10 things to see and do on Zakynthos
Zakynthos, or Zante as it's sometimes known, is one of the most captivating of Greece's myriad beautiful islands. A blend of picture-perfect beaches, vibrant fishing towns, and dramatic coastal cliffs, set within the waters of the Ionian Sea.
From exploring historic landmarks to dancing the night away in glamorous beach clubs, the island offers something for everyone. Read on to discover 10 things to see and do on Zakynthos.
The jewel in Zakynthos' glittering crown, the Navagio shipwreck is a truly stunning sight, the rusting hull of container ship MV Panagiotis, (which ran aground in 1980), set on brilliant white sands, and framed by soaring limestone cliffs and the azure waters of the Ionian Sea.
There aren't many places in Europe where you can spot sea turtles, and Zakynthos is one of the best!
The island is home to the endangered Loggerhead Turtle, known as Caretta caretta, and there is no better place to spot these amazing creatures than Marathonisi.
Nicknamed 'Turtle Island', this small, uninhabited islet, situated in Laganas Bay, in the south of Zakynthos, is a Loggerhead breeding ground. You can take a glass-bottom boat from the nearby harbours of Limni Keriou and Laganas, and spot Loggerheads swimming in the crystal clear waters before stopping on the unspoilt island for a relaxing picnic, a spot of sunbathing, and a swim!
One of the Zakynthos' most famous and spectacular landmarks, this dramatic complex of limestone caves and arches is located on the island's northern tip.
Truly breathtaking, the geological formations are named due to their occasional turquoise hue, created by the reflection of the water on the rock. You can take a small boat from nearby Skinari to experience their incredible beauty close up, and enjoy a dip in the crystalline Ionian waters.
The Greek islands are famed for their vibrant nightlife, and though it might not boast the lively reputation of Mykonos or Rhodes, Zakynthos still has plenty on offer.
From the clubs, bars and boat parties of Lagana, to the more laid back cocktail bars and tavernas (where you can enjoy traditional Greek music and dancing!) of Zakynthos Town, the island has something for all tastes.
Zakynthos' olive oil is known as some of the best on the planet, and if you're interested in learning more about this delicious 'liquid gold', head to the Aristeon Olive Press & Museum, where you discover its fascinating history; watch it being made, and sample some for yourself (accompanied by some delicious homemade bread!)
Towering to heights of 300 metres, and featuring a series of small sea caves and natural arches at their base, the Keri Cliffs, on Zakynthos' rugged southern coastline, are a truly magnificent sight!
A must-see when visiting the island, take a boat trip from nearby towns and villages like Limni Keriou, Agios Sostis and Laganas, to enjoy breathtaking views from below, and enjoy a refreshing dip in the sun-soaked waters.
Zakynthos is renowned for the beauty of its beaches. Navagio is the most famous, and for good reason, but there are plenty of other options to explore.
Located on the island's southern coastline, around 5km from Zakynthos Town, Kalamaki’ is one of the island's most picturesque beaches, a 9km-long stretch of golden sand, fringed by warm, shallow, and crystal-clear waters.
Located on the northeast of the island, Xigia isn't just one of the most beautiful beaches you will find anywhere in Europe, but its unique Sulfur-infused waters (which flow from nearby sea caves) are renowned for their healing properties.
- Banana Beach
One of the longest on the island, Banana Beach is great for those who enjoy relaxation as well as activities. The sun-soaked sand, and warm, shallow waters, are great for soaking up the rays, or, if watersports are your thing, then look no further: doughnuting, parasailing, waterskiing and jet skiing are just some of the many exhilarating activities on offer.
You can't visit Greece without taking in some historic landmarks, and Zakynthos is home to numerous well-preserved monasteries, some of which date back nearly five centuries.
Situated just a stone's throw from Navagio, Anafonitria Monastery harks back to Zakynthos' Byzantine period, and was once the home of the island's patron saint, Dionysios, while in the southeast, set atop Mount Skopos, the stunning Panagia Skopiotissa Monastery, features spectacular frescoed walls along with breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery.
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