The Italians named Zakynthos "the flower of the east" and with a very good reason, the third-largest island in the Ionian sea is easily one of the most stunning places in Greece.
When you think of Greece, you probably immediately imagine white sand beaches, crystal-clear water, and ancient architecture. The first places to come to mind Santorini, Crete and (if you like to party) Mykonos. But if you google “the best beaches in Europe” or something similar, Zakynthos’s Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach will almost certainly be a part of every single list that you come across.
So, here is my guide to Zakynthos, Greece and the best things to do during your summer holiday in Greece.
5+ Things To Do In Zakynthos, Greece
1. Take a boat trip to Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach and the Blue Caves or a full cruise around the island.
We went for a full cruise around the island that lasted 7 full hours if not a bit longer.
- you spent the entire day sunbathing on a cruise ship with a beautiful view of the island,
- 3 swimming stops at Keri Caves, Navagio Beach, and Xigia (Sulfur) Beach,
- most of the agencies offer a bus from your location to the port in Zakynthos City (where the ship sails from) and back.
- The ship is too big to get inside of the Blue Caves. This was my biggest regret, but only the smallest boats can go inside and these tours weren’t offered from our location (Laganas Beach). You can still get there with a rented vehicle and book a trip with a small boat and a swimming stop at the Blue Caves.
- If you aren’t careful, you might burn a lot. Be sure to reapply your sunscreen after each and every swimming stop.
2. Rent a car/quad/bike to explore the island.
Going to the Shipwreck Beach is a one of a kind experience, but seeing it from above is on another level of cool. To do that you will have to rent a vehicle. We rented a Quad for 24 hours for 40€ and we had the best time ever. Driving the Quad was so much fun and on our way to Navagio, we stopped at some pretty spectacular places.
- Porto Roxa – basically a restaurant offering sunbeds and umbrellas on a rocky beach.
- Porto Limnionas – one of my favorite places in Zakynthos! We stayed there for about two hours and it is soo beautiful that we just had to come back on our way home.
- Porto Schiza – it is famous for the most beautiful sunsets that you can enjoy from a table in a restaurant on the cliff. We were there at 5 pm and didn’t stay for the sunset but it is worth seeing at any time of the day.
3. Rent a private boat at Laganas National Marine Park.
Prices (2017) for a speed boat at Laganas Beach:
1h – 40€
2h – 50€
3h – 60€
4h – 70€
Laganas National Marine Park is a beautiful area for snorkeling, swimming, turtle spotting and you can do it all on your own terms. Cameo Island, Marathonisi Island, and the Keri Caves are all in the area and 15-40 minutes distance from the port of Laganas Beach. I do not recommend renting a boat for less than 3 hours unless you plan to stick to Cameo Island and Marathonisi island.
4. Explore Zakynthos City.
Zakynthos City is a rather small but cute place and if you aren’t staying there, you won’t need more than one day for exploring it.
- Shopping. – If your main goal is shopping, don’t leave it for the weekend. The shops are closing really early and you won’t have much time to visit them all.
- Food. – There are a lot of restaurants in the city center and the port. Veggie gyros with a view of the sea… delicious!
- Panorama view. – There is a beautiful spot on the hills with a perfect view of the city. It is a must!
5. Go turtle spotting, scuba diving, snorkeling or on a banana boat ride.
The sea turtle caretta-caretta aka the loggerhead sea turtle has chosen the Laganas Golf for nesting, which makes it one of the main attractions on the island. Many people visiting only to be able to see the animals. There are tours pretty much at any time for around 10 to 30€ depending on the duration and the agency.
This was my guide to Zakynthos, Greece. I hope you liked it and helped you plan your stay in Zakynthos, Greece.
Which was your favorite place? Let me know in the comments below.