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An Honest Review of Shipwreck Beach Zakynthos (Navagio Bay)

Zakynthos Shipwreck Beach is the most famous tourist attraction on the island, and it brings tons of tourists to Greece every year.

I took a boat tour to the famous Zante Shipwreck Beach and here’s my honest review…

The iconic shipwreck beach is definitely worth seeing, but my recommendation would be to join a boat tour which visits this popular hotspot as part of a full-day itinerary including the stunning Blue Caves and Cameo Island.

Zakynthos Famous Shipwreck Beach

Why is Navagio Bay (Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos) famous?

Navagio Shipwreck, in Zakynthos, Greece, is a famous beach with clear waters and a shipwreck, MV Panagiotis, stranded on its shore.

Surrounded by cliffs, it’s a popular tourist spot and photography attraction.

What happened to the shipwreck in Zakynthos?

Have you ever wondered ‘is the shipwreck in Zante real?’ The answer is yes, absolutely!

The history of Navagio Shipwreck dates back to 1980 when the MV Panagiotis, a smuggler’s ship, ran aground on the beach during stormy weather while allegedly carrying contraband goods.

Abandoned and left to decay, it became an iconic landmark and a major tourist attraction in Greece.

Shipwreck Zakynthos History

How do I get to Navagio Beach in Zakynthos? (2023 closure)

Navagio Beach is accessible only by sea.

To see the remarkable shipwreck for yourself, you’ll need to book onto a boat tour.

You can book a boat tour from the Port of Zakynthos or nearby towns like Porto Vromi or Agios Nikolaos.

Boat tours are available daily and often include other stops for swimming and sightseeing.

Unfortunately, for this summer season Greek authorities have closed the beach due to landslide concerns.

In recent years, large pieces of rock have fallen from the 200 metre-high cliffs surrounding the idyllic shipwreck beach.

Wondering ‘can you walk down to Shipwreck Beach?’ – Unfortunately not, the only way to see the shipwreck up close is by entering the bay by boat.

However, boat trips are still allowed to enter the bay surrounding Navagio Beach, meaning tourists can still get up close to the shipwreck and swim in the waters surrounding it.

Boat tours visiting Navagio Bay (shipwreck on Zante)

If Navagio Beach is closed since 2023, is it even worth getting a boat trip?

So this might be controversial, but I actually think visiting the Zante Shipwreck is better now that the beach is closed.

Prior to the closure, Zante’s shipwreck beach was overcrowded with tourists.

There were no toilet facilities or food/ drink outlets, so it kinda felt like you were stranded on the beach until your boat departed.

Now, you can enjoy all of the comforts of your highly-rated boat tour (including toilets and cold drinks), and admire the view of the shipwreck from the crystal-clear blue waters surrounding it.

During the boat tour I took recently, the guide also took us to the Navagio Beach Viewpoint, which offers amazing panoramic views of shipwreck beach from above.

Shipwreck Lookout Zakynthos, which is visited on the Shipwreck Beach & Blue Caves Boat Tour.

Less-Touristy Alternatives to Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos

Navagio Beach is Zakynthos’ best attraction according to Tripadvisor, and therefore naturally very busy in the high season.

If you’re considering ‘what is the best time to visit Navagio?’, you may want to choose the shoulder months of May or September to avoid the main bulk of crowds (although the weather might be a little cooler).

Alternatively, you can choose a boat tour that focuses on other beautiful Zakynthos attractions:

Blue Caves

The Blue Caves are stunning sea caves known for their brilliant blue waters, created by sunlight reflecting off limestone walls.

The good thing about the Blue Caves is their proximity to Shipwreck Cove Zakynthos, so I actually did this full-day boat trip that included both the Blue Caves, Navagio Bay and Cameo Island.

Visiting the stunning Blue Caves on a boat trip in Zante

Keri Caves

Keri Caves, in Zakynthos, Greece, are captivating marine caves along the coast. Their striking beauty, crystal-clear waters, and unique rock formations make them a must-visit for boat tours and snorkelling.

The cool thing about the Keri Caves is that you can actually zip through the rock archway if your boat is small enough!

A great way to experience Keri Caves is on this full-day boat tour, during which the local guides will also help you to spot turtles on Marathonisi (Turtle Island)!

Keri Caves Zante

Cameo Island

Cameo Island is a picturesque private islet accessible by a narrow bridge. Known for parties and events, it offers stunning views, a bar, and relaxing atmosphere.

Cameo Island is only small and takes just 1-2 hours to explore. Therefore, most boat trip operators combine visiting the island with other attractions on Zakynthos.

Option 1: Cameo Island combined with Navagio Beach Shipwreck & Blue Caves Boat Tour

Option 2: Cameo Island combined with Keri Caves & Marathonisi (Turtle Island)

Cameo Island Zakynthos

Zakynthos Hidden Gem Beaches

Maybe you fancy going completely off the beaten track on the island and chartering a boat to check out some quiet hidden beaches…

  • Vathi Lagadi Beach
  • Agios Andreas
  • Kremidi Beach
  • Filippoi Beach 
  • White Beach
  • Plakaki Beach
  • Porto Steniti
  • Myzithres Rocks
  • Agalas Caves
There are some beautiful hidden beaches on Zakynthos Island

If you want to visit loads of hidden gem beaches, I can recommend getting a full day private boat charter. It only works out at around $90 USD per person split between 7 people, and your private local guide will take you to whichever parts of the island you want.

How do I get to shipwreck viewpoint (Zakynthos)?

Navagio Beach may be closed for now, but you can still witness the epic views from the Navagio Beach viewpoint.

Most Navagio Beach Boat Tours take you to the viewpoint as part of the full-day itinerary, which takes the stress away of you needing to hire a car to reach it.

The address for Shipwreck viewpoint is ‘Elatia 290 91, Greece’ or you can just search ‘Navagio Beach Viewpoint’ on Google Maps. There is a car park here and you’ll need to take a short uphill walk to the lookout itself.

I hope you enjoyed my guide to visiting Shipwreck Beach Zakynthos. Travelling Europe soon? Don’t miss my epic guide on how to visit Lake Como on a budget.