Navagio Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. With the shipwreck of the metallic ship lying on the beach, semi-buried in the white sand, it is the most easily recognizable and the most photographed beach in Greece!
Navagio Beach is located on the north-west shore of the stunning Zakynthos Island (also known as Zante), an Ionian island, the third in length, near the Anafotiria village, quite opposite of island’s capital Zakynthos. The area is defined by its sheer limestone cliffs, white sand beaches, and clear blue water, which attract thousands of tourists yearly. The strip of beach is accessed only by boat, but you can see it from above if you stand on the high side of the cliffs that overlook it.
Navagio is said to be the home of a famous ship wreck, called Panagiotis, which is why the beach is also called ‘Smugglers Cove.’ In case you are wondering why the Italian name, it is because Zakynthos was under Italian rule for centuries, which had an important influence on the island’s culture.
The story of the shipwreck recalls the old pirate stories of the Venetian period. It was in 1980 when the Greek pursuit authorities detected a ship, suspected for smuggling of cigarettes and liquors, sailing in the open Ionian Sea. They ran after it and, because of the very bad weather, the ship was forced to stand on the sandy beach of the cove, where it lies ever since. It was an old ship, built in 1937 in Scottish shipyards and it had changed various owners until ending up on this peaceful cove, whose became the “trade mark.” Millions of photos of the shipwreck have been made and some people pretend (not without exaggeration!) that the place is more photographed than the Acropolis of Athens and the Parthenon.
This small and isolated, yet strikingly beautiful sandy cove near the Anafotiria village is quite opposite of island’s capital, Zakynthos.