The Loggerhead is the most common sea turtle in Greece and the Mediterranean.The colour of the upper shell (carapace) is brownish with a dark yellow plastron (underside of the shell). Quite often barnacles are found stuck to the shell. It is not known whether barnacles are pests or if they benefit the turtles somehow.
Mediterranean Loggerhead turtles are smaller than those in other parts of the world, with a shell length of about 85cm.Along with the rest of the species, it is threatened with extinction and therefore is protected by The Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece.
If you enjoy snorkelling you may see some areas in the shallow water covered with small, black sea urchins.
Please make sure you don't tread on these, as the spines will stick in your foot, and they are painful and difficult to remove. If you soak your foot in vinegar, this apparently helps to loosen the spines. Olive oil and toothpaste are said to help too.
But that's not very helpful advice if you happen to be on a beach! So we advise you to keep a pair of tweezers in your bag along with your sun lotion. It's also a good idea to visit a doctor when you get back to town, because even a tiny bit of spine left behind, can fester and be a major nuisance.
However, sea urchins do make a wonderful 'mezé' with fresh lemon juice squeezed over them. If you happen to be out with locals who know how to extract them from the rocks, then they are an extremely tasty snack!
Greek Easter Sunday 16 April
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