When I was idly scanning through one of those ubiquitous ‘best beaches in the world’ articles, I came across Navagio on the Greek island of Zakynthos or Zante as one of the list. Huh! I thought – clearly written by some journalist who’s done a quick bit of Google research and has never been there.
But then as in all my years of visiting Zakynthos, I had never been there either, I thought that on this trip I might go and take a peek for myself. Only trouble is that Navagio or Smuggler’s Cove is only accessible by boat and is a stopping off point for every boat trip around the north of the island. The beach is notable for the rusty old wreck half buried in the sand of a ship that went aground in the 1980s, while supposedly smuggling cigarettes. There are probably many picturesque, remote beaches like this around the Greek coastline, but the presence of the wreck there seems to add to the photogenic appeal and make this one of the most photographed beaches in Greece.
As we weren’t planning an all day boat trip just to check it out, we took a drive up to the north end of the island where there’s a viewing point for the beach. You might imagine from this shot that I was standing on a windswept cliff among wildflowers and thyme, but the reality is that I was perched on a little fenced metal viewing platform that has been created just to help you get the postcard shot. We parked on the cliff top car park, walked down the road past the bar, past the ice cream van with the noisy generator and past the stalls selling local produce, oil and honey. Then we took our turn with the other visitors on the tiny platform to take this photo.
After I’d taken my postcard shot we spotted a path winding down the cliff side around the other side of the cove, that looked as though it might lead down to the beach. We decided to explore but after a few twists and turns the path got narrower and steeper until we gave up. Clearly someone had the idea of creating an alternative viewing point but we didn’t dare cllimb too far down the cliff and couldn’t see where the path ended. A number of people had also missed the tiny viewing point at the top and walked down thinking they would get a view of the Smuggler’s cove, and weren’t very pleased when they realised it led to nowhere. But I think that on that twisty path with the scent of pine resin, thyme and chamomile we were closer to what I love about Greece than the ice cream van and the viewing point. So – best beach in the world or just another pretty picture? I’ll let you decide.
This pretty picture is offered as part of Photo Friday hosted at Delicious Baby – head on over to find more Friday photos to inspire your weekend.
More articles from Zante
This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home Don’t miss out – subscribe to Heather on her travels