Zakynthos Island is a top tourist destination, with an international airport served by charter flights from numerous countries. The island’s nickname is To fioro tou Levante (Italian: Il fiore di Levante, English: The flower of the East), given by the Venetians who were in possession of Zakynthos from 1484–1797. It offers a little bit of everything and you can experience a dreamy summer holiday. Zakynthos is famous for the Navagio beach and the sandy beaches with the turquoise waters, while many tourists visit the island to see from close the caretta-caretta turtles.
Top 10 Places in Zakynthos
Shipwreck is one of the most famous beaches in the world. It is named after a shipwreck (MV Panagiotis), which sunk on the shore around 1980. The scenery is unique because there is a beach of white pebbles, with turquoise waters, surrounded by steep cliffs. This beach is accessible only by boat. You can book a boat tour from Zakynthos town, from Porto Vromi or from Agios Nicolas Port in Volimes.
You can also see Navagio from the top of the cliff and enjoy the breathtaking view. You will have the chance to take the best “selfie” ever. Bohalli hill, Zakynthos town, the beach of Gerakas, Marathonisi, Keri, Keri Caves and the beach of Marathias, Blue Caves and the Limnionas beach are also places that you should visit.
The sea turtles caretta – caretta
From June till September, during the night, the carettas come out to the shore where they make their nests and lay about 100 eggs each into the sand. The breeding area is around the bay of Lagana.
After two months, the eggs hatch and the new born sea turtles make their way to the sea. It is not easy to spot the Caretta-caretta turtles since they are very vulnerable and easily frightened by noise and bright lights.
For their protection many beaches are closed at night and guarded by volunteers of the Sea Turtle Protection Society.
Zakynthos town is a busy town with a wide range of choices for dining or entertainment, shopping souvenirs and a great variety of cultural attractions. It is worth visiting the statue of Dionysios Solomos in Solomos Square and the town hall Library. The Church of Saint Dennis (Agios Dionysios), the Saint protector of the island and Saint Marcos Square with the Catholic Church and the Venetian style clock. You can also visit the Byzantine Museum and the Solomos and Kalvos Museum. Don’t miss the chance to walk around the port of the town and enjoy the view.
Marathonisi is a tiny uninhabited island in Laganas Gulf, with exotic beauty, white sand, crystal clear waters and it is visited by the caretta – caretta turtles! It is preferred by the turtles to lay their eggs. It also looks like a turtle and therefore it is known as the turtle island. Marathonisi is part of the national marine park and it contains tropical vegetation, turquoise waters and sea caves. The remoteness of the island offers peacefulness. To visit Marathonisi book a boat trip from Laganas, Agios Sostis, Porto Koukla, Keri or rent a boat to explore the coast. The organized tours offer you turtle spotting, to view the turtles up close. It is really worth it!
Gerakas beach is located on the south of Zakynthos and is part of the national marine park. There is a huge sandy beach of exotic beauty with warm, shallow sea water. The caretta turtles lay their eggs there too. There are a few umbrellas and sunbeds. Gerakas is ideal for those who wish to spend their day relaxing in a peaceful beach.
Bohali is a village on top of the hill that stands above Zakynthos offering a panoramic view of the town and the port. The place is really amazing as you can relax, admire the view and take pictures. The view from up there is breathtaking especially during the sunset and night time. There are cafes, bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a drink, a meal, an ice cream or the famous traditional sweet “frigania”
It is one of the most hidden places and maybe for this reason more beautiful and wild of the entire island.
To get there you have to pass through the mountains village of Agios Leon and from there following the signs, driving down a recently asphalted road running down to the sea and ending in a small square where you can park.
From there getting down a few steps carved in the rock, you reach a real fiord stupefying the visitor for the clearness and colours of the waters.
You should also explore the Blue Caves, situated on the northern tip of the island, near the port of Agios Nicolas (Saint Nicolas). Numerous natural “Blue Caves”, are cut into cliffs around Cape Skinari.
These natural arches and water-caves that have been cut out by tides over thousands of years are accessible only by small boats. Sunrays reflect through blue sea water from white stones of cave bottoms and walls, creating visual lighting effects. Swim and explore the caves. Snorkeling and diving are also suggested so that you have a unique experience viewing the rich underwater life.
Floating on the turquoise waters of the Ionian sea, Zakynthos (or Zante) is the closest to paradise on earth!
Home to the worldwide famous Navagio (Shipwreck) beach and glorified by innumerable travel guides, Zakynthos island is one of the most popular Greek islands! Breathtaking landscapes, exotic beaches with sugar fine sand and turquoise waters and crazy nightlife are the main reasons why this island is wildly popular. But, there’s more than that!
Exploring Zakynthos, you’ll discover picturesque hilltop villages, traditional monasteries, and dreamy natural landscapes. What’s more, the exotic Zakynthos beaches are home to the endangered sea turtle species caretta-caretta, which every year hide their eggs in the fine white sand of Zakynthos beaches.Zakynthos will be your own little piece of paradise!