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Zakynthos

Zanthe (the island of Ugo Foscolo), homeland of many poets and destination for the mediterranean sea turtles is a wonderful island with enormous white beaches and wonderful woods besides the energetic nightlife with all its clubs and bars.

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Surface
405,6 km² km²
Airport
International
Port
Zakynthos, Agios Nikolaos
Faster connection
Direct flight
Connections
Direct flight
Healthcare
Hospital
Tourist presence
Nightlife under 30
Nightlife over 30
Beaches
Sand, Pebbles, Rocks
Beach services
Equipped
Beaches for children
Yes
Equipped campsite
Yes
Naturism
No
Points of interest
Marathonisi, Cameo, Navagio, Blue caves, Skopiotissa monastery, Yperagathou monastery, Anafonitria monastery, Venetian castle, Venetian bridge, Eleftherotria monastery
Activity
Climbing Boat trip Birdwatching Canoe Horse Diving Hiking Kayak Kytesurf Mountain bike Fishing Underwater fishing Snorkeling Tour Trekking Windsurf
Holiday type
Family holiday, Romantic trip, Nightlife

The island of Zakynthos is the third biggest island of the Ionian archipelago and it is located near the southern part of the Peloponnese. It is famous for its Relict beach on the western part of the island and for the fact that every year hundreds of turtles from the Mediterranean sea called Caretta Caretta migrate to the southern part of the island to reproduce and lay their eggs. 

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Zakynthos can be easily reached thanks to the airport on the island. There are daily departures from Athens that only take 55 minutes to reach Zakynthos. During the summer there are also many low cost flights from most a lot of european cities. From the port of Killini there are at least 5 daily departures that will get you quickly to the nearby islands.

Why choose Zakynthos?

If you visit Zakynthos you will find spectacular and wild beaches with a coastline that is ideal for children as the water becomes deep after many meters. If you are looking for bars, clubs, cocktails and nightlife you can visit Laganas beach, the center of Zakynthos’ nightlife and also the place where during the day you’ll admire a long and wide beach perfect for people that want to go snorkeling or diving.

The busiest inhabited centers are all located in the southern part of the island while if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful place you can visit the northern side. Here the villages are smaller and have a more traditional atmosphere. 

If you are looking for a vacation to discover the traditional Greek lifestyle meeting a lot of locals and discovering the island’s culture you should visit the northern part of the island (maybe in Volimes, a quiet but well organized town). The main attraction of the island are the mediterranean sea turtles called Caretta Caretta.

You will have the chance to join the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, Archelon, and visit the beaches every morning to have the chance to see the turtle eggs hatching. In Zakynthos you will find a delicious cuisine with high quality ingredients. There are many olive trees and the local olive oil adds a special touch to every dish. Here you mustn’t miss the local honey desserts like the pasteli with sesame seeds and the mantolato made with egg white and almonds that in Zakynthos are very popular.

The beaches on Zante are mainly located on the eastern coast. The island has a point in the northern point that divides the island into two parts (east and west) and a southern gulf.

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Between sandy, pebbly and rocky beaches

Most of the beaches are sandy, but the ones on the western part of the island can only be reached by boat. In the southern part there is a protected marine reserve and many tourist attractions. The beaches here have wonderful golden sand besides many sea turtles that choose this beach to lay their eggs.

Agios Nikolas beach

The last beach in the north-eastern part of Zante is Agios Nikolaos, from which you can reach Kefalonia with a ferry or the nearby island by swimming. The part of the beach that is equipped with services is located near the port but for the rest the beach is completely unspoilt.

Agios Sostis beach

A sandy and well equipped beach with turquoise waters located on the southern part of the island. The most fascinating point of Laganas bay. In front of this beach there is a small island that was formed after an earthquake where you will find a nightclub. The entrance to the island has a cost while the entrance to the beach is free. There are also taverns and bars.

Alikes beach

Another famous beach with fine sand is Alikes with its extension Alikanas. There are many spots where to practice different sports, places where to sunbathe, and locations where to eat. It is one of the most famous and equipped beaches of the island and for this reason it can be quite crowded.

Banana beach

The most extended beach of the island and also the one with the deepest seabed. Here you will have the chance to practice many water sports. There are also many taverns where to have some nice food even if it is far away from any village or town. There are many services like beach umbrellas and sunbeds for the tourists that visit it.

Capo Marathia beach

Marathia is beach covered in a mix of pebbles and sand. In Cape Marathia you will be able to go snorkeling, rent a boat to reach the small island of Marathonissi or just take a relaxing swim. Like in the rest of the gulf also here the water is very clear and full of fish and sea creatures. This beach is also partially equipped.

Dafni beach

Near Vasilikos there are many beaches. Dafni can only be visited during the day and the nearby island can only be accessed during the summer when it is visited by manu turtles that nest there. On this beach there are also some taverns where to eat some delicious food.

Gerakas beach

In the southern coast there is Gerakas, a sandy beach that was once famous for the presence of beneficial mud and clay. Here many turtles come to nest at dawn and for this reason many tourists visit the beach early in the morning to see this event. It isn’t equipped with services for tourists.

Kalamaki beach

This beach is located next to Laganas and can only be accessed during the day. These beaches are very important for sea turtles as so many of them every year visit it to lay their eggs. They are sandy and offer many solutions for tourists. The water isn’t particularly clear and the beaches aren’t equipped.

Laganas beach

A sandy and very touristy beach that is often full of young people, taverns, snack bars and places where to book an excursion to visit turtle bays.

Limni Keri beach

A sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the southern side of the island. A beautiful beach equipped with anything a tourist may need. From Limni Keri you can reach Marathonissi island besides being able to book an excursion to the nearby caves in Zabte’s marine reserve.

Port Limnionas beach

Port Limnionas has a unique fiord from which you will be able to take some great pictures. There is a tavern that serves typical traditional food next to the beach and it’s turquoise waters. You can practice snorkeling or just sunbathe on this wonderful beach. Limnionas has no sand and there are only some pebbles and big flat rocks nearby the beach.

Gialos beach

Going from east to north the beaches landscapes starts to change, the seabeds and coasts are covered in pebbles, like for Makris Gialos. An ideal destination for people that love snorkeling and diving as there are many underwater caves to explore. Unfortunately there aren’t any services for tourists and for this reason you’ll have to bring food and water from home.

Navagio beach

Relict beach (or Navagio) is the most famous and photographed beach of the island. It gets its name from the ship that sank and got stuck in this point of the coast more than 30 years ago. It can only be accessed by boat but it can be admired from high above. The beach is small and located near the cliffs, it is small, covered in sand, surrounded by turquoise waters and unspoilt.

Port Kaminia beach

A sandy beach with turquoise waters located in the southern part of the island. The beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and crystal clear waters. Port Kaminia beach is well organized and equipped with anything a tourist may need like sunbeds, beach umbrellas and bars.

Port Koula beach

Porto Koukla is made of two beaches. One can be reached by boat and is completely covered in sand while the other can be reached going through a dirt road and is covered in a mix of sand and pebbles. The ideal place if you are looking for a quiet and natural beach far away from private beaches and crowded places.

Vromi port beach

A bay covered in a mix of sand and pebbles surrounded by turquoise waters and located in the western part of the island. One of zante’s most beautiful beaches that is famous for its lush vegetation and exotic scenarios. On Vromi port beach you can rent a paddle boat or book an excursion to visit the nearby caves.

Port Zoro beach

A sandy beach with turquoise waters in the south-eastern part of the island. It is famous for the rocky formations and exotic scenarios. Porto Zoro beach is completely organized and offers many services like beach umbrellas, seabeds and many hotels.

Tsilivi beach

A sandy beach with crystal clear waters located in the eastern part of the island. Tsilivi is particularly good for families.
The sea bed is shallow and there are many places where to practice different water sports besides spots where to rent beach umbrellas and sunbeds. There are also some taverns and bars where to find something to eat or drink.

Xigia beach

Xigia beach (there are two of them, in this case we are talking about the one in the northern part of the island) is famous for the presence of a marine cave and a sulfur spring. The spring has many beneficial effects but unfortunately it has a strong sulphurous smell.

A Zante si trovano alcuni dei più importanti posti da visitare in Grecia. Tra Navagio e le Grotte Blu, molti vengono a Zante per vedere questi luoghi meravigliosi, attorno ai quali si sono sviluppate diverse attività da fare. La natura, gli sport acquatici e gli eventi, saranno le attività per le vacanze a Zante.

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In Zante you will find some of Greeces most important places to visit. Thanks to the presence of the Navagio and the blue caves many tourists come here each year to observe the island’s natural beauties. There are also water sports practiced here besides many events that are organized every summer.

Boat trips, long walks and water sports

If you want to see the island’s coast beauties you should take part in a boat trip. These can be booked in advance as well as on the moment. There are many creeks that can only be reached by boat and for this reason a boat trip is the best way to visit these inaccessible parts of the island. In Zante you will also have the chance to book a unique excursion that includes a catch and release fishing trip.

You can practice different water sports on almost every beach. Especially in the southern coast where there are many good places to go snorkeling also thanks to the nearby marine reservoir.

Marathonisi island

One of the things you can do in Zante is to go and visit Marathonisi island, also known as Turtle Island, since this is one of the main places where these animals come and lay their eggs. It can be easily reached by taking part in a day trip or by renting your own vehicle. Remember that the area where the turtles nest cannot be visited and that the island often gets very busy during the summer. Our suggestion is to include in a daily trip of the islands around Zante.

Cameo island

One of the things to see in Zante is certainly Cameo island. This small island is connected to Zante by a small wooden bridge about 100 meters long. The entrance for Cameo island costs about 5 euros and includes the access to the beach and something to drink.

We suggest you go there early in the morning as around midday it tends to be very crowded.
You can also reach it by boat if you are planning a tour of Zante’s nearby islands.

Renting a boat

The island has many hidden spots and is worth exploring. There are many creeks that aren’t included in the local boat trips so, if you want to visit them all by yourself, your best choice is to rent a boat and enjoying Zante’s beautiful coasts.

Snorkeling and diving centers

With such a beautiful sea it would be impossible not to suggest this activity. There are many diving centers that are fitted for both amateurs and experts and will give you the chance to explore the island’s wonderful seabed. These centers rent all the necessary equipment and even offer courses to teach people that want to get into this sport.

How to get around in Zakynthos? Zakynthos has a good bus network. So if your idea is not to rent a car or scooter, you can take advantage of this service. Internal connections to the island are much more frequent between the most important places (Alikes, Tsilivi, Kalamaki) while for the smaller ones they are rare, so you could organize your trip trying to visit those places with the use of a rental car for the necessary days.

Renting a car in Zakynthos

The cost of a car rental in Zakynthos varies according to the period. However, it fluctuates between 35.00 and 45.00 € / day in the high season, with the possibility of being able to rent without a credit card according to the conditions of the rental agency. Although most still require the card also for the deposit guarantee. Guarantee that is eliminated by purchasing full coverage of the vehicle (in practice CASCO insurance). The rental agencies are located in the main points of the island, starting with the airport of Zakynthos and the city of Zakynthos itself.

Scooter rental in Zakynthos

The price of scooter rental in the high season ranges from 25 to 35 € / day . But they could also increase according to the request. Perhaps it is better to rent the scooter inside the island, where there are agencies at competitive prices.

Taxi service in Zakynthos

For your travels in Zakynthos there is also a good Taxi service as well as rental with driver. We recommend combining this solution with bus travel. It is possible to have a driver's phone number left, which will be at your disposal when, for example, you will return late in the evening or if you want to go one day to visit a point of the island not covered by the bus line.

Zakynthos is Greek island with an international airport. For this reason the quickest way to reach it is certainly to take a direct flight. Most flights leave from the main European cities. If you can’t find a direct flight, you can find a ferry or flight from Athens. It is also the place from where the ferry from Bari stop.

Reaching Zakynthos by plane

There are two chances. Either getting a direct flight or by getting a second plane. Having an international airport flying directly to to Zakynthos is certainly the best way to get there. Thanks to the low cost companies that guarantee direct flights from the main European cities. If you can’t find a direct flight but you still want to fly to Zakynthos you can first get a flight for Athens before getting a second flight that will get you to Zakynthos.

Reaching Zakynthos by ferry from Italy

The ferries that reach Zakynthos from italy leave from Brindisi and Bari. From brindisi you can reach Zakynthos in 17 hours while if you are leaving from Bari it will take you around 20 hours. Otherwise there are ferries that leave from Ancona but stop in Corfù so you will have to get a second ferry for reaching Zakynthos.

Reaching Zakynthos by ferry from the Peloponnese

The journey lasts an hour and the price ranges from 10 to 15 euros, if you bring a car with you the price will be around 20 euros. There are daily ferries that leave from the port of Killini. There are usually two ferries a day that leave from this port.

Reaching Zakynthos by ferry from Patrasso

If your ferry arrives at Patrasso (for example from the Italian ports of Venice, Ancona or Venice) and you have brought your car, you can get a second ferry for Zakynthos directly from this port. The journey lasts about one hour and twenty minutes and the ferry will get you to Killini port (Zakynthos).

Reaching Zakynthos by bus from Athens

If you are in Athens and you haven’t got your own vehicle no problem. Luckily there is a bus line (the name of the company is Ktel) that will get you from Athens to Zakynthos. The busses leave from the Kifissos bus station that can be reached by taking the bus X93 in Omonia square or in the airport. The timetable are constantly updated every month and for this reason we recommend checking them beforehand.

The island of Zakynthos has many inhabited centers that are full of apartments that can be rented. There are also many accommodations and hotels spread throughout the island.

Where to stay in Zakynthos

In the city of Zakynthos there many hotels, most of them are fairly cheap and accessible. In the rest of the island there are a lot of villas and apartments, especially in the areas of Vasilikos, Agios Nikolaos and Laganas, the most popular places that people choose from.

Hotels and villas in Zakynthos

In the main centers of Zakynthos you will find most of the island’s hotels. In the island’s center there are also some accommodations managed by local families where you can enjoy the true Greek atmosphere. North from Zakynthos, near the coast there are ten villas, each of these have a swimming pool, bathrooms covered in marble and some terraces with an amazing view of the ocean.

Here there is also a fabulous beauty center, an elegant cocktail bar and a mediterranean restaurant. Slightly more north, in the island’s eastern coast, you can admire a wonderful view of the sea from a hotel located on top of a hill. Here the rooms are completely white (Greek style) and are equipped with every modern comfort.

Expect to find many bars, taverns, SPAs and swimming pools. An ideal place if you are looking for a romantic holiday.

Apartments and studios in Zakynthos

In Zakynthos there are many studios and apartments that are rented directly by the island’s local people and even some B&Bs. There are many places to choose from according to what type of holiday you are looking for. If you are planning to move around the island by bus we advise you check the local bus lines and bus stops.

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