With white sand and marble cliffs, Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach) makes a striking setting for swimming and sunbathing. Set on sun-soaked Zakynthos island off the coast of Greece, Navagio Beach is a popular day trip destination. The beach’s centerpiece is a long-abandoned freighter—the remains of a smuggler’s shipwreck—that still languishes on the sands.
Experience the history and scenery of Navagio Beach on a guided excursion to the shipwreck and nearby sea caves. Explore Zakynthos by coach and motor boat, and stop to swim in the beach's aquamarine waters, or hop on a full-day sightseeing cruise of the island to see Navagio by land and by sea. Don't miss the lookout point 600 feet (183 meters) above the beach.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There are no visitor facilities at the beach, so be sure to bring your own chairs, umbrellas, towels, water, and picnic supplies.
- Many boat tours to Navagio Beach are wheelchair accessible, but it's best to check with tour operators in advance.
How to Get There
Navagio Beach is tucked into an isolated cove on the northern coast of Zakynthos (also called Zante) in the Greek Ionian Islands. The beach is only reachable by sea, and boat trips set sail from nearby Porto Vromi Bay or the village of Volimes, taking about 20 minutes to reach Navagio.
When to Get There
Despite the fact that it can only be reached by sea, Navagio Beach gets packed with day-trippers and tourist boats in the summer high season. To escape crowds, try to visit early in the morning or in late afternoon. Visiting out of season means you'll get a rare chance to photograph the beach free of crowds, but boat departures are less frequent in winter.
The Famous Shipwreck Beach
The famous Navagio Beach is often better known by its nicknames, Shipwreck Beach or Smuggler's Cove. It acquired its notoriety in October 1980, when a freighter—allegedly used by smugglers—that was being chased by the Greek Navy ran aground and was abandoned on the shore. The rusting freighter, dubbed the Panagiotis, still lies at the center of the beach, slowly sinking into the sands and providing a unique photo opportunity for beach visitors.