Navagio boat trip - between paradise and nightmare

The day we arrived, the Ionian sea was very agitated, with big waves. We enjoyed the view, as all the strong currents have colored the water in an incredible turquoise. And the waves were the missing puzzle in order to have a surprising wild landscape. The problem was with the timing of each planned trip. What should we do with Navagio boat trip? We waited for a couple of days hoping that the sea will calm down (and it happened just when we were on the island tour) in order to buy the tickets.

On Sunday, we had a free day – no trips, just relaxing. As the sea was calm, we reserved the seats for an unforgettable trip (and when I say unforgettable, I mean it, you will see later why). The local agency had tickets for 2 trips: 9:30h or 13:30h. We chose the first trip for the next day.

On Monday morning it was sunny and the sea was quiet so we were prepared to start our adventure. And what adventure! In the first part of the trip, everything was perfect! I was taking photos, admiring the view and enjoying the ride.

When we got to the northern part of the island, the nightmare started: the boat started to move a lot (and when I say a lot, just imagine a small boat facing some high waves). I couldn’t believe that on one part of the island the sea can be so calm and on the other side to be…the worst nightmare. Our first mistake was that we changed our seats with the ones from the frontal part (I thought that the bus principle: if you have car sickness, just seat on the front seats, will work for the boat) Hell, no! It is the other way around for boats: it’s better to stay on the back as you will not feel the movement that strong. We didn’t know that so we proudly moved to the frontal part.

And the boat was moving: up and down, left – right, some water drops were entering the boat…and I was starting to feel more and sicker. A staff member saw me and asked if I’m ok. Hmm, not really, I answered. He told us that we will have an hour break at Navagio so enough time to feel good again. This was my hope also.

After 25 minutes of torture, we were approaching Navagio. I felt it because the boat had slowed down and the movement was not that strong. All the other people were approaching the deck with cameras. I didn’t see where we were and if we finally got there as I was sitting down and vomiting. However, I was waiting for the boat to anchor in order to get off from that terrific boat.

Suddenly, a staff member said:

– Sea is bad, let’s go!

What? I was feeling like hell, I was mentally down and unprepared for another 30 minutes of torture and they just told us that we will return? without seeing anything?? Well, yes! They could not anchor as the sea was agitated and the boats are not allowed to anchor when the sea currents are strong. So, they returned the boat and got back.

A staff member forced me to get out and to stay in the back side of the boat (as there is more convenient for someone with seasickness). This was the moment when I could see all that beauty, the crazy blue of the water, the giant rocks…everything was unreal.

But unreal was also my mood. I took 3 photos (this was my freedom time) and then I approached the bathroom. I stopped in front of it and I started vomiting there. I fall on the floor, I was not able to get up while vomiting a lot. In the end, I don’t know how I got up and reached the bathroom (where I spent the majority of the journey). Fortunately, our boat arrived quickly in the eastern part of the island, where the sea was calm and everything came back to normal.

I lay down on a bench and tried to fall asleep. All I wanted was to get home healthy. And you can imagine how sick I was if I was unable to get up and take some photos of Blue caves! We had a 30 minutes stop there.

Then, we stopped at Xigia beach. In that moment, I was feeling better so I got up and admired the beautiful scenery. This beach is famous for its sulfuric water used in some medical affections. The boat stopped pretty close to the beach but one had to swim in order to reach the beach. I stayed in the boat and captured some shots:

After this stop, we finally!!! got to Alykes and Alikanas. I was so damaged that I couldn’t eat anything all day. However, I was grateful that I got home alive (jajaja).

Some thoughts after this boat trip:

Boat trips to Navagio are a tourist trap!

  • You are forced to buy the trip in advance (if you want to go in with the first tour, at 9:30 o’clock) and you will not know if the sea is calm that day. Or even worse, maybe the sea is calm on the eastern part (as it usually is) but on the western part is the hell!
  • If the sea is bad, it doesn’t worth to go on a boat trip as they are not allowed to anchor at Navagio.
  • They will not inform you if they can anchor at Navagio (and to be honest, they know for sure how is the weather on the other part of the island). In my case, it was even worse: they told me that we will stop one hour at Navagio and I was shocked to see that we were returning soon after we got there.

If I were to go again, I would:

  1. Choose a bigger ship. On the island there are a lot of options, so choose the biggest one (they have around 200 seats). We chose a smaller one (with 60 seats) and felt the movement a lot!
  2. Search on the internet for weather conditions (including wind speed).
  3. Take some pills for seasickness in advance. Sea bands are also useful.
  4. Eat lighter the night before and in the morning.
  5. Sit on the back (the movement is not that strong and you always have fresh air).

Travel. Enjoy. Repeat.

Pal