Best way to see Zakynthos Navagio Shipwreck Beach by boat and viewpoint…in one day.

by Kelly

We came Zakynthos (Zante) Island to see the Navagio Shipwreck Beach from both the beach and the viewpoint. Due to an unexpected change of plans we thought we could fit it in our itinerary we went for it. Unfortunately 2 days turned into just one day to fit it all in! You can read all about this and how to visit Zante in our Zante blog here. Read on to find out how to visit the shipwreck in a day!

What is the best time to visit the Zakynthos Shipwreck?

The best time to visit the Navagio Shipwreck beach is as early as possible. If you can afford to book a private boat then you can get there before the crowds arrive. This is pretty expensive and not an option for most of us! So try to take the first boat over if you are hoping to get some snaps with less crowds. The early morning or late afternoon will have less visitors on the beach.

The viewpoint is pretty busy all day. Everyone who doesn’t want to do the boat tour and pretty much every island tour will come here. Either early morning or late afternoon will be the quietest times.

The only other thing to consider is the light. If you are looking to take photos then consider the shadows. The boat is essentially in shadow for the first part of the day. It comes across around 10am and the ship is the sun from then until about 5pm.

We visited the beach on the first boats at 9am and were at the viewpoint about 4pm. You can see from our photos at the viewpoint the shadow is just coming over the cliffs.

How to get around on Zakynthos?

Hiring car or a powerful ATV/scooter is a necessity on Zante (see my previous blog on hiring vehicles in Greece). Unless you are on a tour you will definitely need a high powered scooter, ATV or a car. There are mountains to get over and a 50cc scooter or ATV will not cut it (read this blog!) We rented a car from Kamara Car Rentals and they were awesome. Dropped it off to us in Alykes and picked up from us there too. We got a new Hyundai 10 for 45 euro / day.

If you don’t want to hire a car, you can take this tour which goes to Navagio Shipwreck beach and viewpoint in one day. It is well organised and has great reviews. It is cheaper than hiring a car and doing your own tour as well!

How to visit Zakynthos Navaigo Shipwreck Beach

There are so many different options for boat tours to Navagio beach it becomes really confusing! You can book a private boat with a captain or hire a boat yourself. Both options are expensive, although they would be amazing!

Most people will book a boat tour to the beach with one of the many providers on the island. There are some huge boats, you will spend about half an hour on the beach and have to leave. You will also get there at the busiest times. We really wanted to stay away from this experience and get there early with the least amount of people. So this left us with two main options.

There is Potamitis Brothers at Porto Nikolas. They are at the very north point of Zante and run glass bottom boats over to the shipwreck every 15 minutes. You can check them out here, but we decided against booking them as we wanted to visit the viewpoint in the same day and it was further away from Porto Nikolas.

We booked with Porto Vromi Maries Boats. The first boat they have is at 9am and it took about 10 minutes to get us to the beach. We were there early enough with only a few handfuls of people around. Their boats were good quality and the captains were very experienced. They pull up on the beach so you didn’t have to swim to shore (some other operators do require this). While we can both swim fine we were more worried about bringing our camera equipment with us. This is the boat trip we chose.

However I later found this Navagio beach and viewpoint tour which would have been a much easier option! Firstly we trust the company and use them on a lot of our tours. Secondly it is all organised and you see not only the viewpoint and beach in a day but also other spots around Zante! I really recommend this tour as it is so much easier and you don’t need to hire a car!

Another thing we wanted to be able to do was to catch a boat over and stay for as long as we wanted before leaving. I asked and the lady that booked us had no problem with this. They have boats coming over every 40 minutes so we were able to just jump aboard the next boat when we were ready to leave. This meant that we arrived at Navagio around 9:15am and didn’t leave until about 2:30pm. We swam in the crazy blue water, sun baked, explored every angle of the shipwreck and took tons of pictures at our own pace.

On the boat heading back to the marina we stopped off in 3 caves and had 2 swim spots. It was a really nice way to spend the boat ride back and really didn’t feel rushed at all. The captain was able to drive us in to caves and show us the blue grotto water. The swimming spots were lovely and we also saw the Face of Poseidon.

We spent between 9am and 3pm visiting the beach. This includes the time from arriving at the marina to arriving back there.

The tour to Zakynthos Navagio Shipwreck Beach I would take instead of organising my own!

Alternatively another great tour and possibly the easiest option would be to book with Get Your Guide. This tour takes you to the Navaigo Viewpoint, then to Navaigo Beach where you get to swim and go to the beach. After this you will explore sea caves and then visit other spots around Zante. If I had seen this I would have booked it! It really packs it all in to one day and is completely organised and saves having to hire a car! This is the perfect tour to Navaigo Viewpoint and Shipwreck beach!

Tips for visiting Navagio Sipwreck Beach Zakynthos Greece.

  • Get the first boat over and stay as long as you want (only if you book with Porto Vromi though). It is really nice to spend part of your day soaking it up. The way we figured was it was the main reason we went to Zante so we may as well spend as much time there as we wanted. It was a great decision particularly once we went to the viewpoint and it was a disappointment!
  • There are no facilities on the beach so take some food with you. We stayed on the beach for a good 4 or more hours and took water and snacks with us for lunch. We bought them the day before but you can buy food from the Porto Vromi marina if you need. There is a food van there which serves snacks, coffee and drinks. Please makes sure to take any rubbish and plastics back with you to a bin!
  • in relation to the last tip… there are no toilets. There is a toilet at the Porto Vromi marina but when I went there it was blocked.
  • Take some shade with you. The sun comes over by about 10am and it will be scorching if you are spending any longer than half to an hour there. We didn’t have an umbrella but managed to claim a spot under the wooden lifesaver like tower which kept us in shade throughout the middle of the day. Other people were trying to get shade under the ship which blocks others photos. If I went back I would take an umbrella. Hats, sunscreen and a shirt is a must.
  • The busiest time was between 11am and 1:30pm. This is when most of the big boats came and unloaded hundreds of people. We stayed in the shade had a couple of swims and people watched during this time.
  • The best time for pictures with the shipwreck is between 10-10:30am. This may seem like as small window but it really was the quietest time!
Found shade under the tower on the beach

How to visit the Zakynthos Navaigo shipwreck viewpoint

We got back to the marina and jumped straight in our little hire car and headed for the viewpoint. It’s not too far away and takes about 30 minutes to reach from Porto Vromi. The viewpoint is free and my honest opinion is that it is just ok, not great. We lined up for about 15min at about 5pm. The viewpoint is a little structure you walk out on but it doesn’t come out far enough to actually see the shipwreck very well at all and you have to hang your camera or phone out through the safety rails to try and get a pic. Luckily we had our drone there and sent it up to take some pics but if not I would have been more disappointed.

Map of Porto Vromi boat trip to Zakynthos viewpoint

Can you still go out to the cliff viewpoint?

I had been really excited to walk out to the cliffs and get some great photos like those I have seen everywhere on insta but apparently the authorities are sick of people going out there because they have erected a huge metal fence blocking the whole area and you can’t access the cliffs. I had heard rumours of this but it was described as a little barrier you could jump over or that it had a security guard there during the day and not in the late afternoons. They have obviously upgraded this now as there is no getting past this fence. We try to be respectful and don’t think it is right to try and get around something if you can see that the locals are obviously trying to keep people out of an area so wouldn’t try to get around this anyway.

Another thing to know is that there isn’t a great place to park your car. We are pretty pedantic about looking after the vehicles we hire and at the viewpoint there is only a bare patch of rocky ground. It looked like we might pop a tyre so we decided to park on the side of the road instead, just in front of the parking area.

It is pretty easy to visit after your boat trip and there are food vans there if you want a drink or snack but if I could only get to one of these I would take the boat trip and drone from there.

We truly loved our visit to Zakynthos Navagio Shipwreck Beach and think that doing both in a day is the way to go. Hopefully in the future they will open the cliff walk up again and we can see it from that perspective too!

Check out our Zakynthos Beach vlog on You Tube!

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