Navagio Beach (aka Shipwreck Cove) on the Greek Island of Zakynthos is arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Here’s how to see shipwreck beach for yourself.
The island of Zakynthos off the southwest coast of Greece is one of the country’s quieter islands. However it has one particularly incredible highlight called Navagio Beach (also known as Shipwreck Beach). A sandy little cove surrounded by towering limestone cliffs — plus the rusting remains of an old shipwreck.
This stunning Greek beach surrounded by brilliant blue ocean water is an Instagram favorite, and many travelers include Zakynthos on their itinerary specifically to visit this amazing beach in Greece.
We spent 3-days exploring Zakynthos with a rental car, including a few trips to Shipwreck Beach, and wanted to put together a little guide for you.
Shipwreck Beach, known locally as Navagio Beach, is located on the North West corner of Zakynthos Island. The island is about 250 km west of Athens in the Ionian Sea.To reach Zakynthos, you can fly directly from Athens or take a ferry from Kyllini on the mainland. Ferries to Zakynthos run 7 times per day between 5:30am and 10:30pm and cost about €10 per person each way, or €35 if you’re taking a car.
The most popular postcard photos of Shipwreck Beach come from the top of the 200 meter (650 ft) tall cliffs that overlook it, rather than on the beach itself. While the beach is awesome to visit in person, the views from the cliffs are much more spectacular.
However keep in mind that Navagio beach is located on another side of the island from the capital city of Zakynthos (same name as the island). So the best way to get out there is to either rent a car, like we did, or find a tour company that will take you out there in a van. It’s also possible to hire a taxi from the capital, but it will cost around €100 EURO round trip.
The drive from Zakynthos town out to Navagio Beach takes about 45 minutes. Once there, you’ll head down an entrance road to the parking area, where there are a few stalls selling food, ice cream, drinks, and souvenirs. Parking is free.
There is an official viewing platform located right below the parking area. It’s safe, secure, and there’s usually a long line to get a photo.
However the photos you get from this platform are not that great! You don’t get a full view of the whole beach. Tourism officials really need to improve this platform if they want to avoid people from walking out on the side trail… where the view is much better. The Cliff Walk
To reach the best place to get photos of Shipwreck Beach, you need to go for a little hike. Beside the viewing platform (to the right) there is a fenced off area, with a single entrance (and plenty of warning signs).
Walking out this way, you’ll find a rough path that leads away from the parking lot and tourist shops. The path is not really maintained, and probably isn’t safe for older people or super little kids. It’s a long walk over jagged rocks, in the hot sun, with no benches or shade nearby.
The best time of day for photos of the beach is around noon, when the sun is directly overhead (and the cliffs aren’t casting a shadow). Sunset is also a wonderful time to visit.
To actually step foot on the beautiful secluded Greek beach at Shipwreck Cove, there’s only one way. By boat. There are multiple tour companies that offer affordable boat trips to this most famous beach in Greece.
Some of these boats leave from the nearby town of Agios Nikolaos (where you can even rent and captain your own boat, if you have experience), but others start directly in Zakynthos Town.
During the boat trip to Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Cove), you’ll also visit other beautiful places off the Zakynthos coast, like the Blue Caves and Xygia Sulfur Beach.
Keep in mind that Shipwreck Beach is the most popular tourist attraction on the island, so the beach gets pretty packed. And you won’t actually get to spend too much time on the beach itself (about 20 minutes), as they shuttle tourists in and out throughout the day.
To visit the beach with the fewest number of people, or to stay as long as possible, take the earliest tour you can — or even better, rent a private boat.