The Shipwreck


Ship wreck Zakynthos Zante

‘Where are all these cigarettes from?’

‘From the ‘Panayiotis’, the smugglers ship that got wrecked in the Bay of Spirili’.

‘Show me.’

It’s 1980-something.  Stavros Marmatakis is a photographer visiting a friend in the area.  He comes across the cigarettes in his friend’s storeroom.

He is shown up to a spot on the cliffs and that, according to my guidebook, is how the first ever photo of THAT view was captured.

‘We have to go and find it’ says Anni.  We are in Zakynthos checking out the lovely Emerald Villas.  I open my maps app to see how to get there.  Anni unfolds the huge paper map and locates it in 3 seconds.  My 3G is still swirling.  ‘Its only 8 km from the villas’ she calculates and we are off.

I want to find the original photo.  I want to know if the smugglers got caught.  Anni, like Stavros, just wants to see it.

We arrive and find a dusty car park.  We can see 2 porta-loo’s (I’m good, thanks) and several stalls with people hawking local produce.  But no sign of any white beaches or shipwrecks.  We sample delicious orange honey marmalade and pop the question.

‘You can see it from the platform behind me’ says the honey man, ‘but you get a better view from the cliff over there.’ He points to a spot on the distant horizon where people are dots perched on the top of a cliff with a vertical drop of several hundred metres.

‘Perhaps we better stick to the platform’ I say to thin air as Anni is picking her way through the undergrowth in the direction of ‘the better viewing point’.

I’m not good with heights or dark places.  So fortunately for me this is only one fear to work through.  But it’s worth it.  The view is impossible to put into words.  Luckily there are photos


Myself and Anni. Oh and the shipwreck

You can reach the shipwreck or ‘Navagio’ by road (viewing from above like we did) or by boat to see it up close and personal.  By car its just 8km form the Emerald villas.  Boats leave regularly from the St Nikolas harbor which is 900 metres from the villas.  It’s a 3 hour round trip and you also take in the blue caves on the way.  The price by boat is 15 euros per adult, but there are several operators from the harbor so you may get it cheaper when one of them tries to lure you away from the other!


If you are walking it, take sensible shoes.  Flip-flops will not protect your feet from the spiky little bushes or sharp stones.  Take a hat and a bottle of water and hang on to small, inquisitive people!  If you are going by boat take water and sunscreen – the sun reflects off the white shingle and cliffs and there is no shade.

We visited the shipwreck whilst staying in the lovely Emerald Villas which is just 8 kms from the viewing point and less than a kilometre to Aghios Nickolas port where you can get a boat.

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