Navagio (shipwreck) beach - One of world's top beaches



The shipwreck beach (or, Navagio in greek) is one of the most famous beaches in the world. Maybe not by name neither by its location, but the photograph of the gulf and the beach is definately famous among people that like travelling, traditional wallpaper users, summer & nature lovers. 
The beach is often included in top 10 list of most beautiful beaches in the world, and stably has a position in the best beaches of Europe. Its unique formation, amazing blue sea color, clean waters embraced by white cliffs, topped up by an actual shipwreck make this beach one of a kind. 


Zakynthos is an island just off the coast of the Peloponnese Peninsula in Greece, and Navagio beach is located at its north-western shores. As the rest of the "Eptanisa" (the seven islands), Zakynthos is characterized by its clean waters, vibrant sea colors, combination of green and rocky scenaries, sea-caves and beautiful sandy beached. With regards to the island's main towns, it is located on the exact opposite side, and connected by sea for access to the beach, and with a street for the panoramic view. 

The story behind the shipwreck beach

The ship was spotted on 5 October 1980 by a Maritime Economic Police patrol boat and found to be carrying contraband cigarettes. The value of the approximately 2,000 boxes of cigarettes was estimated at 30 million drachmas (greek currency at the time). The crew claimed that, after the ship had been traveling between Kefalonia and Zakynthos for three days due to bad weather conditions, due to a mechanical failure they ran aground at Cape Schinari. For two days they remained trapped in a cave and then found refuge in the village of Volimes.
Until then, the coast was called Ai Giorgis (saint Georgios), while now it is popularly known simply as "Navagio".
What is also interresting, is that first the residents were worried because of the environmental disaster that they believed would be created by the specific ship with its cargo, and by extension also to the island's tourism. But a short time later it became a pole of attraction for domestic and non-domestic tourists, while it is ranked among the most beautiful beaches in Greece and the world.


The beach is accessible only by sea. There are several private boats with varying prices to bring you here, departing from various ports around the island. Tickets can be bought on the spot, even though some popular bigger boats have stands with someone selling tickets from the day before in the towns, or/and at the port. I have tried both the bigger and the smaller boats, and I definately prefer the smaller one. 
The panoramic view to the cliff and the beach is accessible by car (or motorbike). There is a big parking spot and then a queue to a platform above the cliff. Next to the platform there is also a small canteen, so you can have a snack, and more importantly, water. The ride there is around one hour from the main towns of the island, and on the way back you can de-tour and enjoy some of the beautiful beaches accessible by car. 

Tips and advice for the visit

While the beach is absolutely stunning and you will enjoy it either way, there are some tips that can result into a better experience:
  1. Remember to take water and at least a hat with you, as there is no shadow at the beach and neither an opportunity to buy something while you are here. Do not underestimate the greek sun, especially during afternoon hours. 
  2. Visit early. As early as possible. Around noon most of the boats full of tourists arrive, resulting into a fully occupied sea and a beach full of people. As the locals about the best timing, they know;
  3. Do not carry too many things with you. As you will jump on and off from the boat bringing you here in various locations along the journey most probably, you dont want to carry around a big backpack and electronics. You want to be as "light" as possible;
  4. Aim for a small boat to bring you here. Preferably one that has intermediate stops at the blue caves. Big boats dont fit in the caves, and they pass by them without stopping. 

Combination with the blue caves

On your way by boat to the beach, you will enjoy some amazing scenary, including cliffs, small beaches, grassy terrain and most importantly, caves. In these waters the rare (and unfortunately endagered) animals caretta caretta (sea turtle) and monachus monachus (seal) find home. While the seals are a real rare sighting, it is quite possible you will see a see turtle. They are big and absolutely adorable. 
The boat ride is kind of long, and thus it has some intermediate stops. Inform yourself about the alternative stops each provider does, and pick accordingly. Even though, the blue caves are definately the best option out there. 
The concept is simple: the boat goes inside the cave with super low speed, and then you jump into the water, swimming inside these amazing caves that are reflecting the clean blue water, creating a magical atmosphere. You enjoy your swim, explore the cave for 15-20 minutes, and hop on the small boat off to the next one. 


Navagio is an absolutely amazing beach, totally worth its reputation and fame. It is an extra reason to visit Zakynthos and spend your sumemr vacation here, and it should occupy a day in your callendar during your vacation in the island. It is a jewel for the greek tourism that attracks rightfully thousands of tourists, adventurers, backpackers, nature and landscape lovers or just people that want the wow factor from a unique scenary. 
When you visit Navagio, mark my words, you will think "oh wow, the photos did not use any filter after all". Because the natural beauty of this place and the colours of the water need no filter here.  

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