Crystal clear waters, a breathtaking natural environment, and an exciting nightlife are what make Zakynthos one of Greece’s most popular island getaways. Also known as Zante, Zakynthos is home to a number of beautiful coves and caves, which serve as a habitat of the Greek sea turtle Carreta.
On the west coast of Zakynthos, tucked away in a cove known as Navagio Bay, are the remains of the Panagiotis. Legend has it that the Panagiotis was a smuggling ship carrying cigarettes, wrecked in the process of avoiding local authorities in the early 1980s. Because of its seemingly perfect placement in the cove, a truly picturesque scene, some believe the ship was set there purposely as a tourist attraction.
Nevertheless, the ship and beach are a precious sight to see, and an even greater experience up close. Steep cliffs surround this secluded area, while bright white pebbles below enhance the wonderfully turquoise waters that add that extra special touch to a great visit. What makes the bay even more distinctive is the fact that it is accessible only by water, oftentimes visited by tourist ferryboats and private yachts. A viewing platform above the cove makes for great memorable photographs, and a breathtaking view of the Panagiotis and Navagio Bay.
The shipwreck is a piece of art in itself, as visitors over the years have left their initials, messages, and marks etched in its rusty walls. Aside from swimming in breathtaking waters, exploring the wreckage of the boat is yet another one-of-a-kind experience this unique location offers lucky visitors. Some of the most avid tourists, especially the Italians, love to climb onto the ghost ship, at their own risk of course.
In summertime, the cove and shipwreck attract thousands of tourists. To avoid large crowds during peak season, it is best to visit early in the morning or later in the evening. The beach is bereft of restaurants or cafes, so it is suggested you visit fully equipped with anything you may need, and plan on taking it back with you, as there is also no garbage can around! Various ferryboat tours leading to the shipwreck also include visits to nearby and equally stunning areas known as the Blue Caves.