The iconic image of a rusted shipwreck washed up on the white sands of the turquoise Navagio Beach drew us to the island of Zakynthos in search of the so-called Shipwreck Beach. Navagio is one of the most beautiful and photographed beaches in the world and visitors flock to both its shores and the cliffs above for breathtaking views.
It takes a little work to get to Shipwreck Beach – the beach itself is only accessible by boat and the clifftop viewpoint is almost an hour by road from Zakynthos. Here’s our guide on how to get to Navagio/Shipwreck Beach!
Navagio Beach the Shipwreck Beach
Zakynthos is an island just off the coast of the Peloponnese Peninsula and Naviago Beach is located on the north-western shores of the island. The tiny cove is a stunning mix of white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters surrounded by towering white cliffs with an intriguing rusty shipwreck dominating its sands.
The wreck, a boat named Panagiotis, was rumoured to have been attempting to smuggle cigarettes and got stranded in the shallow waters of Naviago while being pursued by the Greek Navy. The captain of the ship recently refuted these claims and blames bad weather and mechanical failure for the shipwreck.
Either way, the contrast of the rusted ship against the stunning natural beauty of Navagio has made it a tourist magnet.
Where to stay in Zakynthos
- Hotel Palatino: Perfectly located a few minutes from the restaurants of Zante Hotel Palantino was perfect for our stopover in Zakynthos. We stayed here overnight on the island before catching the ferry back to the mainland the next day – Check prices now
- Mabely Grand Hotel: if you are staying a little longer and a resort style hotel with a host of amenities and a relaxing vibe then the Mabely Grand Hotel is a great option – Check prices now
How to Get to Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach
There are two options for visiting shipwreck beach.
Many visitors choose to take a boat tour that lands on the beach itself. This is the most popular tour as it includes a visit to both the beach and the viewpoint above the beach. You can reserve your place in advance. The tour picks up at most hotels in Zakynthos so you won’t need to arrange anything else yourself. – check prices now!
How to get to Navagio Beach from Laganas
The above tour includes hotel pickup. If you are staying in Laganas there are also group tours to Navagio Beach from Laganas – check prices here
By Bus or Car
The second option for visiting Navagio Beach is by car or bus. We chose this option as we only wanted to view the beach from the viewpoint of the cliffs above. We also recommend renting a car in Greece, we rented a car and took it to Zakynthos via the ferry.
How to get to Navagio Beach: by Boat
Navagio Beach is surrounded by marble white cliffs meaning the beach and the shipwreck can only be accessed by boat. The shipwreck is dotted with graffiti and visitors flock around it but are requested not to climb on it. Hundreds of visitors descend on the beach every day during peak season and it is often extremely crowded – check prices now!
Where to get the boat to Shipwreck Beach: the closest port is Porto Vromi Maries and boats depart regularly from here during peak season. Other departure points include Agios Nikolaos, Zakynthos and Skinari.
Navagio Beach Viewpoint
As we mentioned above, there are two ways to view the shipwreck at Navagio Beach: either by visiting the beach itself by boat or by travelling by road to the top of the cliffs surrounding the beach. Both are beautiful but the viewpoint above is the best way to view the beautiful setting and it’s from here that most of the iconic Navagio images are captured.
Visiting Naviago Beach tip: It is not possible to walk between the beach and the view point above. Naviago Beach is surrounded by near vertical cliffs meaning the beach is only accessible by boat and the viewpoint by road.
How to get to Shipwreck Beach viewpoint: by road
The clifftop viewpoint above Navagio is almost an hour by road from Zakynthos and can be reached by car, a powerful quad bike and a beach or island tour. The route is marked with signs for Navagio and the nearby Anafonitria Monastery which is en route. The viewpoint, a suspended platform surrounded by railings, is located beside the car park and visitors centre and it is often packed with visitors in search of a selfie and the iconic Naviago shipwreck photo.
How to visit Naviago Beach tip: there have been reports of the road to the beach being closed during the summer months due to the riskof forest fires in the area. If this is the case, a tour is the best option.
Visiting Naviago Beach tip: Be careful! It’s possible to follow a walking path around the cliff side to capture the beach and the shipwreck from different vantage points but, if you decide to do this, please be incredibly careful – it’s a sheer drop to the beach below and there have been recent deaths of tourists doing the same. We were terrified to move even an inch without checking our footing as there are no railings to protect you from falling over the edge.
Tips for Visiting Naviago (Shipwreck) Beach:
- When choosing a boat trip we’d recommend opting for one of the smaller boats from one of the closer ports rather than the huge double decker boats which also make the trip.
- Avoid trips in the middle of the day when the beach tends to get extremely crowded
- The boats usually dock for around one hour so be sure to grab your photos of the beach and shipwreck when you have a chance.
- Bring beach shoes as the beach is quite stony and painful to walk on barefoot.
- Bring supplies such as water and sunscreen as there are no facilities at Navagio
- The water gets deep quite close to the shore so be careful as you venture out.
- The boat trips are weather dependent so don’t leave to the last minute if the weather is volatile when you are in Zakynthos. This will give you time to reschedule if your trip gets cancelled.