The beautiful island of Zakynthos (Zante) lies in the crystal blue Ionian Sea, just 16km off the mainland. Its combination of stunning scenery, tree lined mountains and fabulous beaches has makes Zakynthos one of the best Greek islands to visit. A Zante holiday is not complete with out a visit to the famous Navagio Beach or “Shipwreck Bay”. This crescent shaped beach sits in front of sheer limestone cliffs. The stunning blue of the sea and white of the sand are not retouched in the photos. The sea water is said to have such a blue tone due to the sulphur eroding from the caves.
Known around the world
This beach features in so many Greek holiday brochures and is often listed as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. Its modern popularity and recognition surely comes from Trip Adviser using it’s image as it’s main header photo for years.
The beach is sometimes referred to as “Smugglers Cove”. Originally it was known as Agios Georgios but on 2nd October 1980 a freightliner the MV Panagiotis ran aground in the waters close to the island after a bad storm. The story that is often told is that the crew abandoned the wrecked ship as they were smuggling contraband cigarettes and wine. However, some doubt has been thrown on this story in recent years after the Captain published his version of the events. He refuted this allegation and said it was abandoned due to a mechanical problem. Whatever the truth really is the shipwreck makes a stunning centerpiece in a spectacular location.
So good we would visit it twice.
We would suggest you visit this beach twice. Yes, that’s right! Once by car and once by boat.
From the top
We prefer the view from the top of the cliff. The viewing point is clearly signposted from Volimes or Agios Nikolias port. It is easily reachable by car. Currently, the cliff top has a small viewing platform and visitor shed selling local goods. Many people try to capture better views by walking around towards the right of the viewing platform away from the shipwreck beach. Do be extremely careful here though. The edges are unfenced and it is a long way down. It can be extremely dangerous and definitely not suitable for children.
By Boat – Zante Holiday
So the second way to visit Navagio Beach is via boat. There are some excellent boat operators departing from the beautiful Port St Nicholas.
To stay as villas in Zante within walking distance of Port St Nicholas visit The Asteri Collection. These family friendly luxury villas are a perfect base for visiting the unspoilt corner of North East Zante
This is the best place to depart from as there is plenty of parking, the journey is short to the shipwreck and you can stop for a delicious lunch at one of the beachside restaurants on your return. Most trips take about 20 minutes to get to the beach and then stay for about an hour so you can explore the wreck and the beach and get some swimming in. We recommend going early in the morning when the sea is calm and the crowds have yet to arrive. The boat trip should cost between €15-20.
We would also recommend checking out the weather before you set off on the morning. It can get quite windy around the top of the island and if you suffer from seasickness best to avoid a windy day.
Most boat trips will tag on a visit to the famous ‘Blue Caves’. You may want to consider going on one of the smaller boats as they are more able to actually go into the caves and allow you really experience the turquoise sea and amazing light.
Visiting this stunning bay and famous landmark is well worth doing and will be a highlight of any Zante Holiday.
In an area of outstanding natural beauty on the unspoilt corner of North East Zakynthos you will discover an idyllic spot to spend your Zakynthos experience. Hugged by hills covered in Cypress and Olive trees with views overlooking the sparkling Ionian ocean this is the home of The Asteri Collection.
These three beautifully designed villas have been inspired by the traditional Greek ‘sugar cube’ houses and are a study in bohemian luxury. Here you will find stunning views, luxurious interiors and elegant landscaping.
Private and secluded yet within walking distance of the famous Peligoni Club and the local beach and restaurants of Agios Nikolias these villas cater for all ages and welcome families. Here you can experience laid-back luxury at its best.