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A visit to Olympia Shipwreck in Amorgos

by Nikos Taskos
16 minutes read

Shipwrecks are hauntingly beautiful.

And that’s why I couldn’t miss an opportunity to visit Olympia Shipwreck during my summer vacations on Amorgos.

The Shipwreck of Amorgos, officially called Olympia Shipwreck, is one of the most melancholic yet beautiful sights of the island. Rotting under the elements of nature, its rusting hull is now an integral element of the landscape.

And the best thing?
The shipwreck is easily accessible and visible from the shore nearby.

The bay where the shipwreck is (Image © Miles with Vibes)

Olympia Shipwreck – the short story

“Olympia Shipwreck”, previously called “Inland” sank in February 1980. The captain was looking for a safe place near the coast of Amorgos to find shelter from the strong north winds.

The shipwreck is also featured in the French filmLe Grand Bleu” by Luc Besson and other documentaries.

Where is Olympia shipwreck?

The shipwreck is in the small Liveros Bay, in the SW corner of Amorgos. The sight is really close to Kalotaritissa beach, so you can visit both on a day trip.

How to get there

Head towards Kato Meria, the south part of the island. Just before arriving at Kalotaritissa beach, on the right side of the road, you’ll see a sheepfold. Chances are you’ll spot cars parked alongside the road so that’s where you also stop. The start of the path is located here.

(Image © Miles with Vibes)

Quick Info

Trail Type: Out and backRecommended time: 1 hour (return)
Surface: Dirt track (unmarked)Equipment: Water, hat, sun lotion, trainers
Difficulty: EasyHighlights: A half-sunk rusty shipwreck

The track

As soon as you start walking down the path, Olympia Shipwreck will come into view. From a completely barren landscape, you’ll get into an area with short trees and then again, you’ll walk without any cover down the hill.

View of the shipwreck from the path (Image © Miles with Vibes)

Even if the relatively easy descent won’t last more than 15 mins, make sure to wear a hat, sunscreen & trainers. Don’t forget to get your camera, as the scenery is awesome.

Best time to visit

The track is more enjoyable either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, right before the sunset. Not only you will avoid the heat of the sun but you will have the track and the shipwreck for yourself.

The Shipwreck of Amorgos

Getting to the beach near the shipwreck allows you to get some amazing shots from up close.

The windy cove along with the waves going through the rusty deck of Olympia Shipwreck create a mysterious, eerie atmosphere.

Getting closer for some well-placed pics (Image © Miles with Vibes)

Sadly, you will find trash around the beach. Even though volunteers clean the beach from time to time the wind and the shipwreck bring in a lot of rubble.

How to get great shots

Move on to the right side of the beach on a cave-like shelter. From there you can get a bit closer to the shipwreck while remaining protected from the sun in the afternoon.

Can I get inside the shipwreck?

Swimming around or inside the shipwreck is discouraged. The water is far from clean and the rusty ship can be dangerous. Visit the nearby Kalotaritissa beach for a good swim.

The interior of the shipwreck (Image © Nikitas Giannakos)

Olympia Shipwreck is visited by many tourists yearly, especially after it was featured in the French film “Le Grand Bleu” in 1988. The director, Luc Besson, shot many scenes in Amorgos, making the shipwreck & Agia Anna beach world famous.

Can you spot it?

The ship’s original name, “Inland”, is still visible even 70 years later. Look near the bow!

An old and epic story

The ship was built in 1950, at Goole Shipbuilding & Repairing Company, in Yorkshire, England. Its “birth” name was INLAND and then STRYMON (1979).

It got its final name, OLYMPIA, in July 1979, sailing under Cypriot flag until it sank in 1980.

Once upon I time, I was young… (Image © Amorgos Yachting)

An attempt was made to remove the shipwreck with a tug boat, Matsas Star, but without success. Since then, Olympia Shipwreck is rusting near the shore.

  • Olympia shipwreck is not in Kalotaritissa beach, but in the nearby Liveros Bay
  • The boat was not attacked by pirates, it was hit by a storm and sank
  • The crew were not modern pirates smuggling illegal goods out of Greece. Or maybe they were?
(Image © Miles with Vibes)

But what really happened that day back in history?

The ship headed to Tartus, a city on the Mediterranean coast of Syria when it was hit by bad weather near Makares Islands.

According to the locals, the gale-force north winds reached 10 Beaufort on that day. The captain of the ship desperately sought shelter in Amorgos coast, amongst the storm.

After a failed attempt to drop anchor in Liveros Bay the waves threw it directly to the rocks. Luckily, the crew managed to abandon the ship and a bigger tragedy was avoided.

The ship’s crew was 4 Greeks, 2 Egyptians and 1 Iraqi.

Image © Nikitas Giannakos
How do we know all those details?

An adventurer, Nikitas Giannakos, climbed on the shipwreck back in 2000. Not only he published many photos of its rusty interior but also saved a lot of the ship’s documents.

Is Olympia shipwreck worth it?

For all those shipwreck-hunters out there Olympia Shipwreck is a great opportunity to get up close with a relic of the past.

The beach where the ship “rests” is easily accessible so it would be a great idea to make a stop on your way from or to Kalotaritissa beach.

Watching the deteriorating ship, as the waves are getting through its decks, is a melancholic sight. But an impressive one, nevertheless.

(Image © Miles with Vibes)

A visit to the shipwreck of Amorgos is an alternative thing to do while you are in the southern part of the island and is highly recommended.

And remember, take only memories (and some great shots) and leave only footprints!

Environmental Impact

Whether or not I am enchanted by shipwrecks and enjoyed my visit to Olympia Shipwreck, leaving a half-sank ship to rust near the shore is not a good idea. Shipwrecks are among the biggest sources of marine pollution. Their metal structures are aging and deteriorating, thus, threatening to release their contents right into the sea.

Know before you go

How can I get to Olympia Shipwreck?

The ship is in the SW corner of Amorgos, near Kalotaritissa beach and can be reached by car. For the exact map location click here!

Is access to the shipwreck difficult?

The track leading to the beach and the shipwreck is not demanding or dangerous. You will need approx. 15 mins to go down. View more info about the track here!

Do I need any special equipment?

No special equipment is needed to reach the shipwreck. Make sure to wear a hat & sunscreen, trainers and don’t forget your camera. Read more about Olympia Shipwreck here!

What’s the best time to visit?

I would suggest visiting the shipwreck between 19:00 to 20:00, during summer. The sun is not too hot, the sunlight is ideal for photos and the track is less crowded. View photos of the shipwreck here!

Can I swim around or inside the shipwreck?

I recommend against getting too close to Olympia Shipwreck or swimming anywhere near it. The water in Liveros Bay is not clean and a shipwreck rusting for half a century is always dangerous. Visit Kalotaritissa beach instead!

Watch before you go

Le grand bleu (1988) – the fictional story of the friendship and sporting rivalry between two leading contemporary champion free divers in the 20th century

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