Best Things To Do in Zakynthos
by: Dionisis Vitsos
Discover the hidden gem of Zakynthos (Zante) in the heart of the Ionian Sea.
As a local’s guide to Zakynthos, we want to share our top 13 favorite things to do in Zakynthos. From exploring its picturesque villages, to admiring its jagged coastline, to enjoying its delicious food, there is something for everyone in Zakynthos.
Surrounded by breathtaking coastlines, white sand beaches, and charming villages. This small island offers a diverse range of activities to suit every personality and is known for its world-famous Navagio Beach, stunning scenery, and authentic Greek hospitality.
For those who are unfamiliar with Zakynthos, it is one of the over 6,000 Greek islands that sits just west of mainland Greece. While it has already been discovered by many European travelers, North Americans and others may not have heard of it yet.
If you’re planning a trip to Greece, Zakynthos should definitely be included in your itinerary. It is small enough to easily navigate by car, yet large enough to offer a variety of landscapes, villages, and beaches.
Best Guide for Zakynthos/Zante would come from a Local, would it not?! Let’s begin:
What To Do In Zakynthos
Zakynthos, also known as “Zante,” is an island renowned for its stunning beaches, making it a top destination for beach-goers.
If you’re looking to soak up the sun, swim in crystal-clear waters, and indulge in a variety of beach activities, Zakynthos has it all. From Navagio Beach, a picturesque cove surrounded by towering cliffs, to Laganas Beach, the largest nesting ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
People will tell you “You won’t find the rich history of Crete, the elegant architecture of Santorini, or the cultural towns of Lesvos, Chios and Corfu”, But, they are missing out on a few things.
For example, Zakynthos is where Greece’s national anthem was born, by a Zakynthian Poet! The island was occupied by the Italians, so the architecture of the town resembles that of Italy, one of the largest churches in Greece is in Zakynthos Town, and it is remarkable inside and much much more that only a local can point out
Bonus Tip: car rental in Zakynthos is quite expensive and definitely worth it for the duration of your stay. I recommend the receptionist at your hotel, because they usually have partnerships with car rentals, and it will give you the freedom to see all of the sights in this post.
Take A Boat Trip Around The Island
Discover the hidden treasures of Zakynthos by taking a boat trip! Experience the stunning coastline and dive into crystal-clear waters at the most spectacular locations. A must-visit destination on your boat trip is the famous shipwreck at Navagio Beach, the Blue Caves, Turtle Island (Marathonisi), and the Keri Caves.
There are two options for your boat tour around the island: rent a private boat or take a guided tour with a captain. For a more personalized and in-depth experience, consider hiring a captain who can show you the island’s secret gems and take you to secret coves.
However, if you prefer more freedom, renting a private boat is a great option. It’s easy to rent a boat without a license (some boating experience is preferred) and it’s budget-friendly if you have a group. Whichever option you choose, a boat trip in Zakynthos promises an unforgettable experience
Hiring a boat is pretty easy; you don’t need a license for a small vessel (a little experience is preferred), and it is reasonably cheap if you have a group. Both options are really great.
Pro Tip: The reception at the hotel has plenty of info for renting a boat/captain, come find us!
Visit Navagio Beach: The Famous Shipwreck Cove
The island of Zakynthos is known for its stunning beaches, and the must-visit attraction for beach lovers is the world-famous Navagio Beach or Shipwreck Beach, or Shipwreck Cove. This breathtaking beach, with its surreal views of white sandy shores and turquoise waters, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and a must-see for anyone visiting Zakynthos.
The rustic remains of the MV Panagiotis, a ship that got stranded in the cove in the 1980s, add to the charm and allure of Navagio Beach. The beach, located in the northeast of the island, can be accessed by boat or from the white limestone clifftops, offering visitors two ways to experience its beauty.
If you’re looking for a swim, the beach is only accessible by boat, and there are many boat tours available from different towns around the island, such as Porto Vromi, that take visitors to Shipwreck Cove for around $30 per person. On the other hand, if you want to see the breathtaking views of Navagio Beach from above, you can drive your car to the viewing platform at the north end of the island, which is well-marked on Google Maps (Click Here for Directions) and easily accessible by car with ample parking available.
Please note that while the best views can be seen from the cliffs to the right of the platform, it is not recommended to venture beyond the platform as the cliffs are over 200 meters high and can be dangerous. To fully experience the beauty of Navagio Beach, we recommend combining your boat tour with a visit to the Blue Caves and Poseidon’s Face.
Bonus Tip: Check out our detailed Zakynthian Local Guide about Visting Navagio Beach in Zakynthos!
- Price: Shipwreck boat tour: €30 with Shipwreck Zakynthos
- Clifftop Access: Free
- Pro Tip: Don’t pay for a trip just to the shipwreck, lots of boat tours include a visit here along with other spectacular destinations for a similar price
Take A Trip To The Blue Caves
Zakynthos is home to a breathtaking array of sea caves and natural arches, known for their enchanting reflection of water within their limestone walls. These Blue Caves are a must-see attraction for any visitor to the island and can be explored by boat or by expert swimmers and divers.
Located near the Skinari Cape and Agios Nikolaos, visitors can drive to a nearby mill and walk down a hundred steps to reach the coastal area where the caves are located.
The natural beauty of the Blue Caves is truly awe-inspiring, with the sparkling sunlight reflecting off the aqua-blue waters and illuminating the stunning caves.
Don’t miss the chance to experience this breathtaking natural wonder during your visit to Zakynthos.
- Price: €10 around
- Top Tip: Head here either in the early morning or late afternoon to skip the midday crowds, as the Blue Caves are a popular destination for tourists on the island.
Explore Zante Town
If you’re visiting Zakynthos Island, a stop at its capital, Zakynthos town (also known as Zante town), is a must.
Although it may not be the most picturesque town in the Greek Islands, it has its own unique charm. Take a stroll along the seafront promenade, from Solomos Square (named after Greece’s National Poet) to the historic St. Dionisis Church.
Discover the bustling shopping district and enjoy authentic Greek and Italian cuisine at the local restaurants.
When in Zakynthos town, make sure to explore the popular Solomos Square, Democracy Square, and the historic St. Dionisis Church, a popular religious attraction.
Whether you’re interested in culture, history, or just soaking up the local atmosphere, Zakynthos town is the perfect destination for a memorable afternoon experience during your trip to Zakynthos Island.
- Pro Tip: Try looking for restaurants in hidden alleys instead of the seafront ones. As they are cheaper and more authentic!
Discover the stunning Kalamaki Beach, a must-visit destination in the southern part of Zakynthos.
This magnificent beach boasts a huge sandy shore with warm and crystal-clear shallow waters, part of the breathtaking Laganas Bay.
Kalamaki is also an important habitat for the endangered Loggerhead Turtle and is protected by Greek legislation as part of the National Maritime Park of Zakynthos. Whether you’re traveling with your family or your significant other, Kalamaki is the perfect place for a relaxing and romantic holiday.
With its proximity to Zante Town and its quiet, serene atmosphere, Kalamaki offers all the amenities you need for a memorable vacation in Zakynthos
Bonus Tip: Kalamaki is a great area to set your base of operations, either with adventurous friends or either seeking family moments. Check out our Family Hotel, Dennys Inn, with 32 years of experience and 5 minutes from the gorgeous Kalamaki Beach. Click Here!
Relax On Porto Limnionas Beach
Uncover the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea on the stunning east side of Zakynthos Island.
This breathtaking location, known as Porto Liomionas, is situated near a fjord on the west coast and boasts pristine sandy beaches surrounded by towering white cliffs with rocky caves.
Relax and soak up the sun on one of the many sunbeds (€5 each) available at the Limnionas Tavern, while enjoying a refreshing swim in the deep waters of the Ionian. The taverna serves up delicious food and drinks with an unbeatable view of the sea and the surrounding cliffs
The journey to the beach may present a mild challenge, but the reward of relaxing on a comfortable sunbed with a cocktail in hand, overlooking the stunning Ionian Sea, is well worth it.
Don’t miss out on this must-visit destination during your trip to Zakynthos Island, perfect for couples and adventure seekers alike.
- Sunbed: €5 a day
- Access: Free
- Top Tip: Rent snorkeling gear before heading to the beach, you’ll find it hard to find waters clearer than the ones surrounding Porto Limnionas.
Marathonisi (Turtle Island)
Korakonisi is a unique natural wonder, featuring a massive 20-meter-span arch created by the formation of rocks.
The arch leads to a small, secluded bay with calm and crystal-clear waters, showcasing an amazing underwater landscape. Surrounded by the sea and rocks, the island is only accessible via a small strip of rock connecting it to the mainland.
Visitors can climb up to the island’s rocks and admire the rugged scenery. Adventure-seekers can even jump into the sea from the arch, while those less daring can reach the water from the rocks.
Snorkeling is a must-do activity here, and using a mask is highly recommended to fully enjoy the stunning underwater views. Experience the beauty of Korakonisi on your Zakynthos holiday!
- Access: By road
Zakynthos, the stunning Greek island in the Ionian Sea, is a paradise for nature lovers, especially for those interested in the ancient Loggerhead Sea Turtle. This beautiful species can be seen in the waters of the Zakynthos Marine Park or on the beaches, where they come to lay their eggs at night.
Visitors to Zakynthos should definitely take a boat tour to spot these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. But be sure to choose a responsible tour company that prioritizes the well-being of the animals and the environment.
Avoid large groups and tours that disrupt the turtles or their ecosystem.
In addition to the Loggerhead Sea Turtles, the reefs and beaches of Zakynthos are also home to an abundance of marine life, including various types of corals, fish, and crustaceans. For an even more immersive experience, you can join snorkeling or diving tours and explore the diverse underwater world of Zakynthos.
Most tours charge around €50 for one dive with equipment and around €30 per person for a full-day snorkeling trip with equipment rental, but if you ask the reception of your hotel, they should have some good deals with agencies.
Dennys Inn has the best recommendation for eco-friendly tours to Turtle Island (Marathonisi), just ask Dionisis at the Reception!
So if you’re looking for a unique and eco-friendly activity while on Zakynthos, be sure to check out the marine life, including the Loggerhead Sea Turtles, and join a snorkeling or diving tour!
We must be thankful for ARCHELON, The Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, which efforts and volunteers have helped thousands of turtles!
Visit The Mountain Villages Of Kambi And Anafonitria
In this monastery, Agios Dionysios, the protector saint of Zakynthos, became a monk and lived the last years of his life in the 16th century. In 1580 Saint Dionysios, or Denny, as abbot of the Anafonitria, hid in the monastery and saved from his persecutors the murder of his brother, as he forgave him with love.
It’s a must-do, on Zakynthos island. If it weren’t for the natural beauty of this island, this destination would have been number 1. Many visitors don’t know about this place, and that’s why you will see the untouched villages and vineyards of Zante. Spend the day venturing through the picturesque villages of Kambi and Anafonitria, wandering through local farmland where you can observe locals harvesting grapes.
- Top Tip: Make Sure to visit Kambi for authentic Zakynthian Cuisine, such as rabbit stew and rooster! The restaurants there are on the cliff with stunning views that make the experience even better!!
Watch The Sun Go Down At Keri Lighthouse
If you are still reading this blog, this means that you are determined to find the best things to do in Zakynthos Island and for the best Greek sunset. Well, look no further. Keri Lighthouse is your reward. This is the best place on Zakynthos Island to watch the sun go down, with immaculate views overlooking the azure waters.
In the summer months, the golden-red sun dissolves perfectly into the sea, creating a spectacle for visitors. Easily accessible but extremely popular, we’d recommend heading there a couple of hours early to make sure you get a perfect position.
Top Tip: Buy an ice cooler and bring a beer or two, it is the perfect place to finish your day.
Visit Agios Dionysios Church
Discover the history and rich cultural heritage of Zakynthos at the picturesque Agios Dionysios Church.
This historic landmark, located on the main harbor in Zakynthos Town, is one of the few buildings that survived the massive earthquake of 1953 and is a must-visit destination for history lovers.
Explore the amazing orthodox paintings, stories, and ceremonies within the church and visit the resting room of Saint Dionisis, the patron saint of Zakynthos. On special events and certain days of the week, you can even witness Saint Dionisis in his see-through box with his feet covered in heavy linens, a unique opportunity for worship.
The church also boasts a museum that highlights the island’s rich cultural heritage. Don’t miss out on the chance to immerse yourself in the history of Zakynthos at Agios Dionysios Church.
Top Tip: Head here when you need a break from the sun, it offers great shade and coverage.
Relax At Xigia Beach
Discover the hidden gem of Xigia Beach, a stunning pebbled beach located on Zakynthos’s northwest coast.
This serene and secluded spot is perfect for those seeking a natural therapy for their aches and pains. The water at Xigia is said to be rich in natural minerals and therapeutic properties, making it a must-visit destination for those looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience in Zakynthos.
Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape from the crowds or simply want to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, Xigia Beach is a top-rated destination for the best things to do in Zakynthos. So, don’t miss out on the chance to soak up the sun and soothe your body in the therapeutic waters of Xigia Beach, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Zakynthos.
- Top Tip: Rent a car for the day to head to Xigia beach as it can be difficult to access by public transport.
Visit Korakonisi ( Crow Island )
A very well-hidden gem and a unique monument to nature is Korakonisi on Zakynthos Island.
The formation of the rocks creates a huge arch that of which exceeds 20 meters, and the arch covers a small secluded bay. The water here is cool and crystal clear with a beautiful seabed. It is surrounded by both the sea and cliffs and is connected to the mainland by one small piece of rock.
Climbing up onto the rock of the island you can admire the rocky wilderness. Those of you more adventurous can dive into the sea from the arch. If the idea of diving in from such a height scares you access is easier from the rocks.
You should definitely use a mask here when diving into the sea, it is overwhelming, you see every sunbeam that penetrates the water, and the seabed is very vibrant!
Rent A 4×4 And Drive Around Zakynthos Island
Explore the hidden treasures of Zakynthos Island by renting a 4×4 vehicle.
With the rocky and dirt roads, a sturdy vehicle is essential for an adventurous road trip to uncover all the breathtaking sights, including the majestic Vrachionas Mountains and reaching the highest point on the island.
Despite Greeks having a reputation for poor roads, a 4×4 will allow you to explore at your own pace and find all the treasures that Zakynthos Zante Island has to offer. Book your 4×4 rental today and make unforgettable memories while discovering the beauty of Zakynthos.
- Top Tip: With so many off-road places to explore picking a 4 x 4 car is probably your best option as there are multiple many hidden gems not easily accessible by foot or in a normal car. Talk with our reception so you can reserve your car at a discount!
Read More About The Best Beaches In Zakynthos
Looking for the Top 10 beaches in Zakynthos?
Experience some of the most gorgeous coastal scenery in the world. This idyllic location in the Ionian Sea boasts a diverse range of stunning beaches, from sandy white shores and rugged coves to secluded bays.
If you’re seeking to plan a trip or witness some of the most magnificent beach views on earth, we have you covered.
With a comprehensive guide to the best beaches in Zakynthos, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your next adventure. From exploring the top 10 must-visit beaches in Zakynthos to discovering hidden gems, your experience will be unforgettable.
So whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, take a swim in crystal clear waters, or go on a beach-hopping adventure, Zakynthos is a beach lover’s paradise that you won’t want to miss! Join us in exploring the top beaches in Zakynthos, one of the Ionian’s hidden gems.
Click the link below to find out where are the Top 10 Beaches in Zakynthos!
Read More From Our Local Zakynthian Guides
I hope that you found my guide on What to Do in Zakynthos Greece to be both enjoyable and useful.
If you’re still feeling the urge to explore and discover new places, I have a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I would like to recommend for you to read next:
Written By Denny Vitsos
Denny is a member of the Dennys Inn Hotel family located in Kalamaki, Zante. After completing his studies in Tourism and Business Management at the University of West Attica, he created this website, along with its blog and numerous other activities. His aim is to foster a connection between his guests and the Greek family spirit that his family takes great pride in. The hotel has been in operation since 1991, and Denny is one of the newest members of the team. At the hotel, you will experience a traditional Greek family business, with multiple Vitsos family members on board, who give their utmost dedication to ensure the satisfaction of their returning guests.
Visiting Shipwreck Beach ( Navagio Beach ) in Zakynthos by: Dionisis Vitsos February 2023 Dennys Inn Hotel Kalamaki Zakynthos – Navagio Beach …
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