If there’s one place you can’t afford to miss when enjoying a holiday on Zante, it’s Smugglers Cove. You’ll probably recognise it at first sight; after all, it’s perhaps the most famous postcard image from the island, with its iconic white sands and shipwrecked boat.
Often known as Shipwreck Cove Zante (and referred to sometimes as Navagio Beach), Zakynthos Smugglers Cove is a picture-perfect arc of white sands framed by towering cliffs on one side and the azure blue of the Ionian Sea on the other. Zante Smugglers Cove is accessible only by boat, but there are plenty of regular organised excursions running from Porto Vromi.
Legend has it that in 1980 an alleged smugglers ship (said to have been carrying cigarettes, wine, and women) ran aground after smashing into rocks nearby during a storm and was washed ashore on Navagio Beach. Today Smugglers Cove Zante has become one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions which means it can get pretty busy here.
The best time to visit Shipwreck Cove Zakynthos is early in the day, which is why most boat trips leave from Porto Vromi in the early morning. It’s worth the early rise to cruise around Zante’s stunning coastline and avoid the crowds of tourists who inevitably arrive on the beach by lunchtime, when things can get pretty busy.
On the beach itself you can take time to wander around the shipwreck, go for a swim or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, or just laze on the beach and enjoy the sunshine and spectacular scenery! For the best camera opportunities, you can take the road to the right of the beach to reach a viewing platform perched rather precariously hundreds of feet above the beach. From here you’ll get a birds-eye view of the shipwreck as well as the best photographs; it’s here that most shots of the beach are taken for postcards.
On the return trip to Porto Vromi, your boat will pass by the Face of Poseidon’s Cave. This natural wonder is a grotto which has eroded over time into the face of the sea god (allegedly!) and is quite a spectacular sight.
Smugglers Cove in Zakynthos, Greece is a must-see on any trip to Zante and you’re practically guaranteed fantastic holiday photos to take home or share online with friends and family. The viewing platform isn’t for the faint of heart but is well worth visiting for the best photographs, if you’re feeling brave!