The main island of the Lipsi island group, in the northern part of the Dodecanese, is only eight kilometers long and has a population of less than a thousand people. The port of its main town, and the coves and beaches of this little archipelago within an archipelago, are a popular destination among sailing tourists, who come here not just for shelter from the winds, but for the rugged beauty of the coastal landscape and the sparkling turquoise waters – yet many foreign tourists still have never heard of it.
The island features few hotels and even fewer luxury homes with swimming pools (27 accommodations are listed on Booking.com and 38 on Airbnb, some of which are the same). There’s no nightlife to speak of, and few organized activities. However, these are not downsides, according to Mayor Fotis Maggos. “In Lipsi we apply a tactic that’s innovative both for Greece and for Europe. We remove the excess and keep the substance. We actively support the replacement of plastic, the “abolishment” of the sunbed, and minimized use of cars due to our short distances. On Lipsi, you feel… complete, just as our campaign for this year says,” he states in a press release for the campaign.
Launched by the Municipality of Lipsi, the campaign consists of five half-minute videos, which hone in on the island’s strongest asset: its rural natural beauty. Vacations here, they tell the viewer, are an extreme alternative to all-inclusive resorts and busy tourist destinations, but also a perfect opportunity to slow down, power down, and lay down… on the rocks; One of the videos, currently attracting the attention of Greek media, highlights the fact that on Lipsi, one of the modern comforts we’ve grown used to, sunbeds, are superfluous. “On Lipsi, you won’t need sunbeds because… Nature has your back!”
Indeed, the wonderful beaches here are sunbed-less.
Another video, showing off the bright turquoise water around the tiny islets, states “On Lipsi, you won’t need a swimming pool because… our islands have got their own!” Yet another, aimed towards sailing tourists, features the sentence “On Lipsi, you don’t need a car… Just go with… the flow!”
It’s worth mentioning that Lipsi is renowned for taking good care of their nature, not least thanks to the fact that locals have managed to cut their plastic bottle usage in half by making use of water desalination kiosks along the port – one of the most impressive environmental initiatives carried out on the Greek islands. While over-tourism can be harmful to the environment, the aim of the new campaign, which is in Greek, is not to draw more tourism than the islands can handle. Neither are there plans to change the character of the islands. As another video point out: “On Lipsi, you won’t need a 5-star resort because… you’ll have your own private island!”
This article first appeared in Greece Is (www.greece-is.com), a Kathimerini publishing initiative.