Once you hear the title Greece, it seemingly conjures up pictures of the white sand beaches of Crete, the stone pillars of the Acropolis in Athens, or the whitewashed buildings of Santorini. However, there are over 6,000 islands on this Mediterranean archipelago to select from, and Zakynthos is a small hidden gem amongst them.
Many travellers from the UK and elements of Europe have already found this Ionian magnificence, which lies west of mainland Greece, however for North Individuals and travellers from different elements of the world, this could possibly be the primary time you’re listening to about it.
Notice: this submit was final up to date in February of 2020. We maintain all of our Greece content material as updated as potential. To be taught extra about Greece journey, take a look at our Greece Travel Guide.
Blessed with a jagged shoreline, picturesque villages, a hilly inside and some of the best beaches in Greece (particularly Navagio Beach), Zakynthos rapidly turned one in all our favorite islands within the nation.
Sufficiently small to simply navigate by automobile, however giant sufficient to supply a range of landscapes, villages and coastlines, this Ionian island ought to function prominently in your subsequent Greek Itinerary.
On this article I’m going to checklist 15 of the most effective issues to do in Zakynthos to be able to get an concept of what’s on provide right here.
You’ll discover that most of the issues to do in Zakynthos are beach-related, as that is what the island is finest recognized for. You received’t discover the historical past of Crete, the cool structure that’s well-known on Santorini, or the tradition and cities of islands like Lesvos, Chios and Corfu, however “Zante” presents the right stress-free vacation spot for these within the know.
💡Bonus Tip: automobile rental in Greece could be very cheap and positively price if at some stage in your keep. Should you lease for 1 week, you’ll seemingly pay not more than $20 / day (we paid $17) and it will provide you with the liberty to see all the sights on this submit.
Notice: Click on the maps to open in Google Maps
Okay, let’s begin with the principle attraction on the island and probably essentially the most photographed web site in your complete nation. This gorgeous stretch of white sand and impossibly blue water is protected by a pure harbour with terrifyingly tall 200 meter excessive cliffs on Three sides.
Set smack dab in the course of the sand is a decaying ship. A (false) hearsay has it that this was a tobacco smuggler’s ship that crashed into the seashore throughout a storm, when in actuality it’s only a cargo boat that ran ashore. Whether or not you consider the romantic story or not doesn’t matter, the huge ship resting on the sand positively provides to the allure and attract of this spectacular sight.
There are two methods to see Navagio Beach, both by sea or from the highest of the cliffs. There are not any roads main on to the sand, so to swim within the water and see the shipwreck up shut, you’ll need to take a ship tour.
These could be employed from completely different cities across the island. When you’ve got a automobile, then your least expensive possibility might be to drive to the closest cove to Navagio Seashore and hop on a ship from there.
To see it from above (extremely advisable), you’ll need to drive your automobile to the viewing platform on the north finish of the island. It’s very easy to get right here by automobile as there are indicators in all places and it’s well-marked on Google Maps (Click Here for the precise location). The car parking zone is true subsequent to the platform, so you possibly can drive proper up, get out of your automobile, snap a number of images after which drive off.
Please word: The perfect views are from the cliffs to the suitable of the platform and you may even see some individuals clambering alongside them to take the right selfie. Vacationers have not too long ago died falling off of those rocks and it isn’t advisable to enterprise past the platform. These cliffs are over 200 meters excessive and a slip is certain to be deadly. Keep on the platform.
2. Sundown Dinner & Drinks At Lofos Restaurant
No doubt this small, Greek-run restaurant has the most effective views of Zakynthos’ rugged inside. Decide a desk alongside the deck and peer over the cliff down in the direction of the farmlands beneath and the Ionian Sea within the distance.
The meals right here is incredible, the service is nice and it’s the right place for sundown. We suggest the roast lamb (€9) and the meat stew (€8). Each are completely scrumptious. Beers are round €2.5 and appetizers are simply €Four every. Normally, at a spot like this, you need to pay additional for the meals as a result of the view is so good, however that’s not the case at Lofos.
You’ll additionally seemingly get a free dessert, so chances are you’ll not need to order one!
We did a whole review of Lofos Restaurant so when you’re considering of heading there for dinner or late afternoon drinks, you’ll want to test it out.
3. Xigia Seashore
One other extremely scenic seashore on the island of Zakynthos, this secluded cove is guarded on three sides by giant cliffs, the water is gorgeous and there’s even a sulphur sizzling spring right here (which explains the unusual scent). Take a look at our full review of Xigia Beach together with get there, close by eating places and extra.
4. Snorkel / Dive (With Turtles)
The reefs and seashores round Zakynthos are dwelling to one of many oldest lifeforms on Earth, the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. This stunning creature could be noticed within the Zakynthos Marine Park or coming ashore to put eggs within the night on many bays (even in style ones) round Zakynthos and surrounding islands.
You’re prone to spot a turtle in some unspecified time in the future throughout your journey to Zakynthos, however to higher your possibilities it’s best to positively hop on a ship and go discover them.
Be sure you do your analysis and go along with an organization that practices secure snorkelling with animals. Should you see 10 boats pulling up alongside one turtle with tons of of individuals leaping in directly, it’s best to inform the information that you just don’t approve. This stresses out the animals and might trigger hurt to the ecosystems.
UPDATE 2020: The snorkelling journey with turtles is now not accessible on Get Your Information however they do have another nice journeys accessible. There’s a tour to see the turtles from a glass-bottom boat which might be nice and you may as well typically spot them within the harbour.
Should you’re in Zakynthos throughout mating season (Might to October) you would possibly be capable to see them on Laganas Seashore. Take a look at our submit all about Spotting Sea Turtles on Turtle Island Zakynthos to be taught extra about see these unimaginable creatures.
You received’t simply see Turtles within the Ionian Sea both! There are many tender and arduous corals, in addition to fish and crustacean life that discover a dwelling within the rocky underwater topography close to Zakynthos.
You may be a part of diving and snorkelling excursions with many outfitters on the island. Most cost round €50 for one dive with gear and round €30 per individual for a full day snorkel journey with gear rent. You may normally get reductions for giant teams or for a number of journeys.
5. Go to The Venetian Fort
Should you can peel your self away from the seashore for a number of hours, chances are you’ll need to contemplate visiting the previous ruins of the Venetian Fort. The Ionian Islands have been occupied by the Turks, French, British, Venetians, and Russians at one time, however the Venetians left behind a few of the most imposing websites within the type of fortresses on Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Corfu.
The fortress right here isn’t as spectacular as that of Assos Fort in Kefalonia, nevertheless it’s nonetheless price a go to when you’re already close to Zante City. The precise date of its development continues to be unknown, nevertheless it was destroyed by the invading Turks in 1480, however then restored in 1515. Right now it stands as a testomony to the previous glory of Zakynthos as a Venetian army stronghold and guests can stroll by an previous jail, gun powder rooms, bastions, church buildings and an previous sewage system.
Should you plan to go to the fortress, take a look at our submit about Visiting The Venetian Castle in Zakynthos Greece to get an concept of what to anticipate.
6. Alykes Seashore: One in all The Most Chilled Out Issues To Do in Zakynthos
This was our favorite seashores on the island, partly as a result of it was probably the most stunning stretches of powdery golden sand that we discovered, but additionally as a result of it was the place we discovered our favorite seashore bar on your complete island, Porto Paradiso.
This place had scrumptious meals (with a number of Greek choices), wonderful service and low-cost beers and cocktails, plus they allow us to sit on the seashore chairs totally free once we ordered from the restaurant or bar.
The view out in the direction of the sunshine blue water of the Ionian Sea is to die for and the water is deep sufficient to swim just some meters from shore. It’s actually arduous to beat a seashore like this!
7. The Cliffs of Keri
This place on the southwest finish of the island is all in regards to the views. You may park your automobile proper subsequent to the cliffs and stroll out on the rocks for beautiful views out over the impossibly blue sea and (typically) turtles down beneath.
There’s additionally a stunning lighthouse close by and the city of Keri itself can also be price a go to. The Keri Cliffs are additionally the most effective sundown spots on the island as (on a transparent day) you possibly can watch the huge orb kiss the ocean on the horizon because the sky lights up with sensible oranges, reds and purples. You may as well join a boat tour which takes within the Keri Caves in addition to turtle recognizing.
Take a look at our submit all in regards to the village of Keri Zakynthos which incorporates the most effective issues to do just like the Keri Lighthouse and the Keri Cliffs, in addition to locations to remain and eat in and across the city.
8. Boat Tour in Zante – One in all The Coolest Issues To Do in Zakynthos
We did a personal boat tour (with captain) across the island with Luxury Island Events and it was lots of enjoyable, however we suggest renting a personal boat for simply €80 / day plus fuel (normally €40) and drive across the shoreline your self!
Attributable to heavy winds and excessive waves, you most likely received’t be capable to take the boat to Shipwreck Cove, however you possibly can rip round to completely different bays, anchor up and swim with no person else round. That is positively the most effective issues to do in Zakynthos!
We ended up doing this on Corfu Island and it was actually the most effective days we had in Greece.
Should you plan to do that, take a look at our submit How To Rent a Boat in Zakynthos to just be sure you have a terrific expertise. We checklist all of the top-rated corporations, the place to seek out the most effective costs and in addition lease a ship with a driver if you need.
Should you plan to convey snacks and refreshments on the boat with you, then you definately would possibly as properly decide up a small foam cooler from the grocery retailer for about €10 – €15. Then you possibly can have some ice-cold beers and lunch whilst you’re floating out at sea!
You don’t want a licence to lease one in all these small (40HP+) boats, nevertheless it’s advisable that you’ve got a little bit of expertise driving boats, although it’s not essential as a result of the captains on the store will present you the ropes.
These boats are the right dimension for two – Four individuals and when you break up the associated fee, it’s extraordinarily reasonably priced, particularly contemplating Jetskis and Sea-doos normally lease for $50 / hour in different elements of the world!
Should you decide up the boat from the Keri Harbour, then you possibly can drive the boat across the south, east and west ends of the island. Be sure you cease in on Turtle island for a swim on a surprising seashore.
We actually can’t suggest this sufficient! Click here to ebook your individual non-public boat with Luxurious Island Occasions.
9. Gerakas Seashore – The Most Enjoyable Factor To Do in Zante
Pronounced (Yer-ak-as), this stunning stretch of sand within the far southeastern finish of the island is the right place to chill out for the afternoon. The sand here’s a reddish color and so are the encompassing cliffs, however the water is crystal clear and it’s comparatively quiet right here.
You may lease reclining seashore chairs for €Four every, however there isn’t any meals or drinks served on the seashore because it’s a marine protected space (turtles come right here to nest once in a while). If you would like any snacks or refreshments, it’s finest to purchase them from the outlets on the prime of the hill earlier than strolling down the steps to the seashore.
The water right here could be very shallow however will get deep sufficient to swim about 100 meters out from shore. Chillin out on seashore chairs right here is among the most stress-free issues to do in Zante.
We wrote a post all about Gerakas Beach, get there, the place to remain, the most effective eating places within the space and so forth., so when you’re planning on going to this pretty seashore throughout your keep in Zakynthos, be sure to examine that out.
10. Porto Limnionas
That is positively probably the most scenic coves on the island, and on an island blessed with numerous picturesque bays, that’s actually saying quite a bit. Limnionas is a deep pure harbour surrounded by multicoloured cliffs and a few of the clearest water you’ll see. The inexperienced rocks mirror the solar from beneath and light-weight the ocean up like an aquarium.
You may chill out on the Limnionas Tavern and select from dozens of sunbeds (€Four every) hanging over the sting of the rocks wanting down in the direction of the ocean. The tavern right here serves up moderately priced meals, chilly beer and attractive drinks. In our expertise, the meals was not that nice, however the view is excellent, so it’s a terrific place for a drink.
Take a look at our post all about visiting Porto Limnionas for extra data on the most effective eating places close by, get right here, when to come back and what to anticipate.
11. Zante City
Undoubtedly not essentially the most scenic metropolis in all of Greece, Zakynthos (Zante) City could not instantly allure guests, nevertheless it does have its personal native flare. There are quite a few eating places right here, a number of pedestrians solely streets and a fantastic seafront promenade that faces a pure harbour stuffed with parked ferries, fishing boats and sailboats.
There are a few giant open plazas and loads of outlets and markets. Most of what you’ll ever want could be discovered right here. We didn’t hear many optimistic issues about Zante City previous to visiting, however we truly actually loved strolling round this seaside capital.
Take a look at our Guide to Zante Town which incorporates every part it is advisable to find out about visiting this stunning Ionian Capital together with the place to remain, the most effective eating places, the most effective close by seashores and get there and away.
12. Porto Azzuro
One more breathtaking cove, Porto Azzuro is a good place to relax out for the afternoon. There’s a cluster of rocks within the water on the south finish of the seashore that makes for excellent snorkelling and wonderful images. The water right here takes on a greenish-blue hue and there’s a good (however overpriced) seashore bar right here known as Porto Azzuro Seashore Bar.
You’ll need to pay for sunbeds (€5 / day) even when you select to eat on the bar. Deliver a towel and lay it within the sand totally free and revel in a soothing afternoon. Should you order meals, you possibly can sit on the eating tables totally free within the restaurant and look out on the gorgeous view over the bay, simply not the sunbeds.
For extra about visiting this pretty cove, take a look at our Porto Azzuro Guide which incorporates get right here, the place to eat, the most effective time to go to the seashore and extra.
13. Banana Seashore
One other lengthy stretch of golden sand, just some hundred meters south of Porto Azurro, Banana Seashore has a greater (and extra reasonably priced) seashore bar on a hill overlooking the bay. The seashore itself may not be as scenic as Porto Azurro on a transparent day, however the sand right here is tender and there are sunbeds for lease as properly.
There’s a free shuttle bus from the city of Argassi to Banana Seashore, leaving the city at 10:45 am and returning at 4:00 pm.
14. Sundown Dinner at Taverna Psarou
One other wonderful spot for a meal, Taverna Psarou is ready simply inches from the sand of Psarou Seashore. The seashore itself is nothing to jot down dwelling about, however the setting of this tiny, family-run tavern is among the finest on the island.
The meals is sweet, the costs are respectable and the service is superb. Because the solar dips low within the sky and the clouds mild up, the workers mild small candles on the tables. Consuming with the sound of the Ionian Sea lapping up on the sand simply meters out of your desk is what makes this spot so superb. Sunset dinner right here is among the most romantic issues to do in Zakynthos.
Not many individuals come right here, so it’s a hidden gem on the island.
15. Low cost Cocktails at Tsilivi Seashore
Tsilivi Seashore is a protracted and wonderful stretch of sand with lots of seashore bars spilling out in the direction of the water. The seashore itself is gorgeous and that is essentially the most occurring spot on the east coast. We extremely suggest chilling on the seashore chairs close to Andreolas Luxurious Suites and having some low-cost (€2) cocktails from their seashore bar!
Should you’re questioning what to do in Zakynthos, head to this seashore for a day of leisure, swimming and cocktails!
The city of Tsilivi additionally has lots of eating places together with a number of of our favourites. See the underside of this submit for our favorite locations to eat and drink in addition to another traveller suggestions.
Extra About Zakynthos (Zante)
☞ Click here to see advisable excursions accessible on Zakynthos
The place To Keep on Zakynthos Island
It’s all about low-cost flats in Zakynthos! We had a fantastic, newly renovated studio with a sea and olive grove view at Katerina Rooms close to Psarou and it price us simply €20 per evening. You could find a ton of different reasonably priced locations (particularly within the shoulder/low season) on Booking.com.
Finest Eating places on Zakynthos Island
We’ve already listed a pair on this submit, however listed here are our favourites:
Getting Round Zakynthos
As I discussed earlier, it’s important that you just lease a automobile whilst you’re on Zakynthos Island when you hope to see all the sights on this article. We rented our automobile with Expedia and opted out of the prolonged insurance coverage, which meant that the automobile price us simply $17 / day.
You may take minibuses to some elements of the island, however you’ll have to attend on the street for them to come back, and so they don’t go in all places. Should you’re taking a number of buses each day, the prices add up anyhow. Even when you’re on a price range, we suggest splurging for a automobile on all the Greek islands.
Is Zakynthos On Your Checklist But?
This island was an actual shock for us. We hadn’t even heard of it earlier than we booked our low-cost flight from London and headed there for 9 days, however we liked it.
Zante has tons of of low-cost flats accessible, and whereas there’s not as a lot historical past and native tradition as different Ionian Islands, it nonetheless has quite a bit to supply guests, particularly these seeking to laze on stunning seashores and eat scrumptious Greek meals. It is probably not a historical past buff’s paradise, however there are various issues to do and it’s the right vacation spot for these seeking to chill out and soak within the Mediterranean solar.
Take a look at our Zakynthos Journey Video
An enormous thank-you to Discover Greece and Luxurious Island Occasions for placing collectively our afternoon on the ocean! Seeing the shoreline and close by islands by boat was a incredible expertise 😀
Like This Article? Pin it!
Disclaimer: Some hyperlinks on this article are affiliate hyperlinks, which signifies that if you buy by them, we obtain a small fee. This can by no means price you additional and in lots of instances you obtain a particular low cost. We respect your help!