The most photographed beach in Greece and one of the most famous in the world, it appears in countless “Top 10” places of outstanding beauty that “you should visit at least once in your life”, in leading travel websites and magazines. But “Shipwreck” is just one of the beaches of unearthly beauty on the northwest coast of Zakynthos, one that managed to stand out thanks to a quirk of fate and a tale of illegality.
It was in September 1982 when the vessel Panagiotis was pushed onto the beach during one of the violent storms that frequently hit the sea region off Zakynthos. Until then, the beach had been known as “Spyrili”. The ship’s cargo, thousands of cartons of contraband cigarettes, was seized but the beach acquired its hallmark: the wrecked and rusting hull that lies half-submerged in the dazzling white sand, which now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world. “Shipwreck” beach is accessed only by sea, for most people on one of the day-trip boats that offer tours around the island. Each year, the beach is a magnet for groups of BASE jumpers, especially from Poland, who attract even more visitors with their breathtaking free falls.