The famous Shipwreck Beach (Navagio), pictures of which one would see on every tourist brochure about Zakynthos, is at the northwest tip of the island. It is notable because it is home to the wreck of the alleged smuggler ship Panagiotis; thus, it is often referred to as ‘Smugglers Cove’. It is a much overhyped but splendid beach, and the downside of it is the round-the-island excursion boats from Zakynthos Town bring tourists in hoards.
The white sand beach is only accessible by boat. Tourists can catch a boat from the capital city of Zakynthos, Porto Vromi to the South, or from Saint Nikolas in Volimes to the Northeast. Navagio Beach is the least crowded in the months of May and November. Go there either early in the morning or in the afternoon (>15:00), as in the time between the big around-the-island cruise ships anchor there and the beach is heavily crowded – its not rare to have 20 boats all moored each putting a few hundred people ashore at once. Going there in off-peak times ensures you will have the beach pretty much to your own
Your best bet is to take a small-boat trip to see Shipwreck Beach and/or the Blue Caves (in the island’s northeast). The northeastern coastal road is lined with hawkers offering the ‘same-trip-better-boat’ deals. Potamitis Trips (Tel: +30 26950 31132, www.potamitisbros.gr, firstname.lastname@example.org) offers good glass-bottom boat trips at Cape Skinari, 3km beyond Agios Nikolaos (Blue Caves only, €7.50; Shipwreck Beach and Blue Caves, €15).
For the ultimate picture, follow the signs to the Agios Gergio Kremnao monastery – when you arrive there, use the road to your right to get to a small viewing platform some 600ft above the wreck and is where most of the picture postcard shots are taken from. It can actually be nicer to see it from this perspective than up close and personal on the beach itself.