Mounda Beach is the main sea turtle nesting beach on Kefalonia
It is so popular among turtles for the same reasons why it is among tourists. The beach has a gentle incline. This means that turtles do not use too much energy before they lay their nests. The water is very shallow, which means that it is easier for the turtle to survey the beach horizon making sure that it is safe from predators before coming out of the sea. Finally it is not very developed yet along the 2.8 km length of the beach. The main concern for the future is that tourist development will stretch further along the beach. With the increase in development other associated problems occur: sunbeds, watersports, lights, litter and increased beach usage, all of which have a detrimental impact on the nesting habitat.
The beach can be divided into two sections: Kaminia and Potamakia. Kaminia is the Western half, closer to Katelios. It is flat and wide, with tall bushes vegetation at the back. Some parts have rocks right in front of the shore. Most of it is covered with sun beds and umbrellas. There are 3 hotels and 1 small bar, and a road serving them that runs behind the vegetation for most part of the beach. Potamakia starts right after the big hotel. It is shorter, more narrow and generally steeper. It has sand dunes at the back with very short shrubs. It has no development, no sun beds and no umbrellas, less tourists.
The number of people frequenting Mounda Beach increases each season. To minimize human impact on this very important nesting habitat, and give turtles a better chance, we ask tourists and everyone on the beach to follow a few guidelines.
Mounda Beach is considered to be the most valuable area of coastline on Kefalonia for the reproduction of the Loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta. National and international treaties and directives protect sea turtles in general and Loggerhead in specific, and their habitats.
Caretta caretta is a priority species in the EU Habitats Directive (92/43).
All of Katelios bay, including Mounda beach, Agia Barbara and Katelios beach, is included in the NATURA 2000 network. It is a Special Area of Conservation and on paper it is granted special legal protection because of its importance.
The research and conservation of the population of sea turtles was started here in 1984 by a previous group of researchers and has gone on uninterrupted until today . Find out more about the history of the Katelios Group