Navagio Shipwreck Beach - Navagio Beach or the Shipwreck, is an isolated sandy cove on Zakynthos island and one of the most popular and most photographed beaches in the whole Greece. Navagio Beach is usually described as the Shipwreck Beach or just "The Shipwreck" due to the fact that it is home to the wreck of a ship called Panagiotis that is believed to be a smugglers ship. The presence of alleged smugglers ship provided Navagio Shipwreck Beach yet another nick name - Smugglers Cove.
This little and isolated, yet absolutely gorgeous sandy cove lies on the north-west coast of Zakynthos Island, near the Anafotiria village, opposite of island's capital Zakynthos. The place is defined by its giant limestone cliffs, white sand beaches, and crystal clear blue water, which attract countless visitors every year. The beach is accessed by boat only, however you can see it from the top if you stand on the high side of the cliffs that overlook it.
How did it end up being The Navagio Shipwreck Beach? - The History
The shipwreck itself is from 1980 so it's not very old however its spectacular location makes it look stunning and its well worth checking out. The beach was at first called Agios Georgios but ended up being Navagio Beach (actual translation: Shipwreck) after the freight liner MV Panagiotis ran aground on October 2nd 1980.
The Kefalonian born captain of the ship says that the boat was going back to the port of Durres in Albania from Argostoli when a disastrous mixture of engine failure and awful weather conditions caused the boat running aground in the cove. Because of its hard to reach location he found it difficult to protect the vessel from thieves and contacted the authorities. Some of the cargo and shipping equipment was stolen though. The authorities were then informed once more and they have started an investigation. When the investigation was completed around 30 people from surrounding villages were founded guilty of stealing cargo and equipment which eventually was recuperated. The captain was cleared of all charges and it is stated that he was so overcome by the sight of the wreck that he made a decision to leave it there. There are lots of other theories and rumours as to how the boat ended up being on Agios Georgios Beach which is now known as Navagio Beach.
One other story states that the freight liner was used to smuggle goods such as alcohol and tobacco, another states the exact same but in addition to the contraband the ship was used for people trafficking. Authorities were pursuing the boat and followed it into the cove where it ended up being trapped and ran aground. Others state it was bringing in the contraband however it just lost the engine power and got washed ashore.
Another theory proposes that the owner of the ship Haris Kompotheklas was certainly carrying contraband products, smuggled from the former Yugoslavia and Albania en route to Italy, he was also bringing 2 Italian smugglers along. Kompotheklas chose to benefit from the circumstances and got two smugglers arrested and detained in order to keep the cargo for himself, however due to horrible and unexpected bad weather conditions he was forced to run MV Panagiotis into the cove. Some of the smuggled items were washed off the boat and carried onto coastland where the villagers took and hid them whilst the captain and his team attempted to restore it. Evidently the authorities became aware of the incident, deported the two Italians back home to Italy, detained the captain and his team and convicted them for smuggling.
How to reach Navagio Shipwreck Beach?
Now that you know the history and splendors of the beach let's continue to the various methods of how to get to it. As you can see on the map, the majority of towns and resorts are located in the south while Navagio remains in the northwestern part. There are a number of ways to reach there, each varying in prices, time and kind of transport.
An essential thing to understand is that the beach is accessible ONLY by sea. Land transport will only take you to towns, ports, and the observing platform on the cliffs above the beach. The locations where a boat to Navagio is provided are Zakynthos Town port, Agios Nikolaos port/beach, Skinari, and Porto Vromi.
What you must know about the boat cruises.
Middle-sized to large boats sail from Zakynthos Town port only, and these vessels offer more shade and room for the passengers. Smaller sized boats sail from the other 3 ports.
If you are beginning your cruise from Zakynthos Town, Agios Nikolaos or Skinari (east side of the island), you must know that the trip to Navagio beach will normally include a stop at the incredible Blue Caves. Bigger boats, sadly, can not go inside the caves, so those who wish to see these natural wonders from the inside must go with smaller sized boats.
The length of the cruises can differ, depending upon the location and boat. The cruises from Zakynthos Town can last from 4 to 8 hours depending on the kind of boat.
What are the alternatives? Well, that depends on where you have stopped, and in this article, you will discover the best methods to reach Navagio Shipwreck Beach considering your location on the Zakynthos island.
1. Take a cruise trip arranged by an agency
This is probably the easiest method because the agency will organize a bus which takes you right from your resort to the port in Zakynthos town, where you'll take a cruiser, and bring you back to your holiday accommodation staright after the trip.
The bus and boat trip are included in the price, just ensure to bring food and drinks with you, or maybe some additional food money because you can buy it on the cruiser too.
You can find tour agencies such as MyTours in every resort, and they are trustworthy. When you organize a trip with them, you'll get full guidance also as when and where to come to a pickup point, so then you just can enjoy the rest of the day.
Depending upon the agency, tour prices can vary from €20-45 plus another €20 per person for food and drinks.
2. Bus to Zakynthos Town and a boat to Navagio Shipwreck Beach
If you have stopped in Laganas, Argassi, Alykes, Tsilivi or Kalamaki, there is a KTEL bus which can take you to Zakynthos Town. When you arrive there, you will have to take a 15-minute walk to the port where you can get on a boat trip to Blue Caves and Navagio.
It's not difficult to reach the harbor, simply keep going down to the sea, since the KTEL station in Zante town is located uphill.
Here's the map of Zante town from KTEL:
A one-way bus ticket price is €1.80 and prices of cruises from Zakynthos Town are around €30.
3. Take a car, quad or bike to the ports and catch a boat to Navagio Shipwreck Beach
This is the most expensive option, and it causes the most inconvenience, however it is ideal for those who loves going on adventures and discovering brand-new places. By doing this you will allow yourself to see some incredible and not-so-famous areas, which you would not have the ability to experience otherwise, and create your exceptional tour of Zakynthos. In our honest opinion, this is the very best choice.
Those who have not come to Zakynthos by car do not need to worry since there are car, quad and bike rental services in every resort.
The 4 ports where you can get boats to Navagio are located in various areas from the beach, which means that some particular choices will involve more traveling by land and others more traveling by sea. Optimal choice for those who wishes to sail more is to take a boat from Zakynthos Town, and people who wish to drive more should choose the other 3 ports - Agios Nikolaos, Skinari and Porto Vromi.
If you wish to hire a car, quad or bike the prices and conditions will vary from provider to provider. Particular rental services need a minimum amount of days, normally three. Car hire start from €20 per day. Quads and bikes can be hired for as cheap as €12 per day. Do your research, compare several various providers and you will find the ideal one.
Boat trips from Agios Nikolaos, Skinari, and Porto Vromi cost around €15, and from Zakynthos Town about €30.
Other expenses involve petrol which goes from €0,57 to €1,47 per litre. The price depends on the kind of fuel and also the petrol station.
Tips to make your Navagio Zante trip safer and enjoyable:
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