Ionian islands are a favorite with European weekenders and American vacationers. They offer an authentic Greek experience in beautiful beaches, tranquil villages and lush landscapes.
Navagio Beach (nicknamed Shipwreck Beach) is a stunning white-sand beach on the island of Zakynthos that features an actual shipwreck. It is one of the most photographed beaches in Greece.
Navagio Beach is a natural wonder that is a must-see experience for anyone visiting Greece. Also known as Smuggler’s Cove, the exposed cove is a spectacular mix of white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters that are surrounded by towering white cliffs. But what makes Navagio Beach really special is the rusting shipwreck that dominates its sands. This is the MV Panayiotis, which was allegedly carrying contraband cigarettes when it ran aground in 1980. The story of the smuggler’s shipwreck has made this tiny cove a tourist magnet.
The best way to visit Navagio Beach is by boat, which can be arranged from several tour companies in Zakynthos. During the peak season, dozens of tourists descend on this beautiful spot every day, so it can get quite crowded. If you want to avoid crowds, try to get there in the morning hours before the sun starts to rise.
Visitors are asked not to climb on the shipwreck or trespass on the cliffs. This area is prone to landslides, and the authorities are working to protect the beach from such events. Tourists are still allowed to swim in the water, but not to disembark on the beach itself. This has been done for the safety of visitors, and the situation will be reassessed every six months.
The Melissani Caves, located 2 km from Sami on the island of Kefalonia are one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. They are named after the nymph Melissanthi who committed suicide here because her love for God Pan was not reciprocated. This unique underground lake-cave is surrounded by forests and has an amazing view of the sea below and the mountains above. The cave is a sight to behold especially when the sun’s rays hit the crystal blue waters creating an ethereal feeling and turning the entire cave into a magical fairytale scene.
It is recommended to visit the Melissani Caves during midday so you can witness the spectacular light show of the crystalline blue water. It is also best to take photos during this time as the sun is right overhead and will highlight the colors. The entrance fee is 7 euros and you will be taken in the caves via a small boat that can fit 12 people (lucky you if you are visiting solo).
Melissani Cave is famous for its crystal clear water which is a combination of both fresh and salt water and rises from a 30-meter deep cave system on one side of the cave. The cave-lake is a meter higher than the sea level and its surface is made of limestone. During excavations in 1951 and 1962, archeologist Spyridon Marinatos found ancient lamps, clay figures of the God Pan and clay plates showing dancing nymphs. These treasures are now exhibited at the Archeological Museum of Argostoli.
Askos Stone Park
Askos Stone Park is a nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary that’s ideal for families with kids. Here, you can walk among the island’s natural flora and fauna while also discovering ancient stone assemblies like pavements, walls, and basins that were once used for collecting rainwater. Alternatively, your youngsters can join a conservation project to help protect the endangered loggerhead sea turtles that spawn on Zakynthos beaches.
This dreamy island is renowned for its verdurous scenery and awe-inspiring sunsets. But besides its pristine beaches, Zante offers an intriguing inland where dainty villages and fascinating archaeological sites are located.
You can take in the breathtaking panoramic views from Strani Hill or Skopiotissa Monastery. You can also head to Navagio Beach for a chance to see the world-famous shipwreck and Marathonisi Island to learn about this island’s rich marine biodiversity.
A cruise to Greece’s Blue Paradise is a wonderful opportunity for your family to bond and create memories together. With boundless cerulean skies, showstopping sunsets, and warm hospitality, the Greek Islands are a paradise that’s perfect for families with kids of all ages.
One of Greece’s most famous beaches, Navagio Beach (or Shipwreck Cove) is a gorgeous stretch of white sand that’s surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. It’s an Insta-famous destination, and a highlight of many travel itineraries for the island of Zakynthos.
Despite the fact that it’s known around the world, the beach is still fairly secluded. Only a small portion of the sand is accessible to tourists, and the rest is reserved for locals. However, you can still enjoy its beauty by booking a day trip or tour to visit the beach, which will also include a visit to another of the island’s highlights, the Blue Caves.
While most photos of Navagio Beach feature the cove itself, you can get an even better view by walking up to the edge of the cliffs. Be warned though that the cliffs are steep and unstable, so staying too close to the edge could be dangerous. There have been several deaths by falling off the cliffs over the years, so it’s always wise to stay away from the edges of the cliffs at all times.
The most common way to visit Navagio Beach is to book a day trip or tour that includes the beach and Blue Caves. Most tours will also include lunch and drinks, making it a full-day experience and a great value for your money.