Navagio Beach (Greek: Παραλία Ναυάγιο, pronounced [naˈvaʝio]), or Shipwreck Beach, is an exposed cove, sometimes referred to as "Smugglers Cove", on the coast of Zakynthos, in the Ionian Islands of Greece. Navagio Beach was originally known as Agios Georgios.
On 2 October 1980, the coaster MV Panagiotis, ran aground in the waters around Zakynthos Island on Navagio Beach during stormy weather and bad visibility. Some rumours claim the ship was smuggling contraband; however official sources did not confirm this, and the captain was not convicted for such offences. After the captain alerted the authorities, 29 locals were convicted of looting the cargo and valuable equipment from the wrecked ship. The ship was abandoned and still rests buried in the limestone gravel of the beach that now bears the nickname Shipwreck. Recently released court documents and photos relating to the incident back up the smuggler story. Panagiotis was allegedly making its way from Turkey with a freight of contraband cigarettes headed for Italy. Encountering stormy weather, the ship ran aground in the cove, where the crew abandoned her to evade the pursuing Navy.
The beach was briefly closed in 2018, and swimming and boat anchoring were forbidden, after a cliff collapse above the beach dropped a large amount of rock. The beach reopened and anchoring is permitted, but with restrictions out of concerns over future landslides.
Also in 2018, the beach was named as the world's best beach in a poll by over 1,000 travel journalists and professionals.
- Dilouambaka, Ethel. "How Did The World's Most Famous Shipwreck Come To Be?". Culture Trip. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
- Epp, Linda. "Navagio Beach History, Shipwreck and BASE Jumping". Xplorables.com. Archived from the original on 23 August 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- Χριστοδούλου, Κωστής (3 October 2017). "Ναυάγιο Ζακύνθου: 37 χρόνια πριν. Όταν η θάλασσα γέμισε πακέτα από λαθραία τσιγάρα" [Zakynthos shipwreck: 37 years ago. When the sea filled with packs of smuggled cigarettes]. News 24/7.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 2 August 2021.
- "Η πραγματική ιστορία του Ναυαγίου της Ζακύνθου" [The true story of the Shipwreck of Zakynthos]. Zougla online (in Greek). 14 June 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
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- keeptalkinggreece (14 September 2018). "Zakynthos Shipwreck beach closed until 'further notice'. What's next?". Keep Talking Greece. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
- GCT (23 September 2018). "Navagio Beach reopens to the public for first time since landslide – Greek City Times". Greek City Times. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
- worlds50beaches (27 November 2018). "The World's 50 Best Beaches 2018". The World's 50 Best Beaches. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
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