Best Things to do in Zakynthos - Insider's Guide

Best Things to do in Zakynthos - Insider's Guide

Welcome to Zakynthos, a stunning Greek island situated in the picturesque Ionian Sea. Known for its clear blue waters, stunning vistas, and vibrant nightlife, Zakynthos promises an array of experiences for all types of travelers. Here's DayOut's insider guide to make the most of your visit to the island.

1. Blue Caves

While Navagio (Shipwreck Beach) typically steals the spotlight, the Blue Caves hold their own allure, especially for those seeking a less crowded and more enjoyable experience. Unlike Navagio, which tends to become overcrowded during the summer months, the Blue Caves offer a more tranquil and spread-out environment. So, don't be surprised if we recommend starting your Zakynthos adventure with a visit to these captivating natural wonders before venturing to the iconic Shipwreck Beach. You can do so with a boat tour combining Shipwreck and Blue Caves or contact us to plan your own private boat tour of the caves.

Insider tip: You'll experience the caves best with a small boat which can enter the caves and pass through the arcs shown in the image above 

2. Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach)

Undoubtedly the island's most renowned landmark, Navagio Beach lives up to its hype and is a must-visit destination. However, recent restrictions necessitate caution. While the beach itself is inaccessible for swimming or stepping ashore due to the risk of falling rocks, boat tours typically offer a pass-through of the bay, allowing for stunning photo opportunities and a nearby swim stop in the majestic turquoise waters. Alternatively, visitors can opt for an aerial view by car or by booking a specialized tour.

Insider tip: Prefer to visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds! 

3. Caretta Turtle Spotting

Zakynthos plays a pivotal role as a nesting site for the endangered Caretta-Caretta (loggerhead) sea turtles. These turtles are a migratory species and females return to lay their eggs on the same beaches on which they hatched. During each reproductive period, Caretta caretta females build 2-3 nests. In each nest, loggerhead turtles lay up to 120 eggs that will remain there for 55-60 days, until they hatch. Just 1 out of every 1,000 hatchlings survives to adulthood.

Visitors can witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat by joining a turtle spotting tour aboard a glass-bottom semi-submarine. Additionally, protected beaches like Gerakas offer the opportunity to observe turtle nests, while the information center located on the beach provides valuable insights into the conservation efforts and significance of these remarkable marine animals. Here's a tour to the nesting beaches.

Insider tip: Nesting beaches are usually not accessible after the sunset to half an hour after dawn in order not to distract the hatchlings who might lose their way 

4. Visit Zakynthos Town & Bohali

Immerse yourself in Zakynthos' vibrant culture by exploring Zakynthos Town, the island's charming capital. Stroll along the picturesque waterfront promenade lined with neoclassical buildings, quaint cafes, and bustling tavernas. Don't forget to visit Bohali, a village perched on a hilltop overlooking Zakynthos Town, that offers panoramic views of the Ionian Sea and the surrounding countryside.

Insider's tip: Check out the 15th-century castle Venetian Castle (5' car ride - 20' uphill walk from the town)

5. Keri & Marathonisi

Marvel at the towering cliffs and hidden sea caves of Keri Coast, where you can snorkel in crystal-clear waters and witness diverse marine life. You can also visit Marathonisi Island, also known as Turtle Island, to relax on pristine beaches and spot loggerhead sea turtles nesting in the golden sands.

Insider tip: Keri (Lighthouse) features the biggest Greek Flag in the world  

6. Eat Frygania

Indulge in Zakynthian gastronomy by sampling traditional Greek dishes at local tavernas and restaurants. Taste mouthwatering specialties like moussaka, souvlaki, fresh seafood, and Zakynthos' dessert,  frygania (pictured above).

Insider's tip: A lot of restaurants/tavernas offer frygania for free after your meal

7. Be active!

Venture beyond the tourist hotspots and immerse yourself in Zakynthos' diverse array of outdoor activities. Saddle up for a thrilling horseriding adventure along scenic trails that wind through olive groves and picturesque villages, offering a unique perspective of the island's natural beauty. For adrenaline junkies, dive into the crystal-clear waters and partake in an array of exhilarating watersports, from jet skiing and parasailing to windsurfing and paddleboarding. Alternatively, pedal your way through Zakynthos' stunning landscapes on a cycling excursion, exploring hidden coves, rolling hills, and charming countryside paths. 

Insider's tip: Banana beach & St Nicholas beaches are ideal for water sports

8. Visit Cameo Island

Escape to Cameo Island, a secluded paradise just off the coast of Laganas. Take a short walk to this idyllic island, where you can relax on sandy beaches, swim in crystal-clear waters, and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding coastline.

Insider's tip: Don't miss the chance to sip cocktails at the island's iconic beach bar as you soak up the sun.

9. Sunset at Kampi

Conclude your Zakynthos adventure with a magical sunset experience at Kampi, a picturesque village perched on the island's western cliffs. Enjoy panoramic views of the Ionian Sea as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the rugged coastline. Join locals and fellow travelers at cliffside tavernas to toast to another unforgettable day in paradise. 

Insider's tip: If you want to dine at Kampi make sure you reserve a table first!

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