Zakynthos, also known as the Greek Island Zante, is the southernmost of the Ionian Islands. This gorgeous island is surrounded by clear turquoise water. The north of Zakynthos is mountainous, so many tourists seeking the fabled beauty of the beaches access them from the south. Visitors have their pick of quiet, calm bay areas or energetic beach resorts.
This is definitely one of the most beautiful places on earth. Here are at least ten of my favorite places to stay on Zakynthos:
There are quite a few secluded and totally unspoiled beach areas on Zakynthos:
- Makris Gialos, on the northern part of the island, is a private beach. It’s perfect for those looking for a private couples vacation (without children) because the waters are deep.
- Limni Keriou, close to Keri (the ancient Zakynthos harbor) offers dramatic arched rocks and amazing views of Marathonisi islet. Many trips to the famous Blue Caves (an awe-inspiring series of caves at the northernmost point of the island) that seem to glow in several shades of blue start here.
- Xigia Beach, known for its healing capabilities, has natural suphur springs that run into the sea from an adjacent cave. People with all kinds of muscle aches, arthritis, and skin conditions—or even those with concerns about cellulite—love this gorgeous place.
- Navagio Beach, on the east side of the island, is one of the most frequently photographed places on the planet. It’s also got some pirate appeal: some people call it Smuggler’s Cove and Shipwreck Beach because a ship heavy with smuggled goods was wrecked offshore in the Eighties. The sand formations about the wreck are spectacular, so that the ship appears to rise directly off the beach. What’s more, stellar white cliffs surround the beach in all directions. It’s accessible by sea only.
Mainstream, or tourist, beaches are also lots of fun. Visit these favorites for people-watching:
- Argassi, a few miles away from Zante town center, is a developed beach but it’s more than just the usual tourist sights and facilities, visitors enjoy rock pools or an ancient Venetian-style bridge that leads to the sea.
- Laganas Beach, part of the resort of the same name, is an amazing seven-mile stretch of perfect sand. The resort is close by. It’s a nesting site for sea turtles and, sometimes, visitors catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.
- Kalamaki is a beach for active visitors—it’s packed with bars large and small, Greek cafes, and places to shop, so lots of visitors find their way here in peak season.
Golden sand and underwater vacations
There are several wonderful options for families on Zakynthos, including:
- Tsivili Beach, close to Zante Town, is an ideal location for young families. The beach’s gentle slope adds to the beach’s general feeling of safety. Its “Blue Flag” status means Tsivili is considered one of the cleanest, safest areas on the island. There’s no lack of amenities, including parasols and cabanas for rent. Plenty of beach bars, quaint shops, and tavernas are close-by.
- Alykes, on the north coast, has sands that seem to twinkle like gold at high noon. Shallow water makes it perfect for wading or swimming, too.
- The Zakynthos National Marine Park is a protected conservation area. Some of the beaches on Zakynthos fall under its protected status. For instance, some southern beaches are home breeding grounds of endangered species Caretta Caretta turtles and monk seals.
Water sports enthusiasts have an almost unlimited array of things to do, including jet-skiing, windsurfing, hydro-jetting, and parasailing. Boats of all kinds take advantage of the idyllic surroundings. There are abundant underwater formations, caves, and caverns to explore, but private scuba diving and snorkeling is illegal on the island. A large number of accredited, qualified diving centers offer underwater tours to those hoping to see what lies beneath the perfect Zante Island.