A real, tried, tested and true list of what to do while in Zakynthos.
I’ll try try to narrow this down... because we love so very much about this island.
Sometimes when we browse the internets must do's for Zante, we’re less than thrilled. There’s the ‘yes of course’ things you should do, the one’s that have made the island famous. But there are so many more that we love, dare we say even more.
Past all the must-do guides, you'll find all the magic details. Things to experience that you'll never find on any of those generic lists — hidden taverns in a field, with live music and free-flowing village wine.
Wineries that serve gourmet lunches in olive groves under grape pergolas.
Snack shops where locals buy the best pie's in town.
Best manicure in town. Late-night drinks. Early morning fresh juice. Best local honey, best gyro, the best slice of pizza.
Where to have dinner with a full moon. Where to get your groceries. Best takeout near your place. Best place to park your car in the city.
This guide though is a great place to start.
But for the magical details, you'll have to take our word for it.
We provide fully customized 1 day itineraries full of these magical moments. We also provide self-guided 1 day itineraries. They make the most out of our favorite things to do. Bunching some experiences together for a seamless day of exploring and enjoying. Something to consider when you don’t want to have to think about every detail!
Marathonisi, also known as turle island. You can opt to take an arranged tour from the port of Agios Sostis, or captain your own mini boat (no license required) from the bay of Laganas as well. We much prefer this option. Usually around 125 euros for 2 hours and up to 8 passengers. Explore the islet, sail around back and check out the caves. Its a great way to spend a few hours, and you’re almost guaranteed to see a sea turtle along the way. They’re native to those waters.
Check out this blog post, https://www.travelzante.com/post/marathonisi-islet-zakynthos
Porto Roxa Beach. Worth the drive to the mountains if you’re not staying west. First, we love to stop at a few spots along the way. Then we love to park at Porto Roxa for the afternoon, enjoy lunch (options!), jump off into the gorgeous sea, and stare off into the Ionian. Magical days. Takes around 40 minutes from Zante Town with some things to see along the way.
Porto Selinas or Filipoi Beach. A not so well-known little spot to be explored. If you’re in the area, make your way down to this little cove. Explore the water, make your way to the little beach and take all the photos your heart desires. You won't stay all day, but you shouldn't miss this spot on your exploring of the north western part of the island.
Mizithres. What we like to call the 'new' Navagio. Personally we find this little gem more beautiful than the famous shipwreck. Found at the most southern tip of the island near Keri, you must explore these gorgeous shades of blue by boat. You can take a tour, or captain your own little mini boat (no license required) and explore the beauty yourselves.
Zante Town. A big little town, and the heartbeat of the island. There's not much you can't find here. Shopping of all kind, people watching, and any type of restaurant you desire. Taverns right through to upscale dining. Full breakfasts, all night snacks and all the cocktails you could imagine. You must explore and visit more than once.
Limionas. Western side of the island. Worth exploring without a doubt. There is only one restaurant and chair set up in this area. So make sure to travel here early to get a spot and most importantly parking. Casually jump off into the fresh and crystal clear waters. And do not forget to eat at the tavern. Dare we say, one of the very best of the island. With views that will knock your socks off.
Blue Caves. One of our favourite things to do is rent the mini boats (no license required) and captain ourselves and up to 8 passengers around to check out the caves. Set anchor and swim around.
You can always opt into a tour where the seasoned drivers can get you very up close and personal. Always so much fun.
Beach Day. A well organized beach can offer you many things. They set the mood with music, not too loud, but definitely setting the vibe. They offer full service for food and beverage. All you have to do is raise your hand and someone will be over shortly to take your order. Comfy chairs or cabanas. Nothing gives us the feeling of beach vacation more than a great beach day with all the luxuries. Lunch and drinks under a straw umbrella, listening to a summer soundtrack as we take turns refreshing ourselves in the water.
Marathias. Not so much a beach but a must to experience. The (smooth) rock beach give you access to beautiful blue waters. You'll find this oasis further south than Keri (which is a great point to rent those mini boats we talked about and explore some caves). There's something to be said for the rustic nature here, and you can feel it in your soul. It's a fun day, especially when you group a few of these spots together when exploring the southern tip of the island.
Cameo Island. Agios Sostis. This used to be a nightclub if you can believe it. And taking one look at the rope bridge that gets you to it, always gives me a chuckle thinking of what it would of been like leaving to go home at the end of the night. We love to rent mini boats from here to zip over to Marathonisi. And on the way or way back take a good look around Cameo Island. Alternatively you can always walk over and pay the entrance charge (around 5 euros) and spend some time on the beach cove around the back.
Makris Gialos. Found on the north western tip of the island. If you're north exploring shipwrecks and other beaches make sure to stop by here for a bit. There are a few umbrellas for shade (rent), but you can make sure that the water is fresh and clean and feels amazing! Take a dip, enjoy the view for a while and move along.
Vasilikos. There's no shortage of beautiful beaches on this part of the island. Well organized, great vibes, food and fun. While Banana beach might be the biggest beachfront, we are partial to Ammos Beach Bar on St Nicholas beach. It also happens to be close to a chapel that makes for a great photo shoot, and of course St Nicholas water-sports, the very best on the island. Spend at least one beach day here for sure!
The Shipwreck. There's 2 ways to enjoy the most famous landmark on the island. From the sea, only accessible by boat, or from up above. There's a platform built up above where you can enjoy the view. There's a snack bar and counters where they sell delicious local products. The beach this year is closed so you can only ride by, not actually step onto the pebbles. But still worth the drive by 100%. The blues are out of this world beautiful. Even nicer in person.
Porto Azurro. One of our favorite organized beaches. Tucked away, surrounded by greens. Tiki umbrellas line the beach. Full service, a great big restaurant with a generous menu. Busy. Come early to secure chairs (for rent).
There's rock formations that make it fun for exploring (and jumping) and clay deposits. So don't be surprised to see people covered in clay. Its a free day at the spa.
Nobelos. If you can afford the splurge, there are many private speed boats for hire that take you around the island for the day. Not only do you get a complete boat tour of the island, but you also get to stop for lunch at our favourite lunch restaurant in the northern part of the island. Nobelos is a small boutique hotel with a private beach front for guests and patrons of the restaurant. Your boat will drop you off at their dock, and you can enjoy a delicious upscale lunch you will not soon forget. We promise! Delicious! Reservations required.