There are so many issues to do in Zakynthos (Zante) and I’m going to share our prime 15 favorites in this publish. This island is certainly the most effective place to visit in Greece.
When you hear the identify Greece, it doubtless conjures up pictures of the white sand beaches of Crete, the stone pillars of the Acropolis in Athens, or the whitewashed buildings of Santorini.
But, there are over 6,000 islands in Greece to select from, and Zakynthos is a small hidden gem among them.
☞ Looking for Beaches? Check out our listing of the Top 15 Beaches In Zakynthos You Won’t Want To Miss.
Many travelers from the UK and components of Europe have already found this Ionian magnificence, which lies west of mainland Greece, however, for North Americans and travelers from different components of the world, this may very well be the primary time you’re listening to about it.
Note: This publication was final up to date in 2022. We reserve all of our Greece content material as up-to-date as attainable. To be taught extra about Greece’s 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 (specifically Navagio Beach), Zakynthos shortly grew to become one of our favorite islands in the nation.
Small sufficient to simply navigate by automobile, however massive sufficient to supply a variety of landscapes, villages and coastlines, this Ionian island ought to characteristic prominently in your subsequent Greek Itinerary.
- READ MORE: A Complete Travel Guide To Zakynthos Greece
In this text, I’m going to list 15 of one of the best issues to do in Zakynthos in an effort to get a thought of what’s on provide right here.
You’ll discover that lots of the issues to do in Zakynthos are beach-related, as that is what the island is greatest recognized for.
You gained 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” gives the proper enjoyable vacation spot for those in the know.
Bonus Tip: automobile rental in Greece could be very cheap and positively price it at some stage in your keep. If you lease for 1 week, you’ll doubtless pay not more than $20 / day (we paid $17) and it gives you the liberty to see all the sights in this publish.
Note: Click the maps to open in Google Maps
1. Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Cove)
This gorgeous stretch of white sand and impossibly blue water is protected by a pure harbor with terrifyingly tall 200-meter excessive cliffs on 3 sides.
Set smack dab in the center 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 you consider it a romantic story or not doesn’t matter, the huge ship resting on the sand positively provides the attraction 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 aren’t any roads main onto the sand, so to swim in the water and see the shipwreck up shut, you’ll take a ship tour.
These could be employed from completely different cities across the island. If you may have an automobile, then your most cost-effective choice will likely be to drive to the closest cove to Navagio Beach and hop on a ship from there.
In Porto Vromi (simply south of Navagio) you’ll be able to take a ship tour to Shipwreck Cove for around $25 / per individual. Learn more about the tour here.
To see it from above (extremely really useful), you’ll should 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 every single place 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’ll be able to drive proper up, get out of your automobile, snap a number of photographs after which drive off.
Please notice: The greatest views are from the cliffs to the precise of the platform and you might even see some individuals clambering alongside them to take the proper selfie. Tourists have not too long ago died falling off of those rocks and it isn’t really useful to enterprise past the platform. These cliffs are over 200 meters excessive and a slip is bound to be deadly. Stay on the platform.
2. Sunset Dinner & Drinks At Lofos Restaurant
Without a doubt, this small, Greek-run restaurant has one of the best views of Zakynthos’ rugged inside. Pick a desk alongside the deck and peer over the cliff down in the direction of the farmlands beneath and the Ionian Sea in the gap.
The meals right here are unbelievable, the service is nice and it’s the proper place for sundown. I like to recommend the roast lamb (€9) and the meat stew (€8). Both are completely scrumptious. Beers are around €2.5 and appetizers are simply €4 every.
Usually, at a spot like this, it’s important to pay further for the meals as a result of the view is so good, however, that’s not the case at Lofos.
You’ll additionally doubtless get a free dessert, so chances are you’ll not need to order one!
3. Xigia Beach
Another extremely scenic seashore on the island of Zakynthos.
This secluded cove is guarded on three sides by massive cliffs, the water is gorgeous and there’s even a sulfur sizzling spring right here (which explains the unusual odor).
Check out our full review of Xigia Beach together with how one can get there, close by eating places, and extra.
4. Snorkel / Dive (With Turtles)
The reefs and seashores around Zakynthos are houses to one of many oldest lifeforms on Earth, the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. This stunning creature could be noticed in the Zakynthos Marine Park or coming ashore to put eggs in the night on many bays (even well-liked ones) around Zakynthos and surrounding islands.
You’re prone to spot a turtle at some unspecified time in the future throughout your journey to Zakynthos, however, to raise your probabilities you need to positively hop on a ship and go discover them.
Make certain you do your analysis and go together with an organization that practices protected snorkeling with animals.
If you see 10 boats pulling up alongside one turtle with lots of individuals leaping in without delay, you need to inform the information that you just don’t approve. This stresses out the animals and may trigger hurt to the ecosystems.
UPDATE 2022: The snorkeling journey with turtles is now not obtainable on Get Your Guide however they do have another nice journey obtainable. There’s a tour to see the turtles from a glass-bottom boat, together with a go-to to the island the place the turtles lay their eggs. Click here to be taught extra concerning the boat tour to Keri Caves and turtle recognition.
If you’re in Zakynthos throughout the mating season (May to October) you would possibly have the ability to see them on Laganas Beach. Check out our publish all about Spotting Sea Turtles on Turtle Island Zakynthos to be taught extra about how one can see these unbelievable creatures.
You gained simply see Turtles in the Ionian Sea! There are loads of gentle and onerous corals, in addition to fish and crustacean life that discover a house in the rocky underwater topography close to Zakynthos.
You can be a part of diving and snorkeling excursions with many outfitters on the island. Most cost around €50 for one dive with gear and around €30 per individual for a full day snorkel journey with gear rent. You can often get reductions for big teams or for a number of journeys.
5. Visit The Venetian Castle
If you’ll be able to peel yourself away from the seashore for a number of hours, chances are you’ll need to take into account visiting the outdated ruins of the Venetian Castle. A go-to right here is, without doubt, one of the greatest issues to do in Zakynthos city.
The Ionian Islands have been occupied by the Turks, French, British, Venetians, and Russians at one time, however, the Venetians left behind a number of the most imposing websites in the type of fortresses on Zakynthos, Kefalonia, and Corfu.
The fort right here isn’t as spectacular as that of Assos Castle in Kefalonia, nevertheless, it’s nonetheless priced a go-to in the event you’re already close to Zante Town.
The actual date of its development remains to be unknown, nevertheless, it was destroyed by the invading Turks in 1480 but then restored in 1515.
Today it stands as a testimony to the previous glory of Zakynthos as a Venetian army stronghold and guests can stroll via an outdated jail, gun powder rooms, bastions, church buildings, and an outdated sewage system.
If you propose to go to the fort, take a look at our publish about Visiting The Venetian Castle in Zakynthos Greece to get a thought of what to anticipate.
6. Alykes Beach: One of The Most Chilled Out Things To Do in Zakynthos
This was our favorite seashore on the island, partly as a result of it was some of the stunning stretches of powdery golden sand that we discovered, but in addition 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 after 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 only a few meters from shore. It’s actually onerous to beat a seashore like this!
Check out our complete publish all about Alykes Beach to seek out extra about one of the best eating places and bars, the place to remain, and what to do around Alykes Beach.
7. The Cliffs of Keri
This place on the southwest finish of the island is all concerning the views. You can 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 beautiful 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’ll be able to watch the huge orb kiss the ocean on the horizon because the sky lights up with good oranges, reds, and purples.
You may join a boat tour that takes in the Keri Caves in addition to turtle recognition.
Check out our publish all concerning the village of Keri Zakynthos which incorporates one of the best 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 of The Coolest Things To Do in Zakynthos
We did a non-public boat tour (with a captain) across the island with Luxury Island Events and it was numerously enjoyable, however, we suggest renting a non-public boat for simply €80 / day plus fuel (often €40) and driving across the shoreline your self!
Due to heavy winds and excessive waves, you in all probability gained have the ability to take the boat to Shipwreck Cove, however, you’ll be able to rip round to completely different bays, anchor up, and swim with no one else around. This is certainly the most effective issue to do in Zakynthos.
We ended up doing this on Corfu Island and it was truthfully the most effective day we had in Greece.
If you propose to do that, take a look at our published How To Rent a Boat in Zakynthos to just be sure you have awesome expertise. We list all of the top-rated corporations, the place to seek out one of the best costs, and in addition how one can lease a ship with a driver if you need.
If you propose to carry snacks and refreshments on the boat with you, then you definitely would possibly as nicely decide up a small foam cooler from the grocery retailer for about €10 – €15. Then you’ll be able to have some ice-cold beers and lunch when you’re floating out at sea!
You don’t want a license to lease one among these small (40HP+) boats, nevertheless, it’s really useful that you have a little bit of expertise driving boats, although it’s not essential as a result of the captains in the store will present you the ropes.
These boats are the proper dimension for two – 4 individuals and in the event, you break up the fee, it’s extraordinarily inexpensive, particularly contemplating Jetskis and Sea-doos often lease for $50 / hour in different components of the world!
If you decide up the boat from the Keri Harbour, then you’ll be able to drive the boat across the south, east, and west finish of the island. Make certain you cease in on Turtle island for a swim on a shocking seashore.
We actually can’t suggest this is sufficient! Click here to guide your personal boat with Luxury Island Events.
9. Gerakas Beach – The Most Relaxing Thing To Do in Zante
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 can lease reclining seashore chairs for €4 every, however, there isn’t a meal or drink served on the seashore because it’s a marine protected space (turtles come right here to nest every now and then).
If you need any snacks or refreshments, it’s greatest to purchase them from the retailers 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, without doubt, one of the most enjoyable issues to do in Zante.
We wrote a post all about Gerakas Beach, how one can get there, the place to remain, one of the best eating places in the realm, and so on., so in the event, you’re planning on going to this pretty seashore throughout your keep in Zakynthos, be sure you test that out.
10. Porto Limnionas
Limnionas is a deep pure harbor surrounded by multicolored cliffs and a number 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 can chill out on the Limnionas Tavern and select from dozens of sunbeds (€4 every) hanging over the sting of the rocks trying 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 were not that nice, however, the view is great, so it’s an awesome place for a drink.
Check out our post all about visiting Porto Limnionas for extra data on one of the best eating places close by, how one can get right here when to come back, and what to anticipate.
11. Zante Town
There are quite a few eating places right here, a number of pedestrian-only streets, and a lovely seafront promenade that faces a pure harbor stuffed with parked ferries, fishing boats, and sailboats.
There are a few massive open plazas and loads of retailers and markets. Most of what you’ll ever want could be discovered right here.
We didn’t hear many optimistic issues about Zante Town previous to our visit, however, we really actually loved strolling around this seaside capital.
Check out our Guide to Zante Town which incorporates all the pieces you must find out about visiting this stunning Ionian Capital together with the place to remain, one of the best eating places, one of the best closes by seashores, and how one can get there and away.
12. Porto Azzuro
There is a cluster of rocks in the water on the south finish of the seashore that makes for excellent snorkeling and wonderful photographs.
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 Beach Bar.
You’ll pay for sunbeds (€5 / day) even in the event you select to eat at the bar. Bring a towel and lay it in the sand totally free and luxuriate in a soothing afternoon.
If you order meals, you’ll be able to sit at the eating tables totally free in 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 how one can get right here, the place to eat, one of the best times to go to the seashore, and extra.
13. Banana Beach
The seashore itself may not be as scenic as Porto Azurro on a transparent day, however, the sand right here is gentle and there are sunbeds for lease as nicely.
There’s a free shuttle bus from the city of Argassi to Banana Beach, leaving the city at 10:45 am and returning at 4:00 pm.
Check out our post all about Banana Beach together with one of the best locations to remain, one of the best eating places, how one can get right here, and extra.
14. Sunset Dinner at Taverna Psarou
The seashore itself has been awarded the Blue Flag for cleanliness for ten years of working, however, at first look, it’s nothing to write down house about.
For us, it was the setting of this tiny, family-run tavern, the most effective on the island, that made Psarou price lingering.
The meals are sweet, the costs are first-rate and the service is superb.
As the sun dips low in the sky and the clouds mild up, the employees mild small candles on the tables.
Eating 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, without doubt, one of the most romantic issues to do in Zakynthos.
Not many individuals come right here, so it’s a hidden gem on the island.
If you’re heading this manner on the island, take a look at our post all about Psarou which included one of the best accommodations, the greatest eating places close by, issues to do, and extra.
15. Cheap Cocktails at Tsilivi Beach
The seashore itself is gorgeous and that is probably the most taking place spot on the east coast. We extremely suggest chilling on the seashore chairs close to Andreolas Luxury Suites and having some low-cost (€2) cocktails from their seashore bar!
If you’re questioning what to do in Zakynthos, head to this seashore for a day of rest, swimming, and cocktails.
The city of Tsilivi additionally has numerous eating places together with a number of our favorites. Click Here to learn our publish about Tsilivi Beach which incorporates one of the best locations to eat and drink in addition to other travelers’ suggestions.
There’s additionally extra about this pretty little city on the backside of this publish
16. Bonus! Cooking Class
We all know that the meals in Greece are some of the best in the world. So, why not discover ways to make a number of the unbelievable dishes throughout your journey to Zakynthos?!
Learning how one can make Greek meals is, without doubt, one of the greatest issues to do in Zakynthos for foodies. Find out extra about this enjoyable class, here.
More About Zakynthos (Zante)
☞ Click here to see really useful excursions obtainable on Zakynthos
Where To Stay on Zakynthos Island
Best Restaurants on Zakynthos Island
We’ve already listed a pair in this publish, however, listed here are our favorites:
- Lofos Restaurant: Delicious Greek meals and (apparently) good pizza. (Meso Gerakari 291 00)
- Gyroland in Tsilivi Town: Cheap Gyros and beer (Tsilivi, Zakinthos 291 00)
- Elektor in Zante Town: Chilled out, quiet little Greek-owned place on the principal pedestrian road (Leof. Dimokratias, Zakinthos 291 00, Greece)
- Porto Paradiso on Alykes Beach: Great Greek-run seashore bar with wonderful meals, low-cost drinks, and free seashore chairs (Katastari 290 90, Greece)
- Zorbas in Tsilivi Town: Excellent Greek meals and ambiance at this Greek / Albanian owned place (Tsilivi, Planos 291 00, Greece)
- Olive Tree in Tsilivi Town: Another nice Greek (British / Greek-owned) choice with wonderful cocktails and attractive native specialties (Planos 291 00, Greece)
Getting Around Zakynthos
As I discussed earlier, it’s important that you just lease an automobile when you’re on Zakynthos Island in the event you hope to see all the sights in this text.
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 can take minibusses to some components of the island, however, you’ll have to attend on the street for them to come back, and so they don’t go in every single place.
If you’re taking a number of buses on daily basis, the prices add up in any case. Even in the event, you’re in a price range, we suggest splurging for an automobile on all the Greek islands.
Now You Know What To Do in Zakynthos
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 beloved it.
Zante has lots of low-cost residences obtainable, and whereas there’s not as a lot of historical past and native tradition as the opposite Ionian Islands, it nonetheless has rather a lot to supply guests, particularly those trying 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 proper vacation spot for those trying to chill out and soak in the solar.