the island of the turtles and Navagio beach

Blue sea and view to the famous shipwreck


Zakynthos (or Zante) is the third largest island of the group. It is best known for the brilliant blue color of the sea, specific for all Ionian islands, as well as the scenic coastline with vertical white cliffs and sea caves. The most popular attractions of the island are the Blue Caves and the emblematic Shipwreck beach - Navagio.

Zakynthos is also known as Turtle Island because its National Marine Park is home for turtles of the species Caretta caretta.

Hotels in Zakynthos

General information about Zakynthos

Church with hig bel-tower at the seafront

The island is not very large (the distance from the northernmost to the southernmost point is about 50 km) but it is rich in beaches. The east coast and south coast are more populated and all resorts are concentrated there, while the west coast has only a few beaches which can be accessed by land and the villages are away from the sea.

In 1953 Zakynthos was destroyed after a sequence of severe earthquakes and all buildings and roads collapsed. Nevertheless, everything was reconstructed and the population even increased, now reaching almost 40 000 inhabitants. The local bus transport is well organized but it is better to explore the island by car, own or rented.

Where to stay in Zakynthos?

Caves next to the beach

The capital of the island is Zakynthos Town, it is also the main port and largest settlement but it has no beach. Popular resorts are Planos (Tsilivi), Argassi, Laganas and Kalamaki which tend to get very lively and crowded in summer. Laganas and Tsilivi are more suitable for young couples, solo travelers and groups of friends. The peninsula of Vasilikos is preferred by families with kids because it is calmer and has large sandy beaches with shallow water,

Other calmer destinations can be found in the north part of the island, around Alykanas, Agios Nikolaos and Skinari.

Which are the best beaches of Zakynthos?

Though Navagio is the most photographed and recognizable place of Zakynthos, it is not considered safe because of landslides. Since the spring of 2023, boats can only approach it without disembarkment, or you can see the beach from the special observation platform near Volimes.

Luckily, Zakinthos has many other beautiful beaches to enjoy. Sandy beaches with shallow water prevail on the east and south coast, varying from large sandy bays like Gerakas, Laganas and Banana to narrow sandy strips like Psarou and Ammoudi. The picturesque west coastline has a few points which can be accessed by car and where you can swim in the transparent blue water - Porto Limnionas, Porto Vromi, Porto Steniti and Porto Roxa.

What to do in Zakynthos?

Except for Navagio beach, the Blue Caves and the National Marine park, other interesting places to visit on Zakynthos are:

- The Keri Caves and the lighthouse on Cape Marathia
- Agios Nikolaos port in the northeast, a small village with an island in front of it. If you take a boat trip to Navagio and the caves from here, your trip will last shorter. There are also speed boats that can leave you on Navagio and come back to take you in a few hours.
- Cape Skinari - this is the northernmost part of the island and accessible by car on a narrow road. Skinari is just above one of the Blue Caves groups and stairs will lead you down to the sea so you can swim in the caves
- The Venetian castle located in Bohali area above the town of Zakynthos. It also provided great view over the town, especially at night
- Marathonisi island
- The islet of Agios Sostis (Cameo Island) connected with the land via bridge
- The Vassilikos peninsula in the south which combines mountain views, sandy beaches and lush greenery
- Porto Limnionas, a narrow channel in the cliffs with sea caves
- The sunset tavernas near the village of Kampi, on the west coast - there is fantastic view of the sun going down

How to get to Zakynthos?

The bridge to Cameo islet

Zakynthos has an airport and two ports. The island is connected to mainland Greece via the port of Kyllini in north Peloponnese. There are regular ferry lines of a few companies, as in the summer boats leave almost every 1 hour, carrying both cars and passengers. The ferries from Kyllini arrive at the port of Zakynthos Town.

There is one port on the north coast of the island, Agios Nikolaos, which connects Zante with Kefalonia but only in the summer.

Zakynthos photo galleryx