Trust me when I say that Greece is a special place! Not only does it have some incredibly historic cities like Athens, but it also has a load of epic places dotted all across the country. That being said, for me, it’s the stunning Greek islands that are totally beautiful and can’t be missed on any trip to Greece. This is especially true when it comes to all the best things to do in Zakynthos – an Ionian Greek Island that’s just stunning to visit.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Zakynthos and it really lives up to the hype; especially its beautiful coastline! In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s one of my favourite coastlines in all of Greece.
So, to help you along your merry way to explore Zakynthos, I wanted to share some of our favourite spots that you really shouldn’t miss; especially if you’re planning to drive or boat around the island.
Take a look, below, at the best things to do in Zakynthos. Enjoy your Greek adventure!
1.) Explore the Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Cove)
Yup, it almost looks unreal! Navagio Beach is one spot in Zakynthos that’s known all across the Mediterranean. It’s incredibly beautiful, dramatic and downright blissful.
Now, to get here, you’ll need to either join a shared boat (or hire your own). Prices vary significantly and can be anything from around €30 euro for a large shared boat and a short tour, to around €750 for a boat that we rented with a skipper to drive us around for the whole day.
That being said, you can certainly spend a significant amount more if you’re fancying a big boat.
Most tours suggest heading to Navagio Beach in the morning, but if you really want to see much fewer crowds then head here an hour or two before sunset. It’s significantly quieter but you might not get the same beautiful blues that you see when the sun is high in the sky. It’s all a matter of preference and what’s important to you most.
2.) Navagio Beach View
If a boat trip doesn’t sound like your thing, head to the very top of the cliff and stop for a gorgeous sunset view across the Ionian Sea. It’s truly incredible and, after seeing Navagio Beach from above (at Navagio Beach View) and below, this is my very favourite spot.
Best of all, it’s pretty easy to drive to this viewpoint and there’s a little bit of parking, too. Head here around 1-2 hours before sunset and take in the gorgeous views and orange hues that bathe Zakynthos at sunset.
One word of warning, there is a much risker (and closed) viewpoint that’s a short walk from the main beach view. We saw lots of people still walking this route but it can be extremely dangerous and has, unfortunately, claimed lives in the past. Always be sensible, don’t go too near the edges and be careful.
Trust me, the cliffs are ginormous.
3.) Cave Damianos
Book a table around sunset and watch the most amazing sunset; all whilst eating through the local catch of the day that’s too good to miss.
4.) Keri Caves (and a wider boat tour)
There are so many incredible places to visit on the island that you’ll be spoilt for choice. In fact, it can be hard to narrow down just a few of the best things to do in Zakynthos on one trip.
So, like I said when visiting spots like Navagio Beach, it’s best to get yourself a boat. This way, you can spend a whole day (or longer) stopping off at the inaccessible coves and beaches that can only be reached by sea.
One such spot is the Keri Caves which is filled with incredible and totally impressive caves that span the western coastline.
Whilst on a boat tour, you’ll get to head between the arches, explore the little bays and take a snorkel in the crystal-clear waters.
Nobelos is a family-run seaside Lodge, bio restaurant and private cove is a great little spot to spend a lazy afternoon (or check-in and stay the night).
We’ve spent a few afternoons here and the food is incredible. Now, you do need to spend over €100 euros to use their cove/loungers but this is easily done if two of you go for lunch and get a few drinks.
We’d definitely recommend it and it’s so nice and peaceful.
6.) Anafonitria Monastery
Just a little inland from Navagio Beach, visiting the Anafonitria Monastery is one of the best things to do in Zakynthos if you want to explore more of the island’s religious history.
Founded in the 15th century, the monastery is dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary and is pretty impressive to see. Inside the building, the walls are decorated with frescos.
It’ll only take around 30-minutes to fully explore the monastery, which, makes it easy as a stop en route across the western coastline.
If you’re looking for a gorgeous place to stay, check into Olea All Suites. We spent a few weeks here and loved it here. The swim-up pools are incredible.
If you do choose to stay, head down to Avra Taverna Restaurant or their second restaurant Avli (that’s closer to the shore). The Greek dishes are incredible; especially the baked feta and the owners (two twin brothers are so welcoming). You will love it.
For some of the best seafood on Zakynthos, head to Dominicale Sea Food that’s so good. Around a 7-minute drive from Zakynthos Town, Dominicale Sea Food has a range of freshly-caught seafood that’s just so tasty.
Yes, it is quite a bit more expensive than some of the other restaurants in town but it’s well worth it; especially for a treat.
We loved the whole lobster and pasta. So good!
8.) Cameo Island
Just off Laganas, Cameo Island is a tiny little island that’s attached to the Laganas area of Zakynthos via a small footbridge.
Over the years, the beach bar has been a little gem of a place to visit for a quick drink or chill out on their intimate little coastline.
Yes, you will have to pay a small fee to enter, though it is a small fee that’s worth it if you’re spending some time on the island.
That being said, if you only plan to spend a few minutes on Cameo Island you might wanna give it a miss.
9.) Marathonisi Island (Turtle Island)
One of the spots we included with our boat trip, exploring Turtle Island is one of the best things to do in Zakynthos if you want to see the precious nesting sites around the Ionian Sea.
Once here, spend some time on the beach, take some time to chill and look out for the hatching sites that are protected around the island.
They’re typically protected by wooden guards that you’ll spot with ease.
10.) West Coat Boat Tour
For us, it’s the coastline that makes the island so special and is easily one of the best things to do in Zakynthos.
We booked with Big Blue Boat Rentals and loved it. We included; Porto Vromi, Kampi-Schiza, Porto Limnionas, Porto Roxa, Korakonisi, Agalas Caves, Pischines, Myzithres, Keri Caves, the arches and the waters around Keri Beach all in one tour. It was amazing.
Now, what I would say is that if you plan to hire your own boat, make sure to include Navagio Beach as a stop and not a sole destination. You see, Navagio is totally beautiful but it can get unbearably busy in the busy summer months.
Plus, there’s a heap of stunning bays, coves and caves to explore all along the west coast of Zakynthos.
Afterwards, ask your skipper (if you’re in a private boat) to stop off for lunch at Porto Limnionas Tavern. It’s a quaint little place where you can grab some of the best souvlaki and homemade chips on the whole of Zakynthos.
11.) Zakynthos Town
Zakynthos Town is the largest town to visit on the island.
Filled with local shops, beautiful churches and a heap of bars and restaurants, it’s the kind of place that’s well worth visiting for an afternoon and early evening bite to eat.
We loved the unfussy, Stathmos, for their delicious Greek food. Their fresh fish is totally delicious.
Afterwards, be sure to visit the Bochali Venetian Castle that’s just outside the harbourfront area of Zakynthos Town itself.
The castle sits on a tall hill overlooking the ocean and is a pretty gorgeous place to learn more about the historic Venetians that once ruled the island.
You’ll get to learn loads about the history and peek behind the walls of the fortress itself.
12.) Callinico Winery Museum
Around a 10-15 minute drive from Zakynthos Town, the Callinico Winery Museum is a great stopping point to make for a little wine tasting and learn more about wine production on the island.
Best of all, their cellars house a huge amount of wines that are produced on the island and easily packed in your luggage to enjoy at home. Prices are totally reasonable and well worth stopping by for some local favourites.
13.) Myzithres Viewpoint
To get here, you will need to park up near Keri Lighthouse (the view below) and join the dirt road (via foot or quad bike) to the cliff edge. The views are gorgeous.
Again, like most spots of the west coast, Myzithres Viewpoint can be very dangerous. This is especially true as there are no barriers stopping you from falling off the edge. Be very careful.
Not fancying a typical hotel stay? Check into Logothetis Organic Farm, a working farm that has a selection of rustic c Greek houses on its property. They’re totally quaint and beautiful.
If you’re wanting a little break from the stunning nature and want a pretty lively night on the town, then Laganas might be the spot for you. It’s got everything from bars, taverns, and nightclubs that stay open until the wee hours of the morning.
Yes, it can get pretty loud and lairy but if that’s what you’re looking for you’ll love it here. Though, if that doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, you might want to stay away in the later evenings.
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