Zakynthos

Zakynthos or Zante

Zakynthos also referred to as Zante is an island located in the Ionian Sea in Greece. As a popular summer resort, this harbor city is an active and major hub and it is centered around waterfront Solomos Square.

 Zakynthos is the third largest of the Ionian islands and is considered a separate regional unit. Ancient history has it that this island was named after Zakynthos, who was the son of chief Dardanus, a very legendary chief. It was also nicknamed “the Flower of Levant”by the Venetians who inhabited Zakynthos from 1484-1797. 

Some famous landmarks in Zakynthos include the Navagio beach which can only be accessed by boat, a number of natural blue caves, Keri, which is located on the south of the island and is a mountain village with a lighthouse. 

The Top Attractions of Zakynthos

Zakynthos is a very beautiful place and has a number of top attractions which include the following: 

Navagio Beach 

Navagio Beach, otherwise known as Shipwreck Beach and sometimes referred to as Smuggler’s Cove due to the fact that it is an exposed cove is one of the main attractions in Zakynthos. It is located on the coast of Zakynthos and was originally referred to as Agios Georgios.

It bears the nickname “Shipwreck”due to a Freightliner, the MV Panagiotis which ran aground on Navagio Beach as a result of bad visibility and stormy weather. 

Keri Caves 

Keri Caves which can only be accessed by sea via tourist attractions or by private boats typically develop in the South-West area of the island just long the Promontory of Maranthia Cape. While some caves are broad enough to accommodate a boat, others are only large enough to give swimming space. 

How to Get to Zakynthos 

From Athens, you can catch a flight to Zakynthos; typically Olympic Air or Sky Express. The airport can be found on the southern side of the island while the flight lasts only about 45 minutes. 

Ferries to Zakynthos usually depart from Killini which is a port town sited on the westside of Peloponnese. The trip usually lasts an hour. There are also a number of ferries which are operated by the Ionian Pelagos Lines in the summer. 

These ferries commute twice daily in high season between Zakynthos and Kefalonia namely Shinari port in Zakynthos and Pessada port in Kefalonia and the trip lasts only 1h30min. 

The Best Time to Visit Zakynthos 

The best time to visit Zakynthos would be when the weather is pretty mild so that you don’t have it ruining your plans. Spring and Autumn are the best weather conditions to experience in Zakynthos since the high and low temperatures are usually mild. 

High season is Zakynthos is usually between June and August as well as September.

Weather in Zakynthos 

The weather in Zakynthos is pretty mild in autumn and spring. However, there can be extremes in winter and summer. Here are the average temperatures from April to October. 

Month April May June July August September October
Temperature (°C) Min/Max 11/19 14/23 18/28 20/31 21/31 19/28 16/23
Temperature (°F) Min/Max 52/66 57/73 64/82 68/88 70/88 66/82 61/73

The Best Beaches of Zakynthos  

Zakynthos is home to a number of stunning beaches, these beaches are scattered all around the island, and here are some of the best:

Navagio Beach: also known as Shipwreck Beach, it is one of the most photographed beaches in Zakynthos. It is a sandy beach and is good for both individuals and families. However, you would need to go along with a parasol because of a lack of shade. 

Dafni Beach: Dafni beach is mainly a sandy one and is not organized for any services. It is naturally beautiful and is a nesting ground for the Caretta-Caretta turtle. 

Alykes Beach: Alykes beach is great for family visits and also has a number of bars and restaurants around. It consists mostly of fine pebble and golden sand. 

Makris Gialos Beach: while this beach may not be ideal for smaller children, you would totally love it if you are into diving and snorkeling. It is a sandy beach and lacks any organization so you would have to come with your supplies. 

Xigia Beach: this beach is located between cliffs making it not very accessible except via a long stairway. The first noticeable thing is the smell which is pretty unpleasant and is as a result of collagen and sulfur-containing natural spring water coming in contact with salt water. 

The beach is occupied by beautiful white pebbles without any sand and the water is sparkling blue. The unpleasant smell is also known to be therapeutic and you would have to come along with your refreshments. It isn’t suitable for children too. 

Discover Off-the-Beaten-Path Zakynthos

Feel like discovering off-the-beaten-path Zakynthos?  There’s more to this island than meets the eye. Here’s a list by locals of some of the lesser-known things to experience on the island.

Boating to the Blue Caves in Zakynthos

The Blue Caves in Zakynthos are part of the island’s picturesque rocky coastline, a natural wonder only accessible by boat.

Where to Eat on Zakynthos

Wondering where to eat on Zakynthos? Here’s a list of the restaurants with great local specialties, all recommended to me by Zakynthians.

Navagio Shipwreck Beach Experience

The Navagio Shipwreck Beach experience is a must when visiting Zakynthos. There’s a reason it is one of the most photographed beaches in the world.

Zakynthos Sea Caves, Turtles and Perfect Beaches

Zakynthos sea caves, sea turtles and perfect beaches. That summed up the great experiences I had on my first full day on the island.