With just over a week to go until our next visit to Greece I've been reminiscing about our previous family holiday to Zakynthos back in June this year.
Zakynthos is a Greek island in the Ionion Sea and is a well known Summer resort. Don't be put off by its party image, the area is within Laganas and trust me, this island really must go on your list of places to visit as I was completely blown away but it's beauty. The harbour city of Zakynthos is the capital and major hub, centred around waterfront Solomas Square. One of the main reasons for us visiting Zakynthos was to make a trip to Navagio Beach and needless to say I fell in love instantly.
Navagio Beach or Shipwreck Beach is an exposed cover, sometimes referred to as "Smugglers Cove." On 2nd October a freight liner ran aground in the waters around Zakynthos Island on Navagio Beach during stormy weather and bad visibility. The ship was abandoned and rests buried in the limestone gravel on he beach that now bears the nickname Shipwreck.
I'm not going to lie, the journey from the Port to Navagio was somewhat rocking shall we say. Boats do not scare me at all however at some points during the journey it was a white knuckle ride. The journey took around 45 minutes but it was certainly worth it. When you pulled up into the cove my son was super excited & wouldn't stop saying, "Wow." He took the words right out of my mouth.
The crystal clear, blue waters cleared and revealed the cove in its full beauty. The sight took my breathe away. I've seen this cove in many photos and I was finally here right in front of my eyes. The area is defined by its sheer limestone cliffs, white sand beach and clear blue waters and is only accessible by boat. You see these image of Navagio Beach on the internet but when you get there it really is more stunning in real life, even though i didn't think it were possible. The sea is more blue than you could ever imagine and when I was swimming in the sea with the cove laid out in front of me I felt like I needed someone to punch me, this place was breath taking.
We stayed at Navagio Beach for 2 hours, which went over in a heart beat. A few things I would advice on if you were to visit here would be:
- Wear footwear, the sand is covered in sharp stones which would be very painful to walk on
- If you can, take some form of umbrella / sun shade. The cove doesn't get covered in shade and during the peak times the heat and sun will really get to you.
- Take plenty of water and some food / snacks as there is literally nothing on the cove. Not Cafe, no toilets, no nothing - just the Beach and Shipwreck.
Below I just had to include these photos of my mischievous little boy. So, I'm sat there taking in the scenery in front of me - in my own dream world. Que my son who sneaks up behind me and throws water all down my back... obviously the hubby caught it all on camera.
When our time was up at Navagio we visited The Blue Caves. You paid slightly more for this extra excursion but if you're going to Zakynthos you've got to do it properly. The Blue Caves are one of the most popular attractions on the island which can be visited by your own boat or by an organised tour such as the one we went on. The Blue Caves are on the North-West coast of the island and were discovered in 1897.
Their name is due to the reflections of the water in the caves and objects below the water seem to turn blue, including people when they swim in and into the caves. Over time, the seas have carved impressive arches and caves some so large that small boats can sail inside with ease. These caves and arches are show stopping from the boat but are even more breathtaking when you swim up to them. Their beauty is mesmerising and made me fall in love with Greece even more.
Needless to say, Zakynthos is yet another stunning Greek island which everyone needs to visit at least once in their lives and those fears of it being the Party island it's dubbed were diminished when we got there. We also visited Turtle Island and The Kerry Caves during our visit but I'll put these in to a separate post. Greece will always hold a special place in my heart & this holiday cemented that fact.