Welcome to the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos, also known as Zante. This stunning island is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and history buffs alike. With its crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage, there’s something for everyone on this magnificent island.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, an action-packed adventure, or a chance to immerse yourself in Greek culture, Zakynthos has it all. From exploring the island’s historic sites to lounging on its beautiful beaches, there’s never a shortage of things to do and see on this incredible island.
Interesting facts about Zakynthos:
- Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is a Greek island located in the Ionian Sea.
- The island is known for its stunning beaches, including Navagio Beach, which is often referred to as the Shipwreck Beach due to the wreck of a smuggler’s boat that can be found there.
- Zakynthos is also home to the endangered loggerhead sea turtle, which nests on the island’s beaches.
- The island has a rich history and was once home to the ancient civilization of the Mycenaeans. Today, you can still see ancient ruins and historical landmarks throughout the island.
- Zakynthos is famous for its local delicacies, including honey, olive oil, and wine.
- The island has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars and clubs catering to tourists.
- Zakynthos is home to the Blue Caves, a series of sea caves that can be explored by boat.
- The island was hit by a massive earthquake in 1953, which destroyed much of its architecture. As a result, many of the buildings on the island were rebuilt in the traditional Ionian style.
- Zakynthos is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, with many couples choosing to tie the knot on the island’s beaches.
- Zakynthos is the third largest of the Ionian Islands, after Corfu and Kefalonia.
In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the 15 best things to do in Zakynthos. We’ll guide you through the island’s must-see attractions, hidden gems, and local hotspots, providing you with all the information you need to plan your perfect vacation. So grab your sunscreen, put on your flip-flops, and get ready to explore the beautiful island of Zakynthos!
Explore Navagio Beach
Navagio Beach, also known as the Shipwreck Beach, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Zakynthos. This stunning beach is situated on the northwest coast of the island and is accessible only by boat.
The beach is surrounded by towering white cliffs and boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The highlight of the beach is the famous shipwreck that is believed to be a smuggler’s ship that ran aground in 1980.
Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the beach from the cliffs above or take a boat tour to get up close to the shipwreck.
Visit the Blue Caves
The Blue Caves are another must-visit attraction on Zakynthos. These beautiful sea caves are located on the northern coast of the island and are accessible only by boat. The caves are named for the stunning blue color of the water, which is created by the reflection of sunlight on the white sand bottom.
Visitors can take a boat tour to explore the caves and marvel at the natural beauty of the rock formations and crystal-clear waters. Snorkeling is also a popular activity here, as the caves are home to a variety of marine life.
Go Turtle Spotting
Zakynthos is home to the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle, and there are plenty of opportunities to see these magnificent creatures up close. One of the best places to spot turtles is in Laganas Bay, which is a designated marine park and protected nesting area.
Visitors can take a guided tour to the nesting beaches or go snorkeling in the bay to see the turtles in their natural habitat. It’s important to remember to respect the turtles’ habitat and not to touch or disturb them.
Take a Boat Tour
One of the best ways to explore the beauty of Zakynthos is by taking a boat tour. There are plenty of options to choose from, including half-day and full-day tours that take visitors to the island’s most beautiful beaches and hidden coves.
The tours typically include stops at Navagio Beach and the Blue Caves, as well as other popular attractions like Gerakas Beach and the Venetian Fortress. Visitors can also enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters and soaking up the Mediterranean sun.
Discover the Island’s History at the Castle of Zakynthos
The Bóchali Venetian Castle is a must-visit attraction for history buffs. This medieval fortress dates back to the 15th century and was built to protect the island from invaders.
The castle is situated on a hill overlooking Zakynthos Town and offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can explore the castle’s ruins, including the gatehouse, towers, and walls. There’s also a small museum on site that showcases the island’s history and culture.
Stroll Through Zakynthos Town
Zakynthos Town is the island’s capital and cultural hub. It’s a charming town with elegant Venetian-style buildings, narrow streets, and lively squares.
Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the town and admire the architecture, browse the local shops and boutiques, and stop at one of the many tavernas and cafes for a bite to eat.
The town is also home to several cultural attractions, including the Museum of Solomos and Kalvos and the Church of Saint Dionysios.
Visit the Monastery of Saint George Kremnon
The Monastery of Saint George Kremnon is a historic monastery located on a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea. The monastery dates back to the 16th century and is dedicated to Saint George, the patron saint of the island.
Visitors can explore the monastery’s beautiful grounds, which include a chapel, a bell tower, and a courtyard. The monastery is also home to a small museum that houses religious artifacts, icons, and manuscripts.
Go Scuba Diving
Zakynthos is home to some of the most beautiful dive sites in the Mediterranean. The island’s crystal-clear waters offer excellent visibility and a rich diversity of marine life. Visitors can take a guided dive tour to explore the underwater world of Zakynthos, which includes colorful reefs, shipwrecks, and caves.
Some of the most popular dive sites include Marathonisi Island, the Blue Caves, and the Keri Caves.
Relax at Gerakas Beach
Gerakas Beach is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches on Zakynthos. It’s located on the southern tip of the island and is a nesting site for the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle.
Visitors can relax on the beach and soak up the sun while admiring the stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and crystal-clear waters.
The beach is also a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling, and there are plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas available for rent.
Take a Hike Through the Countryside
Zakynthos is not just about beaches and water sports – the island also has some beautiful hiking trails. One of the best is the trail that leads to the peak of Mount Skopos.
The trail is well-marked and offers breathtaking views of the island’s countryside, including olive groves, vineyards, and small villages.
The hike takes about two to three hours to complete, depending on your fitness level, and it’s a great way to explore the island’s natural beauty and wildlife.
Visit the Museum of Solomos and Kalvos
The Museum of Solomos and Kalvos is dedicated to the lives and works of two of Zakynthos’ most famous poets, Dionysios Solomos and Andreas Kalvos.
The museum is located in Zakynthos Town and houses a collection of manuscripts, letters, and personal belongings of the two poets.
Visitors can learn about the poets’ lives and works, as well as the history and culture of Zakynthos.
Enjoy a Sunset Cruise
Zakynthos is known for its stunning sunsets, and one of the best ways to enjoy them is on a sunset cruise.
There are plenty of options to choose from, including catamaran and yacht tours. Visitors can relax on board and enjoy the magical colors of the sunset over the Ionian Sea while sipping a glass of local wine or champagne.
Sample Local Cuisine
Zakynthos has a rich culinary tradition that combines Greek and Italian influences.
Visitors can sample a variety of traditional dishes, including kreatopita (meat pie), pastitsio (Greek lasagna), and moussaka (a layered eggplant dish). Seafood is also a specialty of the island, with fresh fish and octopus served in local tavernas.
Visitors can also try the local wine and olive oil, which are among the best in Greece.
Explore the Mountain Village of Keri
The mountain village of Keri is located in the southwestern part of the island. The village is a traditional Greek village with narrow streets, white-washed houses, and stunning views of the Ionian Sea.
Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the village and admire the architecture, visit the local shops and tavernas, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. There’s also a lighthouse located nearby that offers breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding countryside.
Overall, Zakynthos is a fantastic destination for anyone looking for a mix of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural exploration. With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rich cultural heritage, there’s something for everyone on this beautiful Greek island. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed adventure, Zakynthos has it all.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Zakynthos for an unforgettable vacation filled with adventure, natural beauty, and cultural exploration.
What is the best time to visit Zakynthos?
The best time to visit Zakynthos is from May to October when the weather is warm and sunny, and the sea is perfect for swimming and water sports.
Is Zakynthos expensive?
Zakynthos can be quite expensive, especially during the peak tourist season. However, there are plenty of budget-friendly options, including guesthouses, local tavernas, and free activities.
How can I get to Zakynthos?
Zakynthos has its own international airport, which is served by several airlines from major European cities. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from the port of Kyllini on the Peloponnese mainland.
Is Zakynthos safe?
Zakynthos is a relatively safe destination with low crime rates. However, visitors are advised to take basic safety precautions, such as locking their doors and windows, keeping an eye on their belongings, and avoiding unlit and isolated areas at night.
What other activities can I do in Zakynthos besides those listed?
Other activities you can do in Zakynthos include visiting the island’s wineries, attending local festivals and events, and taking a day trip to nearby islands like Kefalonia and Ithaca.