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Greek Island Holidays

Zante's famous Shipwreck Cove

zante navagio shipwreck beach

The most photographed of Greek island beaches.

A boat trip to Shipwreck Cove is one of the most popular excursions for those on holiday in Zante and the beach must be considered one of the most spectacular sights in the Greek islands.

The setting is dramatic with a beach of white pebble and stone set in an ultramarine blue bay and enclosed on three sides by soaring vertical cliffs.

The Greek name for it is Navagio Beach but it is better known among tourists as Shipwreck Bay or Shipwreck beach and it must be one of the most famous and most photographed beaches in the Greek islands.

The beach home to the wreck of a ship called 'Panagiotis' that is believed to have run aground here while on a cigarette and booze smuggling expedition.

The small and isolated cove is located on the north-west shore of Zante, or as the Greeks have it Zakynthos Island, near the Anafotiria village.

The area is noted for its sheer limestone cliffs, its white stone beaches, and the clear blue water which attract thousands of tourists every year.

Navagio Beach can be reached overland but there are no roads and the walk is difficult. As a result most visitors arrive by boat with daily excursion trips from all over the island.

The beach was originally named after the saint Agios Georgios but in the early 1980s, Greek customs officials were tipped off about a freighter in the waters around Zakynthos with a contraband cargo of cigarettes and wine.

Navy patrol boats set off in pursuit but stormy weather and bad visibility resulted in the ship running aground right onto the beach.

The abandoned ship still rests on the white sand beach and, although it is little more than a rusting hulk, it has turned out to be one of the island's biggest tourist attractions.

The water around here is notoriously cold so only the brave will go for a swim while the beach swarms with day trippers as excursion boats arrive.

The cliffs not only make for great views they are also a perfect platform for extreme sports enthusiasts who launch themselves from the top with miniature parachutes strapped to their backs.

Big name base jumpers from across the world attend an annual cliff jumping event held here each August. As exciting as it must be, the sport is not without its dangers.

A British base jumper died recently when his parachute got snagged on the cliff face. He held onto the rocks for three hours before plunging to his death.

Greek Island Holidays

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