After our two-week trip through Greece, the biggest question we got asked all the time was “which island was your favorite?” I still have not thought of a well spoken and complete answer for this question, maybe one day! 🙂 However, one of my favorite moments of our whole trip was looking over the edge of a massive cliff to finally see that one view, the former cover of Trip Advisor, the perfectly blue Navagio “Shipwreck” Beach. This beach is located on the island of Zakynthos, and we saw it on our own terms and not with a tour. Read on to see how you can do it yourself too!
The best way to get there is a flight from Athens. However, I could not find an affordable flight into Zakynthos for the dates we were there (mid June). After I did some research, I found a beautiful island named Kefalonia that was only an hour ferry ride from Zakynthos. Kefalonia had a lot to offer and was MUCH cheaper to fly into (over $200 USD we saved). From Athens, we flew to Kefalonia and after spending 2 nights there, we took the boat to Zakynthos.
Kefalonia Must Do’s
- Myrtos Beach
- Melissani Cave
We stayed at the cutest boutique hotel, Kefalonia Grand. The hotel was located in Argostolli, the island’s capital. We stayed here for 2 nights before catching our ferry to Zakynthos. We were within minutes from plenty of shops and restaurants.
First thing we did was rent a scooter for 24 hours. It cost around $25 USD for the day. We only had 1 full day in Kefalonia and we knew we were going to make the most of it!
We started at Melissani Cave. We went pretty early and the weather was gloomy and cloudy that day. The best time to go to the cave is supposedly around noon when the sun is hitting the cave directly. It cost $7 and we took a little gondola ride through the caves. The guide explained the history of these caves and the water is SO deep. It was a quick ride but it was beautiful and well worth it!
Despite the cloudy day we had, it couldn’t take away from the beauty of Myrtos beach! This is a famous beach in Greece as it has consistently been featured in magazines and wins awards for “Top Beaches In The World.”
Asos was a cute little Italian inspired town that was an incredibly beautiful drive. From high up on the mountain, you can spot all the different colored homes and restaurants. What we LOVED about this area was that it didn’t seem touristy at all, just a few other people stopping in for lunch. We basically had the place to ourselves!
Getting To Zakynthos Island
A ferry goes to and from Zakythnos from Kefalonia everyday in the summer. If you are going at a different time of year, do your research to find out the times in advance! Ferry times vary depending on the time of year. The trip takes one hour and it was a beautiful ride. The ferry was pretty cheap, costing $9 pp.
Zakynthos is a large island so a car is definitely recommended. We stayed closer to Zante town, at Ionian Hill Hotel. This hotel had an amazing view over the beaches and city, breakfast buffet included, a large pool and deck, and only cost us $58 USD a night! We were here for 3 days and it was the perfect location! It also didn’t hurt that the sunset view was FABULOUS from our hotel pool.
The Blue Caves and Navagio Beach
If you google Zakynthos, this beach will show up everywhere. The water is so blue it looks like somebody put food coloring in it! The actual beach can only be reached by boat. There are boat tours everywhere that you can hop on, costing around $27 USD pp. Typically the boat drops you off with a massive group of people, gives you a half hour to walk around and look at the shipwreck, and then you hop back on the boat. Kayleb and I are just a little too adventurous sometimes to go with the crowd, we wanted to do it our own way. My BIGGEST recommendation for Zakynthos is this: find a boat rental company and ditch the tours. We found one called Zante Boat Rental. You can find them on trip advisor, they were amazing! It only cost us $80 USD to have a boat to ourselves for the whole day! We rode to Navagio beach and got to stay as long as we want! We avoided the herds of people and it was the best day date I’ve ever been on. We also road through the famous Blue Caves and found a sweet swimming spot with some perfect cliffs to jump off. All along the coast you’ll find these caves and some of them you could even drive straight through with your boat.
Navagio Beach From Above
As beautiful as shipwreck beach is, seeing it from above is a hundred times better. It is super easy to get to! In our rental car, we just followed the signs for the Navagio viewing point. Once you park, I recommend walking as far out on the cliff as you can! The further off the cliff, the better the view! Pictures do NOT do this place justice.
Zakynthos was overall, the FUN island. The nightlife, the sunsets, and our day on the boat wrapped up the end of an amazing adventure that I’ll never forget.
In conclusion, you don’t have to go along with the crowd and pay for the tour groups. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and find a way to do it yourself! 🙂