Things to do in Zakynthos (Zante)

zakynthos shipwreck

Many visitors packing the Sunflower Complete Guide to Zakynthos (Zante) will be visiting the island to go walking. But Gail Schofield, the author, has also described a wide selection of car tours covering all the beauty spots on this enchanting island – the third largest of the Ionian Islands.

One of the island’s must-see attractions is the world-famous Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach. Although the beach can be seen from a nearby cliff-top viewing area, it is inaccessible by land, so a boat trip is required to reach it and see the shipwreck up close. Rest assured there is no shortage of operators running excursions from various parts of Zakynthos!

So what is the story?

The ship, the Panagiotis, was originally built in Scotland on the River Clyde and launched in 1937 under the name Saint Bedan. A 450-ton vessel of some 50 metres length by 8 metres width, the ship had several changes of name over the years before being named Panagiotis in 1975.

In 1980 it is said that while thought to be smuggling contraband, the vessel was being pursued by the Greek Navy when it encountered a storm and ran aground in its present location. For some time after the storm islanders are reputed to have enjoyed cigarettes and liquor found on the wreck!

To what extent this story is true remains in doubt, but the wreck is undoubtedly a major attraction for the island. Maybe this is why there are some who even believe the ship was deliberately grounded by Greek authorities for the purpose of promoting tourism!

This excursion is just one possibility during your holiday enjoying walking in Zakynthos (Zante).