Landslides Threaten Greece’s Famous “Shipwreck Beach”

Experts warn the rock walls surrounding the popular landmark may crumble without notice.


The look of one of Greece’s most iconic and photographed spots, Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach, on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, might soon change. Experts believe that the high rock walls surrounding the beach, from which instagrammers love to pose and daredevils like to base jump, are on the verge of crumbling.

Landslides have occurred in the past already, most recently in a traumatic event for beach visitors four years ago, after which the sea turned milky white. Visitors to the beach are urged to practice caution.

 

Seismologist Gerasimos Papadopoulos expressed his concern about the safety of beach goers on Sunday, writing in a Facebook post how, on a work-related visit to the beach, he witnessed large groups of tourists sitting directly beneath the rock wall. “With one earthquake, they will collapse. Even without an earthquake, as was the case about 4 years ago, when a part of the slope – a small part fortunately – collapsed, causing a small tsunami which had visitors running in panic to save themselves. Next time, we might be unfortunate instead of fortunate. I didn’t step onto the beach. I didn’t want to experience such an incident.”

Earlier this year, Greece’s tourism minister, Vasilis Kikilias, stated that the picturesque cove, featuring the wreck of the MV Panagiotis which ran aground in 1980, is the country’s second most photographed spot after the Acropolis. The Tourism Ministry has reportedly been working on a project for restoration of safe access to the location.

 



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