On the north west coast of the Greek Ionian island of Zakynthos you will find Shipwreck Cove or Smugglers Cove also called Navagio Beach which is probably the most famous beach in Greece and can only be accessed by boat but is well worth the trip.
This picturesque beach has been photographed and featured in many holiday brochures, travel books and televised advertisements. The boat was shipwrecked back in 1980 after hitting rocks in bad weather while being pursued by the Greek Navy who suspected it was carrying contraband cigarettes.
Those tourists planning to lounge in the sun are advised to bring all necessities with them as there are no facilities in this secluded bay. A sun umbrella is a must, as the heat radiates off the white cliffs and there is no shade on the beach to get away from it, especially at midday.
As you can see from pictures, Shipwreck Beach is enclosed within large steep cliffs which give it this remote, inaccessible feel. Because of that, it is impossible to walk to the beach, instead you will need to take the boat. Frequent boat service to Shipwreck Cove is provided from nearby Porto Vromi located to the south, or from the Harbor of Saint Nikolas in Volimes, located to the north of Shipwreck Cove. You can also take a boat from island’s capital city of Zakynthos. However when we visited Shipwreck we went on the boat trip run by the Potamitis Brothers which you can catch near the Lighthouse at Skinari.
Best Time to Visit Shipwreck Cove
Shipwreck Cove is one of the most popular sights in Greece. Many travel guides agree that Shipwreck is the most photographed place in Greece, getting even more attention than the Acropolis of Athens or the Parthenon. Because of that, if you choose the peak of the day during high season, chances are good you will have to share this rather cozy cove with thousands of other visitors. In order to avoid overcrowding, go to Navagio Beach either early in the morning or put off your visit until later in the afternoon (at around 3pm).
As you can see form the satellite image on the interactive map below, there were four larger ships docked at the Beach at the time of this picture. Because of growing popularity, tourists boats run to Shipwreck Cove often and even boats that head to other location usually make a brief stop at Shipwreck Cove so the place is truly busy between 10 am and 2pm.
The links below are to company's that do boat trips to Shipwreck.
To get spectacular photos of Shipwreck Cove from above, you can drive up on top of the cliff where viewing platform on the edge of the cliff offers amazing photo opportunities. Most postcard photos are taken from there. To get to the viewpoint, just follow the road signs which read “Navagio”.
Here is an interactive map so you can find your way to the Shipwreck Cove viewing area by car.
When you visit Zakynthos do not miss out on an amazing boat trip to the wonderful Shipwreck Cove.