Best Things to Do in Zakynthos: 12 Must-See Attractions

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Zakynthos
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Looking to visit Zakynthos anytime soon? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Zakynthos. These breathtaking sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Ahh Zakynthos. An exotic island brimming with azure waters, golden sands, and that intoxicating Greek sunlight that seems to make everything glow. If you’ve ever daydreamed of escaping to a paradise where the sea is clearer than your future and the cliffs are dramatic enough to rival any soap opera, then Zakynthos is your dream come true. This destination offers a plethora of things to do in Zakynthos, with a world of experiences waiting to be discovered.

But let’s get one thing straight: this Ionian island, part of the enchanting Greek Islands archipelago, is not just another pretty face in the Mediterranean crowd. Oh no, Zakynthos calls to the wanderer in all of us, offering a blend of adventure, relaxation, and culture unlike anywhere else.

From the world-famous Navagio Beach to the lesser-known but equally stunning Xigia Beach, this island is a treasure trove of experiences. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to parasail over the crystal-clear waters or a history buff keen to explore ancient ruins, Zakynthos has something for everyone.

So, bring your sense of adventure, because we’re about to delve into the ultimate guide to the best things to do in Zakynthos. Trust me, by the end of this, you’ll be booking the next flight out to this Greek paradise. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Zakynthos.

The top places to visit in Zakynthos right now
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Best Places to Visit in Zakynthos

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Zakynthos? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this idyllic vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Zakynthos places to visit.

Are you looking to go sunbathing on pristine beaches and explore rugged cliffs and caves by boat? Or would you prefer to indulge in vibrant nightlife and savor delicious Greek cuisine? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Zakynthos can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Zakynthos that you should know about.

1. Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach)

Navagio Beach is the crown jewel of Zakynthos and arguably one of the most photographed beaches in the world. But let’s be honest, no photograph can truly capture the ethereal beauty of this secluded cove. Surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and accessible only by boat, Navagio is the epitome of a hidden paradise.

Now, you might be wondering, what makes this beach so special? Well, apart from its jaw-dropping beauty, Navagio Beach is home to a fascinating piece of history—a shipwreck from the ’80s. The rusty vessel adds an eerie yet captivating contrast to the otherwise pristine environment. A visit to this beach is one of those coolest things to do in Zakynthos that you simply can’t miss.

For the adventure seekers, there’s an elevated viewpoint accessible by car where you can get a panoramic view of the entire cove. Trust me, it’s a sight that will leave you speechless. And for those who prefer to be up close and personal with nature, snorkeling around the shipwreck offers a surreal experience.

So, if you’re wondering where to go in Zakynthos for an unforgettable blend of natural beauty and history, Navagio Beach should be at the top of your list.

Exploring Navagio Beach is one of the best things to do in Zakynthos.
Navagio Beach, an ethereal hidden paradise surrounded by towering cliffs, and is the town’s crown jewel.

2. The Blue Caves

When crafting your Zakynthos bucket list, the Blue Caves should be a non-negotiable entry. These natural wonders are a series of geological formations that have been carved out by erosion over thousands of years. But it’s not just the caves themselves that are awe-inspiring; it’s the way the light dances on the water, creating a mesmerizing blue glow that illuminates the caves’ interiors.

For those who love to explore the underwater world, diving in the Blue Caves is one of the coolest activities in Zakynthos. The water is so clear that you can see all the way to the seabed, making it a diver’s paradise. And if diving isn’t your thing, no worries! You can still experience the magic by taking a boat tour that sails right into the caves.

What makes the Blue Caves stand out is the sense of tranquility you’ll feel as you float through these natural cathedrals. It’s a spiritual experience that leaves many visitors feeling rejuvenated and connected to the earth.

Looking for unique places in Zakynthos that offer both adventure and serenity? The Blue Caves are a must-see.

Include the Blue Caves in your bucket list for their awe-inspiring natural beauty and captivating blue glow.
Include the Blue Caves in your bucket list for their awe-inspiring natural beauty and captivating blue glow.

3. Keri Lighthouse

When it comes to Zakynthos attractions that offer a blend of natural beauty and a dash of romance, the Keri Lighthouse stands out. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, this charming lighthouse is more than just a beacon for ships; it’s a beacon for souls seeking a moment of serenity.

Imagine this: you’re standing at the edge of the world, the sun dipping below the horizon, painting the sky in hues of orange, pink, and purple. It’s one of those Zakynthos things to do that you’ll cherish forever. The lighthouse itself is a quaint, whitewashed structure that adds a touch of old-world charm to the dramatic landscape.

But wait, there’s more! The area around the lighthouse is dotted with little tavernas where you can grab a glass of local wine or a bite to eat. It’s the perfect way to round off your visit and one of the best places to go in Zakynthos if you’re a fan of sunsets.

For breathtaking views with a touch of history, make sure to add the Keri Lighthouse to your itinerary. It’s easy to see why this is among the top things to do in Zakynthos, Greece.

Visit Keri Lighthouse: Where natural beauty meets romance and serenity by the Ionian Sea.
Visit Keri Lighthouse: Where natural beauty meets romance and serenity by the Ionian Sea.

4. Bochali

If you’re yearning for a quieter, more authentic experience, then Bochali is a must-visit. Situated atop a hill overlooking Zakynthos Town, Bochali offers a panoramic view that’s nothing short of breathtaking. The area is steeped in history, with Venetian architecture and a charming old fortress adding layers of intrigue to your visit.

As you wander through the cobblestone streets, you’ll find quaint cafes and tavernas that offer a respite from the bustling tourist spots. It’s an ideal destination where you can sip on a cup of Greek coffee while soaking in the view of the azure sea and the sprawling town below.

What really sets Bochali apart is its atmosphere. There’s a sense of tranquility here that’s hard to find elsewhere on the island. It’s a place where locals go to escape, and once you visit, you’ll understand why.

For those with a love for history, a passion for coffee, or an appreciation of stunning views, Bochali has something for everyone.

For a quieter, authentic experience, visit Bochali, perched on a hill with breathtaking panoramic views and rich history.
For a quieter, authentic experience, visit Bochali, perched on a hill with breathtaking panoramic views and rich history.

5. Gerakas Beach

Are you a wildlife enthusiast? One activity that stands out is turtle spotting, particularly at Gerakas Beach. This secluded beach is another vital nesting ground for the endangered Loggerhead turtles, also known as “Caretta Caretta,” making it a must-see in Zakynthos for nature lovers.

Begin your eco-friendly adventure with a guided tour that starts right at the entrance of Gerakas Beach. As you walk along the pristine shoreline, you’ll learn about the conservation efforts in place to protect these magnificent creatures. The real excitement begins when you spot a turtle making its way to the ocean, a sight that captures the essence of unique things to do in Zakynthos.

The experience doesn’t stop at mere observation. Some tours offer a snorkeling session, allowing you to explore the underwater world where these turtles reside. Just remember, these are protected species, so always maintain a respectful distance.

Wondering where to go in Zakynthos for an experience that combines natural beauty with wildlife conservation? Look no further than Gerakas Beach. It’s not just an activity; it’s a meaningful encounter that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the island’s natural wonders.

Don't miss turtle spotting at Gerakas Beach, a vital nesting ground for Loggerhead turtles.
Don’t miss turtle spotting at Gerakas Beach, a vital nesting ground for Loggerhead turtles.

6. Agnadi Restaurant and Zakynthos Town Market

For food enthusiasts, the culinary landscape of Zakynthos is a treasure trove of flavors waiting to be discovered. Thinking about where to visit in Zakynthos for an authentic gastronomic experience? Explore Agnadi Restaurant and Zakynthos Town Market.

Begin your culinary expedition at Agnadi Restaurant, situated in the scenic village of Volimes. Overlooking the azure Ionian Sea, this charming eatery offers more than just a meal; it offers an experience. Whether you’re in the mood for a romantic dinner or a convivial feast with friends, the restaurant’s ambiance and locally-produced wine set the perfect stage.

Don’t stop there. For a slice of local life, make your way to Zakynthos Town Market in the heart of the island’s capital. This bustling marketplace is a haven for food lovers, offering everything from freshly-picked olives to artisanal cheeses. It’s not just a market; it’s a Zakynthos attraction that lets you taste the island’s culture, quite literally.

So, if you’re searching for Zakynthos things to do that offer more than just picturesque beaches and crystal-clear waters, diving headfirst into its culinary scene should be high on your list. Trust us; this is one culinary journey your taste buds will be grateful for.

Exploring Agnadi Restaurant is one of the best things to do in Zakynthos.
For food enthusiasts seeking an authentic gastronomic experience in town, explore Agnadi Restaurant.
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7. The Olive Groves

Are you on the hunt for the best places in Zakynthos that offer more than just sun and sea? The island’s olive groves are a must-see. These sprawling fields are the backbone of local agriculture and a testament to the island’s rich history. Olive oil from Zakynthos is renowned for its quality, and you’ll find it in almost every dish you taste here.

Aresti Olive Farm is a family-run estate that welcomes visitors for a tour of their groves and a tasting of their award-winning oils. The experience is both educational and delicious, as you learn about the traditional methods of olive oil production while sampling the liquid gold that results from it.

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The olive groves aren’t just for eating; they’re also for exploring. Wander through the rows of ancient trees, some of which are hundreds of years old. The scenery is tranquil, the air filled with the scent of olives and earth—it’s an essential destination that allows you to connect with the land in a very intimate way.

Thinking about the coolest activities in Zakynthos? Make sure to include a visit to its olive groves. It’s a different kind of adventure, but one that’s equally rewarding.

Experience Aresti Olive Farm: tour groves, taste award-winning oils, and learn traditional methods.
Experience Aresti Olive Farm: Tour groves, taste award-winning oils, and learn traditional methods.

8. Zakynthos Town

Zakynthos Town, the island’s capital, is a place where the past and the present coalesce in a fascinating dance. It’s one of those Zakynthos places to visit that offers a little bit of everything. From the bustling Solomos Square to the quiet corners of the Byzantine Museum, this town is a microcosm of Zakynthos itself.

Start your day with a visit to Agios Dionysios Church, a stunning example of Greek Orthodox architecture. The intricate frescoes and the golden altar are awe-inspiring. Then, make your way to the Zakynthos Archaeological Museum. Here, you’ll find artifacts that tell the story of the island’s rich history, from ancient Greece to the Byzantine era.

Shopping enthusiasts, you’re in for a treat! The town’s main street, Alexandrou Roma Street, is lined with shops selling everything from local crafts to high-end fashion.

At night, the town comes alive with vibrant bars and restaurants. Curious about the coolest things to do in Zakynthos after the sun goes down? This is your answer.

Start your day at Agios Dionysios Church, a stunning example of Greek Orthodox architecture with intricate frescoes and a golden altar.
Start your day at Agios Dionysios Church, a stunning example of Greek Orthodox architecture with intricate frescoes and a golden altar.

9. Xigia Beach

Ah, Xigia Beach. A hidden gem that’s a must-see in Zakynthos for anyone looking to unwind and rejuvenate. Situated between towering cliffs, this secluded beach offers more than just stunning views and crystal-clear waters. It’s a natural spa, thanks to the sulfur and collagen that seep into the sea from nearby caves.

Imagine this: You’re floating in the warm, therapeutic waters, the scent of sulfur filling the air but surprisingly not overwhelming. The minerals work their magic on your skin, making it feel soft and revitalized.

The beach is also a fantastic spot for snorkeling. The underwater world here is teeming with colorful fish and intricate coral formations. So, if you’re asking yourself what to do in Zakynthos that combines relaxation and adventure, Xigia Beach is your answer.

As the day winds down, find a cozy spot on the sand and let the golden hues of the sunset wash over you. It’s a moment of pure bliss and a perfect way to end to your day.

Xigia Beach: A hidden gem for relaxation and rejuvenation with natural spa benefits, showcasing crystal clear water.
Xigia Beach: A hidden gem for relaxation and rejuvenation with natural spa benefits, showcasing crystal clear water.

10. Laganas

Searching for the best places to go in Zakynthos to let your hair down? Seek no longer than Laganas. This bustling resort area transforms into a vibrant nightlife hub as the sun sets, offering a medley of experiences that cater to every kind of party-goer.

Picture this: neon lights illuminating the streets, the air pulsating with the latest hits, and a crowd that’s as diverse as it is enthusiastic. Are you into laid-back beach bars or high-energy nightclubs? Laganas has got you covered.

But hey, it’s not just about the party scene. Laganas’ beautiful beach also offers a serene escape where you can recover the next day. Lounge on the soft sands, take a refreshing dip in the sea, or perhaps engage in some water sports. It’s one of the cool destinations in Zakynthos that provides an excellent blend of both worlds.

As you sip on a cocktail, watching the stars twinkle above, you’ll realize that Laganas is more than just a party spot; it’s a place where unforgettable memories are made.

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Explore Laganas, which boasts its beautiful beach, a destination for relaxation and water sports.
Explore Laganas, which boasts its beautiful beach, a destination for relaxation and water sports.

11. Marathonissi

Marathonissi, often referred to as Turtle Island, a visit to the island is among the best things to do in Zakynthos for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. This uninhabited islet, shaped remarkably like a turtle, offers a tranquil escape from the bustling tourist spots.

As you approach the island by boat, the first thing you’ll notice is the lush greenery contrasting with the azure waters. It’s one of those unique places in Zakynthos where you can truly disconnect and immerse yourself in nature. Once you set foot on the island, you’ll find two distinct beaches: one with soft, golden sands and another with intriguing pebbles and caves.

The real magic happens underwater. The surrounding sea is a protected area for the endangered loggerhead turtles, making it a snorkeler’s paradise. Imagine floating above coral gardens, watching turtles glide gracefully below you.

As the sun begins to set, find a secluded spot on the beach, perhaps with a picnic basket in tow. The island’s untouched beauty makes it one of the most romantic places in the region.

Marathonissi, or Turtle Island, is a top attraction for nature lovers and adventurers, offering a tranquil escape.
Marathonissi, or Turtle Island, is a top attraction for nature lovers and adventurers, offering a tranquil escape.

12. Anafonitria Monastery

Looking for a slice of serenity amidst your action-packed Zakynthos adventure? Anafonitria Monastery is your go-to destination. Located in the scenic countryside, this 15th-century monastery is a sanctuary of peace and spiritual reflection.

As you step through the ancient stone archways, you’ll be greeted by the soft chime of bells and the scent of incense wafting through the air. The monastery is not just a religious site; it’s a historical treasure trove. It was here that the island’s patron saint, St. Dionysios, spent his final years, and you can even visit the cell where he lived.

The architecture alone is worth the visit. Byzantine influences meld with local Zakynthian styles, creating a distinctive aesthetic that’s both humble and grand. The frescoes adorning the walls are a vivid tapestry of religious stories, offering a glimpse into the island’s rich spiritual heritage.

It’s not all about history and spirituality. The monastery is surrounded by lush gardens and olive groves. As you wander the grounds, don’t forget to stop by the small shop that sells handmade religious artifacts and local products—a perfect memento of your visit.

Anafonitria Monastery is one of the best things to do in Zakynthos.
Anafonitria Monastery: A serene 15th-century sanctuary amidst Zakynthos’ adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Zakynthos

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Zakynthos? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Zakynthos:

What’s the best time to visit Zakynthos?

The best time to visit Zakynthos is during the late spring (May and June) and early autumn (September and October). During these months, the weather is pleasantly warm, and the tourist crowds are smaller, allowing you to enjoy the island’s beauty and attractions more peacefully.

How many days are needed in Zakynthos?

The ideal duration for a visit to Zakynthos (also known as Zante) largely depends on your interests and travel pace. However, for most travelers, 3 to 5 days is a recommended duration for a trip to Zakynthos. Here’s a general breakdown:

  • 1-2 days: Explore the main town, Zakynthos Town, and visit popular beaches like Shipwreck Beach (Navagio) and Laganas. Take a boat tour to the Blue Caves.
  • 3rd day: Head to the Vasilikos Peninsula for more serene beaches like Gerakas and Banana Beach. You can also visit the Zakynthos Marine Park if you’re interested in wildlife, especially sea turtles.
  • 4th day: Explore the western and central parts of the island. Visit villages like Keri and take in panoramic views from the Keri Lighthouse. Explore the inland, with its olive groves and traditional villages.
  • 5th day: Dedicate this day to relaxation or delve deeper into activities you might have missed, such as water sports, diving, or further exploration of the island’s hidden coves and beaches.

For travelers who love to immerse themselves in local culture, nature, and relaxation, extending the stay to a week would allow a more leisurely pace and in-depth exploration. On the other hand, if you’re on a tight schedule or island-hopping, a 2-3 day stay can cover the major highlights.

How do I get around Zakynthos?

Getting around Zakynthos is relatively easy. You can rent a car, scooter, or ATV for flexibility and convenience. Public buses connect major towns. Taxis are available but can be expensive. Boat tours are ideal for exploring coastal attractions, and walking or cycling is great for local exploration.

To get around Zakynthos, consider exploring coastal attractions with boat tours.
To get around Zakynthos, consider exploring coastal attractions with boat tours.

Is visiting Zakynthos expensive?

Zakynthos can vary in cost depending on your choices. Accommodation, dining, and transportation options range from budget to luxury. Generally, it’s possible to visit on a moderate budget, especially if you avoid peak tourist season. Costs may increase for high-end dining and upscale accommodations.

Are the beaches in Zakynthos safe for swimming?

Yes, the beaches in Zakynthos are generally safe for swimming, making them among the best things to do in Greece. Most have calm and clear waters, making them suitable for swimmers of all levels. However, it’s essential to be aware of local conditions, follow any posted warnings, and take precautions as some beaches may have strong currents or rocky areas.

What are the must-see Zakynthos attractions?

Must-see attractions in Zakynthos include Shipwreck Beach (Navagio), renowned for its stunning shipwreck viewpoint; the Blue Caves, with their mesmerizing azure waters and caves; and the endangered loggerhead turtles at Laganas Bay. Also, explore the picturesque town of Zakynthos and visit the historic Venetian Castle.

What is Zakynthos best known for?

Zakynthos is best known for its breathtaking beaches, particularly Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Beach. The island is a haven for natural beauty, featuring crystal-clear waters, stunning cliffs, and lush landscapes. It’s also famous for the endangered loggerhead turtles that nest on its shores. Zakynthos offers a blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences.

Is it worth visiting Zakynthos?

Absolutely, Zakynthos is a must-visit destination for beach lovers, adventure seekers, and nature enthusiasts. From the iconic Navagio Beach to the serene Blue Caves, the island offers a diverse range of experiences. Add in delicious Greek cuisine and warm hospitality, and you’ve got a vacation that’s worth every penny.

Final Thoughts on Exploring Zakynthos

And there you have it, wanderlusters! A comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Zakynthos. This Grecian paradise is more than just stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters; it’s a tapestry of history, culture, and natural wonders waiting to be explored. Whether you’re diving into the Blue Caves or savoring local flavors, Zakynthos offers an array of experiences that will make your heart sing and your Instagram feed pop. So, what are you waiting for? Pack those bags, book that flight, and get ready to fall head over heels for Zakynthos. Trust me, it’s a love affair that will last a lifetime.

The top things to do in Zakynthos for all types of travelers
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