Shipwreck Cove (aka Smugglers Cove) in Zakynthos is home to Navagio Beach, the most famous beach in all of Greece. This small but picturesque beach is now widely recognized by people around the world thanks to the four S’s — sand, scenery, shipwreck and a great story. Although the beach can only be accessed by boat, it is well worth the trip.
Why is Shipwreck Cove so famous?
Back in 1980 a boat was being pursued by the Greek Navy, who suspected it was carrying contraband cigarettes, when it encountered bad weather and collided with rocks. It ended up shipwrecked on Navagio Beach and since has been photographed/featured in many holiday brochures, travel books and televised advertisements.
Tourists planning to lounge in the sun are advised to bring all necessities with them as there are not many facilities in this secluded bay, cut off from the rest of the island by the cliffs. 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 in the midday.
As you can see from the photographs, Shipwreck Beach is enclosed within impenetrably 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 a 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. You can also take a boat from island’s capital city of Zakinthos. Boats from Porto Vromi to this paradise beach leave about once every hour and take approximately 30 minutes.
Best Time To Visit Navagio Beach
Navagio Beach is one of the most popular sights in Greece. Many travel guides agree that Navagio 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, visit Navagio Beach either early in the morning or put off your visit until later in the afternoon (at around 3pm).
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 and take a photo like this, just follow the road signs that read Navagio.