Pilfering Pebbles From This Greek Beach Could Cost You $1,170

Aug 29, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Like collecting rocks? Lalaria Beach on the Greek island of Skiathos is not the place to acquire your next find.

Described by Travel+Leisure as “one of the most idyllic beaches in the world” in part for its clear waters, this special beach is also renowned for the distinctive smooth, white pebbles that comprise its shoreline. The stones are called lalaria in Greek and unique to the eponymous beach. Lalaria Beach is only accessible by passenger boat or after some serious hiking, and pebble-pinching behavior from tourists and a few locals has significantly damaged the landscape over the last few years. In response, the Cultural Association and Skiathos Port Authority has posted signs admonishing visitors to “take a picture, not a pebble,” and has also begun enforcing a fine of between $468 to $1,170 for anyone caught stealing Lalaria’s unique rocks for souvenirs.

This is just the latest in a slew of incidents involving tourists disrupting the ecological balance of a natural habitat, causing long-term harm or damage. Sardinia, the second-largest island in Italy, charges a steep fine of up to $4,000 for pilfering rocks, shells and sand from its beaches. “Taking away even a single bottle of sand in memory of the holidays makes the patient and long work of nature in vain,” said the administrator of a Facebook page in support of Sardinia’s beaches. “Keep the memories in your mind but do not take (sand) away because it does not belong to you but belongs to everyone.” Another Italian island only admits 1,000 visitors per year in order to preserve its environment. In the Philippines, popular beach destination Boracay has been closed for six months due to a massive build-up of garbage, pollution and other hazards. And in Thailand, Maya Bay has been closed for three months due to over-tourism, in hopes that the coral reef there may be able to recover from the impact.

All images from Getty Images. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.