sea or any shop and bar?

All this means that we have strayed from our way, that we talk about one thing and mean another, that we try to serve certain demands, but it definitely doesn’t mean that we enjoy nature.

The natural beauties belong to everyone and nowhere in the world are they claimed for personal use; this way we keep these beauties to ourselves, preventing others to access and enjoy them as well.

We all have set up a tent somewhere during our lives; and we will probably do it again, somewhere where it doesn’t annoy anyone, where no one is prevented from accessing the space. This is something else and we should not confuse different things.

We all understand that the laws, democracy and the state in general gives us the right to celebrate, claim our rights and speak our minds but thankfully not to impose them. For all these reasons, the laws 392/76 and 2160/1993 could have solved the problem. We hope that this will happen in the future based on what is right and fair.

Unfortunately the organized illegal camping, with guides, instructions, photographs online and more, creates the impression that anyone can come to Crete for free vacations. This will result in the closure of our businesses and this is something no one wants. We will just denote that Crete used to have 25 camping sites, while today only 15 of them are operating today.

Free camping is and will be bringing more problems to tourism and this is something not to be overlooked. As far as nature is concerned, it will definitely beharmed. We are not the only ones in agony; we all want a healthy product and we do know that the Greek families with or without children, the students and all working people know what we mean.

The safety provided and ensured by organized camping sites against all possible dangers, such as thefts, rapes and drugs, and the strict specifications of hygiene imposed in organized camping sites make the true lovers of nature seek organized and not free camping.

Those who care should really care and if that is the case we can all sit and talk; maybe our opinions are different but no one should ignore the other opinion. We cannot allow the natural beauties, the beaches, the islands, the parking sites, the plazas to be full of campers and tents. ”

The Association of Camping Site Owners in Crete

Voulgarakis Manoussos
President of the Association


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