The shelter of tourist boats
Here we see the port as it is today, September 2011, it is actually almost ready, you can see in google earth is well.
The old fishing harbour of Benitses has became now a Shelter for tourist boats (Benitses yacht Marina), it began construction in 2002 as an extension of the existing port, it is officially completed but there are some damage to the equipment due to non-custodial and maintenance of the area over the years.
But soon problems will be overcome, the yacht marina will officially belong to the Municipality of Corfu and will operate normally.
A little of history
Because the Benitses people lived almost exclusively on fishing and the cultivation of citrus and olives, it was imperative to have some protection for the fishing boats so the residents decided to build a small harbour themselves.
The work began at once with volunteer residents and a few mechanical aids, and in the adjacent photograph we can see pictures of those early efforts.
So the current marina has not destroyed a beach as some people think, but it is an extension of the old port made by filling in part of the harbour to create a larger land area.
In the harbour area of Benitses two major engineering works have taken place, resulting in a loss of some of the picturesque landscape.
In the third from top picture we see how Benitses was in 1965 when the sea reached up to the doors of houses and we can compare the picture with today.
Of course, the inevitable development created needs that could not be fulfilled without such landfill, a major problem was that the road passed in front of the houses, it was narrow and very dangerous especially for residents even in the quieter 1960s.
Accidents happened and the landfill enabled the road to be moved away from the houses, which eliminated those problems and also accommodated the increasing traffic better.
The first infill began in 1972 and covered the creek in the old port where the road is now, and the second was during the construction of the marina and began in 2002 covering almost the entire area enclosed within the old harbour area.
We can see in the photo at the left the planning of the marina, and the areas covered by the landfills.
In red is the landfill of 1972, and in blue is the landfill of 2002.
The position of the old harbour is marked green on the plans.
Benitses yacht Marina now
The marina was started with the aim of attracting wealthy visitors and their yachts, attracting them with very high quality anchorage, and aiming to increase the income of Benitses both directly with fees, and indirectly, with the money these new visitors would spend..
Due to shortages and damage to the equipment and the lack of official operator, Port currently operates rudimentary, there are many ships moored and many who would like to be there but can not find space.
What the local residents now want is to finally clarify the commercial status of the port.
There are assurances by the new Municipal Authority about a completed management plan which will start soon and in any case before the end of 2014.
By the summer of 2015 the port will finally start to deliver profits to the area.