Zakynthos – How to plan unforgettable holiday in Europe

Zakynthos Shipwreck

Zakynthos top things to do

Greece is a country with an amazing history, beautiful beaches, and thousands of islands, and the selection of the most beautiful of them is extremely difficult. Amazing Crete, Rhodes or Corfu, romantic Santorini, and beautiful Kefalonia are just a few ideas for an unforgettable holiday. However, there is a place in Greece that you must see at least once in your life. It is the Shipwreck Beach on the island of Zakynthos. One of the most beautiful beaches in the world is hidden right over there.

Zakynthos ShipwreckShipwreck, Zante


20 Top things to do in Zakynthos

1. Navagio Beach – Admire beautiful turquoise water 

One of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Exceptionally blue water, high cliffs, and Shipwreck are impressive! It’s one of the places you want to go back to. It is worth seeing the Shipwreck from the sea and from above. There is a viewpoint on the cliff with crowds of people waiting to take a photo there, however, the most beautiful view is a bit further away. I recommend going to the right from the viewpoint because photos were taken from this side come out the most beautiful.

The ship was built in Scotland in 1937 and was used to smuggle cigarettes. Chased by the Greek Navy, it wrecked in 1980 on the west coast of Zante. Some say the ship was placed on the beach by the Greeks to attract tourists. Regardless of the history, nowadays the Shipwreck is on the world list of places that must be seen at least once in your lifetime.

Shipwreck, Zante

2. Cameo Island – Visit incredibly beautiful wedding island

The dreamlike island near Laganas is known as the wedding island. A small beach with waving white sheets above the water attracts a lot of tourists, and also those who are planning to organize their wedding in this intimate place. There is a wooden bridge connected with the island, which is beautifully illuminated at night.

Cameo Island ZakynthosCameo Island, Zante

Admission to Cameo Island costs a few euros, and there is a drink included in the price. This place made a huge impression on us, so we decided to visit it frequently during our two-week holiday. What’s so great about this island? Well, that’s where we saw sea turtles Caretta Caretta, which are in danger of extinction. Besides turtles, you can also see sea urchins in the water. It is worth taking swimming shoes with you.

Cameo Island, Zante

3. Book a trip to unspoiled Marathonisi Island – Turtle Island

The island that turtles Caretta Caretta loved so much is located in Laganas Bay on the Ionian Sea. You will not find any shops there, and you should not move away from the beach to do not disturb the breeding grounds of turtles. The beautiful, uninhabited island resembles one of its shapes. A rich marine life, incredibly blue water, and a paradise beach is a truly unique place to visit when staying in Zante.

marithonisi islandMarathonisi Island, Greece

4. Discover nightlife in Laganas

The most popular place on the island is Laganas. In summer, you can expect a vibrant life for 24 hours a day. The huge variety of clubs and bars makes it the most chosen option by young people. Laganas is often chosen by the British for their first vacation without their parents. Most of the bars are located on the main street of Laganas. However, the best cocktails can be found in the Paradise Cocktail Bar away from the center. The place itself is very cozy and worth visiting. Drinks have affordable prices and are beautifully served.

Coctail in LaganasParadise Coctail Bar, Laganas

5. Watch sunsets at the beach

Laganas – the Greek “Las Vegas” is not only nightlife but also a long sandy beach with incredibly clear water. It is a perfect place for snorkeling. You can admire there beautiful fishes, starfishes and turtles. However, you should check out sunsets there. They are incredible! It is one of the places where the sky blends flawlessly with the sea.

Laganas sunsetLaganas, Zante

6. Swim in Blue Caves

On the northernmost corner of the island, there are amazing rock formations, which are Blue Caves. You can admire them in many countries such as Italy, Croatia or Malta. However, the most spectacular with incredibly blue water can be found just in Zante. They stretch from Agios Nikolaos to Cape Skinari. A cruise along the north coast offers beautiful views and a swim in the extraordinary turquoise caves.

7. Try authentic Greek dishes in Anafonitria

Do not be fooled by the “Greek tavern” slogans, because many of them are run by Albanians who settled in Zante. If you want to try traditional Greek cuisine, you must go to Anafonitria, which is only 10 minutes from the Shipwreck. You will find there authentic Greek dishes such as Moussaka, Kabobs, or Stifado. After a delicious meal, take a look around the area, because this place is one of the most important in Zakynthos. The oldest monastery on the island has been preserved just right over there.

Anifonitria, Zante

8. Porto Azzuro – Relax at dream wedding beach

A beautiful beach in the south-eastern part of the island. Filled with thatched umbrellas and sun loungers. From the crystal clear water are emerging huge rocks, which create amazing scenery. This is another popular place in Zante, where you can organize a wedding ceremony surrounded by azure water and beautiful mountains.

9. Enjoy panoramic views of Zakynthos

The largest city on the island was destroyed during the earthquake in 1953. However, Zakynthos has been rebuilt and now it delights with its narrow streets, charming cafes, and the church of St. Dionisios, which survived the earthquake among the few buildings. It is worth going to the top of the hill to admire the breathtaking panorama of the city. Do not worry if you are not in this area, because there are plenty of other places on the island where you can also enjoy panoramic views. 

Panorama ZakynthosZakynthos, Greece

10. Admire amazing rocks formations at Keri Cape

Keri caves are located in the southern part of the island and are only accessible from the sea. Sailing along the coast you can admire amazing rock arches, forested hills, and crystal clear water. The water there is so clear that you can see the bottom with a depth of 20-30 meters. It is one of the most impressive diving spots on the whole island.

Natural arch ZakynthosKeri Cape, Zante

11. Book a quiet stay in Kalamaki

Kalamaki is a traditional Greek town in the southeastern part of the island. It is known for its long, sandy beach, where turtles lay their eggs. Unavailable after dark to protect the turtles breeding grounds. It is an →ideal place for a quiet holiday for families with children.

Kalamaki beach ZakynthosKalamaki, Zante

12. Find the most beautifully located church on Zakynthos – Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is a great place for water sports. After a refreshing swim, head to the rocky coast to see the church up close. Built on the rocks, it impresses with its minimalism. The white, orthodox church with the sea in the background amazes every visitor.

Agios Nikolaos Church ZakynthosAgios Nikolaos Church, Zante

13. Watch small turtles in Gerakas

Another paradise for turtles is Caretta Caretta. Why do turtles like this beach so much? Well, it is a quiet place, surrounded by greenery and closely watched by volunteers. In the period from May to October, it is possible to admire small turtles trying to reach the sea.

Gerakas beach ZakynthosGerakas, Zante

14. Taste the best wines in Zakynthos

Besides turquoise water, Greece is also famous for its alcohols such as Metaxa, Ouzo, and Tsipouro. However, there is no shortage of wine in any of the Greek homes. Especially in Zakynthos, because 110 different grape varieties grow there. The local wine is best served in Callinico Winery, which is located in the village of Kalipado. In this traditional vineyard, in addition to wine tasting, you can also learn many interesting facts about them.

Calinico WinesCalinico Winery, Zante

15. Xigia Beach – Take a bath in the natural Spa of Zakynthos Island

A small beach in the northern part of the island, can not be unnoticed. Even from a long distance, you can smell the rotten egg. Despite this fact, the swim in this place is a must, because of its health benefits. Sulfur, which escapes from the caves, helps in the treatment of cellulite and arthritis. The “sulfur” beach is a unique phenomenon that will surely stay in your memory for a long time.

Xigia beach ZakynthosXigia Beach, Zante

16. Sail from Porto Vromi to Shipwreck

The view from the top of Porto Vromi Bay is wonderful. A small beach surrounded by rocks with crystal clear water is breathtaking. Part of the beach is sheltered, so you can hide there from extremely hot weather. The bottom in this bay is quite deep, and the water itself is refreshing. You can buy there a trip from Porto Vromi to Shipwreck, which is the main attraction of the island.

17. Rent a quad in Zakynthos

The first thing you will see on the streets of Laganas are quads! They are everywhere! If you want to feel the spirit of this place you should rent one of them. You can visit a lot of interesting places in one day. We are the best example because within a few hours we have visited a large part of the island. We set off from Kalamaki in search of turtles in Gerakas Beach. After a quick swim in the water, we have started looking for more beaches and we have discovered such wonders as Porto Roma, Mavratzi, st. Nicholas, Banana Beach, or Porto Azzuro. After swimming in azure waters, we have decided to visit the capital of the island, but it was not the end! We liked the Greek beaches, so we went to Tsilivi, which was a perfect place for the end of the day.

Quad ZakynthosZante, Greece

18. Head to less popular beaches – Mavratzi Beach and Porto Roma Beach

Mavratzi Beach is a secluded spot located between st. Nicholas Beach and Porto Roma. The beach is very cozy and surrounded by cliffs. Hotel Palazzo Di Zante attracts attention at the beach. It is located at the top of the hill and can be accessed by the lift from the beach. Mavratzi Beach and Porto Roma Beach are perfect places for snorkeling.

19. Try water sports at Banana Beach

The largest beach in Zante is also described as one of the best beaches on the island. However, I did not love it so much. It did not stand out from the other beaches I have seen in Zante and it was my biggest disappointment. The prices at the beach restaurants are much higher than in Laganas. Nonetheless, it is worth seeing it, especially if you like water sports.

Banana Beach ZakynthosBanana Beach, Zante

20. Relax at Tsilivi Beach – winner of the “International Blue Flag”

The beach is huge waves are perfect for windsurfers. This area is well developed with plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants. Sunbeds and umbrellas are available to rent at the beach. That place is very busy with families and their children. The shallow water is a great place for swimming for the youngest.

tsilivi Beach ZakynthosTsilivi Beach, Zante


What you should know before booking a hotel in Zakynthos?

When we decided to choose a hotel in Zante we have not had too much experience in hotel bookings. We liked the photos of →Atlantis Hotel and the fact that it is located only 400 meters from the Laganas beach. Without hesitation, we reserved a room, and a room with a kitchenette, which we did not use. Upon arrival, we found out that this is a typical party hotel, and the music plays there till dawn. If you are planning a quiet stay, it is worth reading hotel information carefully before booking, especially in Laganas – the most party spot on the island.

Laganas table and hammock in waterLaganas, Zante

 

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