A boat trip to Shipwreck beach in Zakynthos
When the MV Panagiotis ran aground on a sandy cove in northwest Zakynthos in 1980, no one could have predicted that one of Europe’s most iconic beaches would be born. It’s not just the much-photographed shipwreck at its centre, but the imposing cliffs rising far above and the electric-blue waters surrounding it. And to cap the sense of mystery, it’s a beach accessible only by sea.
A boat trip to the Navagio (as it’s known in Greek) is a rite of passage when visiting Zakynthos. You’ll have seen it on Instagram and on the front cover of magazines, but the real spectacle comes when you round the bay and catch a first glimpse of this magical cove.
The water here often radiates impossible shades of blue, from the mineral deposits in the caves around the beach. You’ll have the chance to stay on the beach and swim. But the real swimming treat comes from the stops made by the boat on the way there or back. Just don’t forget your camera.
Although undoubtedly the star of the show, the shipwreck is just one of a cast of protagonists.
A spectacle even before you arrive
Be sure to wear your swimwear and pack a towel and a pair of goggles for those beautiful little coves you stop at along the way. Some boats even have a glass bottom, so you can fully appreciate the clarity of the water and sea life.
An Ionian light show
Choose a tour that includes a visit to the Blue Caves. Depending on the tour you’ve booked, your boat could travel into the caves, where you’ll be treated to a light show by the dazzling Ionian Sea.
With boat trips around Zakynthos, you’ll pass the island of Marathonisi, a famous nesting ground for Caretta Caretta sea turtles, and you could visit other Zakynthos landmarks such as the Keri Caves.
Boats leave from:
Porto Vromi (west)
By car or taxi: 36km (55mins) from Zakynthos town
By car or taxi: 36km (1hr) from Zakynthos town
Agios Nikolaos (northeast)
By car or taxi: 32km (50mins) from Zakynthos town
There are other departure points around the island, including half-day and full-day options from the Gulf of Lagana, Alikes and the port of Zakynthos.
- Boat trips to Navagio run from May to October.
- Boats may leave at other times of the year upon request.
- May-June and late September-October are the best and quietest months to visit. If you do visit in July-August, do so in the early morning or late afternoon when it’s cooler and quieter.
- All boat trips are dependent on weather conditions.
- Tickets are €10-20 per person.
May-June and late September-October are the best and quietest months to visit.
- Boat trips from the proposed departure points take 20-45 mins to reach Shipwreck beach, depending on the stops along the way.
- You will be left on the beach for 30-45 mins.
- Most excursions are for 1.5-3 hours but round-the-island trips can take the whole day.
If you want to stay longer, ask the captain if it’s possible to be picked up when the boat returns with another group.
Shipwreck Beach has only natural shade and no amenities selling food and drinks, so plan well and don’t forget:
Beaches are delicate ecosystems so please help keep them in the best possible condition and leave only your footprints.