“A picture perfect setting awaits you at Navagio Beach, an exposed cove on the coast of Zakynthos. Visitors come from all corners of the world to grab photos of the famous ship wreck
,called Panagiotis. The gorgeous blue water is just stunning in contrast to the white cliffs and sand.“ – Jolene Ejmont – Wanderlust Story Tellers
The beauty of travel changes lives.
Traveling inspires, pushes you forward, makes you a better person. Broadens your horizons. The moment when we see (and meet) something new, something extraordinary, it stays carved in our brains until the end of our lives. No amount of money or material stuff can replace the joy of traveling and exploring this amazing planet.
Today I’m sharing something extraordinary with you. Something that will take your breath away. Something that you’ll remember for ever
The Europe’s cradle of civilization, Greece, hides many unreal places and experiences which every traveler should immerse into at least once in a lifetime.
My fellow travelers, meet the Navagio beach.
This mesmerizing place is one of the most popular attractions of Zante, and you can see why. The unbelievable formation of white sand and stone, fantastic turquoise waters, and a big rusty shipwreck make this place one of a kind.
The beauty of Navagio demonstrates the power of nature at its finest; the huge eroding stones accumulated the white sand (which is actually ground stone, and not a real sand) over thousands of years, and this place was a hidden gem of Mediterranean for a long time.
Today I will bring you closer to this place. You?ll find out how to get there, some interesting facts about it, what you can do at Navagio beach, what are the expenses, and more. Everything you?ll read here is knowledge accumulated through personal experience and extensive research. My aim is to provide the best information about Navagio, so you can add it to your bucket list and experience its glory. Let’s dive in!
Navagio is located in Zakynthos, an island in the Ionian sea, right off the east Peloponnese coast of Greece. To be more precise, the beach is in the northwest part of this island, close to Anafonitria village. It is surrounded by colossal white limestone cliffs on one side, and crystal clear blue waters on the other, making it accessible only by boat.
The funny thing is that there is a big chance you’ve probably seen some photos of this place since it is maybe THE most photographed location in the entire country, and naturally, it is the biggest tourist magnet of Zakynthos attracting thousands of visitors each summer.
Thanks to its beauty and unique setting it has been featured in recognized news websites such as Huffington Post’s The 40 Best Beaches on Earth (#2), and World’s 100 Best Beaches by CNN, to name a few.
Above the beach, there is a spot which offers an astonishing view of the white cliffs and the endless mesmerizing turquoise sea. The cove itself is very deep, enabling boats to dock. Have that in mind when you arrive; if you’re not a swimmer, you shouldn’t go into the water further than few feet. The beach is around 500 meters (1640 feet) wide, and about 50 meters (164 feet) long. The water is pretty salty, saltier compared to the water in resorts on Zante.
Perhaps even more famous than the mere beauty of this beach is the old, rusty ship sitting in its white sands, thus earning Navagio the nicknames Shipwreck Beach and Smuggler’s Cove.Here is a popular story about how the boat got there.
On October 1, 1980, the Greek authorities received a tip that a freight liner by the name of Panayiotis was smuggling contraband cigarettes. Allegedly, this illegal delivery was on its way from Turkey, and it was an order made by the Italian Mafia. In an attempt to escape the law, Panayiotis got stranded in the shallow waters of Navagio, and the crew fled the scene leaving the boat at the beach. Rumor has it that the locals took advantage of the cargo and that no tobacco products were sold on the island for the next four years.
As entertaining as it might be, this story is actually not true. Charalambos Kompthekras, the captain of Panayiotis, spoke about what really happened in a documentary, where he said the accident occurred due to bad weather and a mechanical failure.
How to reach Navagio Beach?
Now that you’ve gotten familiar with the history and splendors of the beach let’s proceed to the ways to get to it and experience it firsthand. As you can see on the map, most towns and resorts are situated in the south while Navagio is in the northwestern part. There are a few ways to get there, each differing in prices, time and mode of transport.
An important thing to know is that the beach itself is accessible ONLY by boat. Land transport will take you only to towns, ports, and the viewing platform on the cliffs above the beach. The places where a boat to Navagio is available are Zakynthos Town port, Agios Nikolaos port/beach, Skinari, and Porto Vromi.
What you need to know about the boat cruises
Middle-sized to big boats sail only from Zakynthos Town port, and these vessels provide more shade and space for the passengers. Smaller boats leave from the other three ports.
If you are starting your cruise from Zakynthos Town, Agios Nikolaos or Skinari (east side of the island), know that the tour to Navagio beach will usually include a stop at the amazing Blue Caves. Larger boats, unfortunately, cannot go inside the caves, so those who want to experience these natural wonders from the inside should opt for a smaller boat.
The length of the cruises can vary, depending on the location and vessel. The cruises from Zakynthos Town can last from 4-8 hours in respect to the type of boat.
So, what are the options? Well, that depends on where you are staying, and in this guide, you will find the optimal ways to reach Navagio considering your location on the island.
Take a cruise tour organized by an agency
This is perhaps the simplest way since the agency will arrange a bus which takes you from your resort to the port in Zakynthos town, where you’ll catch a cruiser, and bring you back to your accommodation after the tour.
The bus and boat ride are included in the price, so make sure to bring food and drinks with you, or just some extra money since you can buy it on the cruiser too.
You can find representatives of tour agencies such as MyTours in every resort, and they are reliable. When you arrange a trip with them, you’ll get instructions when to come to a pickup point, and enjoy for the rest of the day.
Depending on the agency, tour prices can range from €20-45 plus another €20 per person for food and beverages.
Take a car, quad or motorbike to one of the ports and catch a boat ride to Navagio
This is the priciest option, and it requires the most hassle, but it is perfect for those who enjoy going on adventures and exploring new places. This way you can see some amazing and not-so-famous spots, which you wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise, and create your unique tour of Zakynthos. In our opinion, this is the best option.
Those who haven’t arrived at Zakynthos by car don’t have to worry because there are car, quad and motorbike rentals in every resort.
The four ports where you can find boats to Navagio are located in different vicinities from the beach, which means that certain options will require more traveling by land and others more traveling by sea. The best choice for those who want to sail more is to take a boat from Zakynthos Town, and folks who want to drive more should go for the other three ports – Agios Nikolaos, Skinari and Porto Vromi. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages:
Taking a cruise ship from Zakynthos Town
- No hassle
- You get to see the whole island from the sea
- Unique caves and landmarks
- Swimming in several stops (Navagio, Blue Caves)
- Convenience of a big cruiser
- You don’t get to choose where you go
- Limited time to stay at the stops
Going solo on a rented bike/quad to a port of your choice
- Freedom of choice – you go wherever you want
- Stay as long as you want
- Great for couples or groups of friends – exploring Zante just by yourselves
- Unique experience and places that tourists usually don’t see
- Logistics problems – resources/expenses, map handling
- It can be tiring
To make it easier for you, I’ve made custom maps that can guide you from each resort to every port on the island. Some tips and advice for every map are included hoping that it could help you with your decision.
If you want to rent a car, quad or motorbike the prices and conditions will differ from company to company. Also, certain rental services require a minimum amount of days, usually three.Car rentals start from €20 per day. Quads and motorcycles can be rented for as cheap as €12 per day.Do your research and compare a couple of different services and you will find the optimal one.
- Boat trips from Agios Nikolaos, Skinari, and Porto Vromi cost around €15, and from Zakynthos Town about €30.
- Other expenses include gasoline which goes from €0,57 to €1,47 per liter. The cost depends on the type of fuel as well as the gas station.
- Don’t forget to bring food and LOTS of water!