Talks on sale of land at Shipwreck beach.
Alarm bells are ringing over reports that the famous 'Shipwreck' holiday beach of Navagio on Zante may have been sold off to a property company with links to the Emir of Qatar. The most famous beach in Zakynthos, Navagio beach, attracts thousands of tourist visitors each year to its sheer white cliffs, turquoise waters and the historic shipwreck that lies beached on the shoreline.
Rumours are sweeping the island that a local family, who own much of the land surrounding the popular Navagio beach, are in serious talks to sell the site to an international real estate company, with strong links to the Emir of Qatar, for a reported €9 million.
Details began to emerge when the Public Revenue Service of Zakynthos revealed that a €400,000 deposit had been offered towards possible land transfer tax on the deal, although tax officials claim the property is probably worth double what is claimed.
However, it appeals the may also involve the Greek Church which has considerable property rights in the area, including the property title for the famous holiday beach itself.
Recently the Bishop Chrysostomos of Dodona announced that the Church has no intention of selling its property rights in the region and claimed the issue was already under investigation by legal officials on Zakynthos.
The Greek Church not only has a large amount of land on the island of Zante is also owns and runs the Monastery of Agios Giorgios of Krimes which is located above the famous Shipwreck Beach.
The photogenic Navagio beach is a must-see sight on the Greek holiday island of Zante , where the near-vertical cliffs plunge down to a deep scimitar of white pebble and sand.
Thousands of holiday visitors to Zante go on excursions to the famous shipwreck, also known as Smugglers Cove, which features on scores of Zante postcards and holiday brochures and there are daily boat trips from many resorts around the island.
The wreck is just a rusty old steamer that struck the beach while on a cigarette and booze smuggling expedition. It ran aground in poor weather while being pursued by a Greek navy patrol boat.
There are no roads to the remote spot and the easiest access is by sea. Day trips excursion boats arrive hourly at the beach bring hundreds of trippers every day.
It also stages an annual base jump competition with competitors jumping and parachuting down onto the beach from the top of sheer cliffs.
The Bishop said the potential transfer of surrounding property to an investor is at an early stage and that there are many loose ends to tie up before any deal is done and that the Church was closely monitoring developments.
It is understood that a large area land around the Zante beach, around 15,000 acres, is subject to negotiation between the company with connections to the Emir of Qatar and the descendants of an island family that claims deed going back to the 17th century.
A representative of the landowner claims all proper legal procedures have been following in the land sale but insists that the property in question does not include the monastery or the famous Navagio tourist beach.