Zakynthos authorities including the island’s Holy Metropolis which has jurisdiction over the popular Navagio beach said they had submitted to the tourism ministry and relevant forestry department, a plan for the overhaul of the area in the aftermath of a landslide incident earlier this year.
The plan, presented at a special event on the Ionian island this week, involves the creation of a theme park in the wider Navagio area including a series of tourist infrastructure projects set to cater to the thousands of visitors who flock to the site each year.
Among others the plan covering a 74-acre area will include a central area theme park, restaurant and cafe, 120-seat parking space for cars, buses and special needs vehicles, rest rooms, shops, info and ticket centers, medical facilities, conference center, and shaded rest areas.
Two key elements of the Navagio theme park will be a u-shaped skywalk offering access from above and an underground museum showcased by natural light.
Speaking at the event, Metropolitan of Zakynthos, Dionysios, representing the church, said the proposed plan was a “one-way street for the exploitation of the Navagio area, the promotion of our island and, above all, the safety of the thousands of visitors to the area”.
“I call on the competent state authorities to approve of the implementation of this plan. The local church will cooperate with every institution and implement this plan quickly on condition that all the necessary and legitimate state approvals are provided,” said Dionysios, adding that should there be no progress made, “unfortunately for our island, we will have to take steps to ban access to the wider region”.
Island authorities in April said the famed beach would re-open for the summer season with access allowed in certain safe zones.
Greece’s most popular beach, also ranked among the “World’s Top 50 Beaches”, the Navagio, also known as Shipwreck Beach, is only accessible by boat. The famed beach got its name from the MV Panagiotis, which ran aground in bad weather in the 80s’ while it was transporting contraband cigarettes.