Zakynthos Island Travel Guide
Isn’t that electric blue hole, inviting? The spot is in an island in Greece. I will get to it shortly. Here is the Zakynthos Island Travel Guide exclusively for you.
Overview of Zakynthos Island:
The name that ends with ‘thos’ indicates it’s a Greek name. Zakynthos is a Greek Island. This blog post will be your useful travel guide to Zakynthos, one of the 6000 islands of Greece.
Zante is how the local Greeks call the island.
Location of Zakynthos Island
Zakynthos is surrounded by the Ionian Sea. The 6000 islands of Greece are spread over three seas namely:
- Aegean Sea
- Mediterranean Sea
- Ionian Sea
Athens, the capital city of Greece is 320 km to the east of this island.
If I read it right, Greece is visited mainly for its enchanting islands only; the mainland Greece attracts only the Greek history buffs who are always awed by the Greek temples, religion, and beliefs.
How to Reach Zakynthos?
By boat, you can reach Zante in just an hour from Killini harbour. However, Killini is 280 km west of Athens that you have to cover by bus.
This sea passage is the most enjoyable form of reaching Zante. Nonetheless, only true travelers who enjoy the act of traveling will choose this option of traveling to Zakynthos.
Typical Americans, who seems to be short of time always, will fly into Zakynthos airport from Athens in just 60 minutes.
Cofu, an important Greek island in Ionian Sea offers ferry connection to Zakynthos.
Kefalonia, the largest Greek island in Ionian Sea operates ferries to this island.
Some islands of Italy also offer direct ferries to it.
My choice of reaching Zakynthos Island would be the short voyage from Killini because I can also have a look at the countryside of Greece during the bus journey from Athens to Killini.
Where to Stay in Zakynthos Island?
If you can afford, choose to stay in a full-fledged beach resorts. Some of the recommended resorts in Zante are:
For mid-range travelers, hotels are the best options. Try to book your room in Diana Hotel, or, Porto Zante Villas, or Strda Marina. These hotels have excellent sea views.
For backpackers, staying in Killini is the best option. They can make day trips to the Zante by ferry.
What to Eat in Zakynthos Island?
Greek cuisine is unique and purely native. You can’t find any traces of other nearby cuisines such as Italian or Turkey. However, I could detect some Turkish influence in the modern-day Greek sweets.
For a change, special sweets are recommended to try that include:
- Nougats varieties such as Mantolato Nougat, Mantoles Nougats. These are made with peanuts or almonds that are caramalized with honey.
- Baklava is the widely eaten dessert.
- Moussaka is also a well-known Greek food made with meat, potato, and aubergine. What an exotic combination!
A wrap containing meat, vegetables, and cheese.
- Fried Squid-I think this food item is now found all over the world, even where squids are not found. In Greek Islands, it is called ‘Calamari’.
Zakynthos Island Travel Guide:
Top Sights to Visit in Zakynthos.
The beaches of Zakynthos are appreciated all over the world. I believe there are 35 beaches on the island.
It is a rather hidden beach. It is hid by tall cliffs that are iconic of Greece. Navalgo Beach can be reached only by a boat.
It is a private beach meant only for the guests of Laganas Resort.
Porto Limnionas Beach
Did you notice the blue cave? I saw a diving spot for the adventurers. The water looks very clear and the color of emerald is distinct.
I am sure; it is one of the foremost tourist attractions in Zakynthos in spite of being hidden by the rocks,
Cape Marathia Beach
This rugged and raw look appeals to many, including me.
Xigia Sulfur Beach
It is a very beautiful beach to look at but you have to cover your nose to prevent the bad small entering your nostrils. Is it the smell of sulphur (sulphur)?
- Banana Beach
This is the most visited beach in Zakynthos. It is evident from hundreds of beach umbrellas unfurled for the sun bathers.
A floating pier made of rubber is laid out on the sea. You can walk, lie down, or jump on it enjoying the lovely up and down movement of it caused by the waves beneath it.
It is the scene of a typical Greek Island beach.
Not just one but many caves are found around the Island. With filtered sunlight, the water inside the caves wear electric blue top. These blue caves allow only small size boats to enter. Visiting these natural caves in the Inonian Sea is the biggest adventure in the island.
What a breathtaking sigh! It is a local village situated atop a mountain that abruptly ends, over the sea.
If you hire a private boat, you can ask the boatman to leisurely drive, taking in the spectacular sites of tall rock formations and a few sea arches, which are caused by relentless crashing of the waves.
It is a large public square where the locals meet. Visitors are also welcome to stroll around, and get to know the history behind the public watching place from the locals.
The ancient and modern architecture finely blends here. There are stone benches put up, facing the lovely fountains and the Ionian Sea beyond.
Solomos Square looks livelier in the evenings when the artificial lights come on.
There are resto-bars on the sidewalk. Eating and drinking below the sky in the evening will make your trip memorable. The diverse Greek food and drinks will give you a unique experience.
As an added thought, if you are planning to stay in Zakynthos, try to stay in a hotel near the Solomos Square. A handful of them are alluring because the hustle and buzzle of the public square.
The best hotel in Solomos Square is Hotel Strada Marina, situated right on the waterfront.
Church Agios Nikolaos of Milos
Greece is known for immaculate churches and monasteries located in remote places and on hill tops with difficult access.
The Church Agios Nikoloas of Molos is the oldest church in Solomos Square and is included in the local itinerary.
Akos Stone Park
Children would love to touch the timid and friendly animals in the park. You can see people are feeding them.
The animals you saw first, behind the wired fence are known as Raccoons.
The stone structures are not big artistic creations. The park is more of a zoo.
It is an ancient village on the island with stunning views of a hill and the sea. These kind of quaint villages are all over the Greek Islands. They will tie you with their simple beauty, delicious foods in their taverns, and what not.
The scene is spectacular. You will see several ferries anchored, more of them are seen approaching and leaving the island’s ferry terminal.
Isn’t it beautiful? Horse=drawn coaches and mini-trains taking the tourists to show them around the port with the Solomos Square in the backdrop.
As usual, the promenade is scattered with diners.
Overall, the Zante port is where, you would love to come every evening of your 3 days stay in Zakynthos. Yes, you need 3 days to fully enjoy the island.
National Marine Park
Loggerhead turtles are considered precious to the ecology of the Ionian Sea and thus was formed the marine park in Laganas Bay.
Do you know these Loggerhead turtles are migratory and come to the island to nest and breed? In the Laganas Bay, six beaches are cordoned off because they are reserved not for you and me, but for the turtles.
Apart from the turtles, you can spot numerous sea birds all over the Island.
More Attractive Beaches in Zakynthos
In the list of world’s 100 most beaches, a few beaches are mentioned. Apart from the 5 beaches I wrote about in the beginning of this blog post, I am adding a few more below.
- Korakonissi Beach-a Wild Beach with Terrific Rock Formations.
- Nicholas Beach
- Alykanas Beach
- Plakaki Beach
- Keri Beach
The most noticeable feature of the beaches in Zakynthos is the crystal clear water with green shade that gives you an irresistible urge to jump into the water.
Water with such clarity, I believe snorkelling is in ideal water sports but strangely, I could find a single snorkeler in any of the beach.
- Porto Zorro Beach
- Alyjes Beach-truly a breathtaking beach
A total 29 beaches are in the island and not a single one of them can be ignored due to any reason.
In conclusion, I firmly believe Zakynthos Island is the Greek Island to visit and it is no wonder, the island is the favourite of cruise ships that call on different islands of Greece in all the three seas.