Zakynthos tips – paradise of the Ionian Islands
Hello and welcome to the gorgeous Ionian island of Zakynthos! This island paradise is a dream destination for thousands of tourists from all around the world every year. And that’s not just because of the famous shipwreck which lies in the Smugglers Bay – this tips article will take you through all of the most beautiful places on the island of Zakynthos!
The island of Zakynthos lies in western Greece and is the southernmost of the so-called Ionian Islands, which also include Korfu and Kefalonia. Steep cliffs and lush green characterise Zakynthos, as well as the numerous, gorgeous bays and the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea which surround the island. So if you’re looking for such features for your next summer holiday, you should definitely not miss these first impressions:
Zakynthos tips – the best beaches
As you can see, Zakynthos is a real paradise for all sunbathing fanatics and beach enthusiasts. Therefore, I’d like to introduce to you the prettiest beaches on the island. It’s best to explore the island with a rental car or a motorbike, so you can reach all the beaches and sights in a quick and simple way. The most well-known, and therefore also most frequented by tourists, beach on Zakynthos is the Beach of Navagio, also known as Smugglers Cove. The bay is enclosed by high and steep rock faces and can only be entered from the sea. It’s in this bay where you will find the landmark of the island: a wreck of a smugglers’ ship, which was grounded here in 1980 and has since become the most popular photo opportunity. Numerous holidaymakers come to the bay onboard excursion boats, to swim in the Smugglers Bay and see the wreck for themselves. You’ll have an even better perspective from the viewing platform which is located high above on the steep rocks of the bay. It has inspired many great holiday photographs!
Since the Navagio Beach is more of a place to please your eyes and not for relaxing and sunbathing in peace for hours on end, I’d like to present a beach where you can do just that: the Kalamaki Beach. The sandy beach is perfect for a lavish sunbathing session and the numerous taverns in the area will provide you with all you could possibly need. Don’t be surprised by the racks made from iron and wood which you can spot all over the beach, these are namely the breeding grounds of the Karetta turtles which are under protection. With a bit of luck you could even observe the hatching of the cute little turtles, a real highlight! You can often run (or even swim) into these gentle sea dwellers on Zakynthos – they are the mascot of the island, so to speak. A great bay for swimming in can be found in the west of the island: the Limnionas Bay doesn’t have a beach but a wonderfully turquoise-blue waters which invite for a swim or a round of snorkelling. Crossing over the rocks on the edges of the bay or a small ridge, you’ll come right to the clear water. This bay is a bit out of the way, so don’t expect hordes of tourists, you’ll be sharing the bay with just a couple other visitors.
If you’re looking for a piece of a beach filled with action and want jump straight into the bustling nightlife after sunbathing on the beach, the Laganas Beach is the right place for you. The younger party enthusiasts hurry from bar to bar on the beach and to enjoy themselves on their holiday and sip a cocktail or two. You’ll get plenty of socialising and entertainment here. In the north-east of Zakynthos you’ll find a somewhat unusual beach. The waters on Xygia Sulphur Beach are regarded as healing waters by the locals since the sulphur springs, which are located in a cave nearby, reach the water here. Besides, the beach here is small but fine and can be reached best with a car. A further, truly secluded beach can be found in the south-east of Zakynthos, on the Vasilikos Penninsula. The Dafni Beach lies in a nature reserve, which is used as a breeding ground by the Karetta turtles in the summer. It can be reached only via a narrow street and so it’s really empty. You can relax in peace here and stop at one of the small taverns near the beach.
Further amazing sights on the island
There are more things to see on Zakynthos than just the various beaches of course. The turtles are an obvious highlight and can be spotted all over the island. You’ll keep bumping into their breeding grounds on many beaches which you shouldn’t touch or destroy through carelessness, of course. Fans of sea creatures can book a tour in a boat with a glass floor for example, in order to observe the sea animals in their natural habitat or even to swim with them. A trip to the Marathonissi Island, also known as the Turtle Island, is also worth it. The island of Zakynthos, where many turtles build their nests is owned privately but can nevertheless be visited. It’s best to just take your snorkelling gear with you, since the small bays of the island are perfect for extensive, underwater exploration. At the same time it’s a good idea to make a trip to the small town of Limni Keri in south-west of the island. You definitely shouldn’t miss it, enjoying the breathtaking, panoramic view from the lighthouse is a one of a kind experience!
Since you’re already in Keri, you could also visit the Keri Caves. The caves and rock formations are bypassed by boats which you can either rent privately or book a group guided tour. Occasionally the boats anchor at various spots and you have the opportunity to swim a little and go snorkelling. A boat tour is definitely a great opportunity to view Zakynthos from a different perspective, namely from the sea.
About Cameo Island:
If you want to visit the island, you’ll have to pay a fee of €4. It’ll cover a complimentary drink at one of the stylish beach-bars.
A nice trip to make on foot is to the small Cameo Island. The island, which was connected to the mainland until a couple of centuries ago when it was finally separated by an earthquake, can be reached via an illuminated, wooden bridge. The small, idyllic island invites to linger in the small beach-bar, where you can enjoy a drink accompanied by a view of Zakynthos. Cameo transforms into a real party-island at night. Holidaymakers on Zakynthos talk about unforgetable evenings filled with a breathtaking atmosphere.
Zakynthos tips – the prettiest Airbnb accommodations
More and more tourists prefer privately rented accommodation and holiday houses to classic hotels. So it’s no wonder that such accommodation from all over the world can be booked through Airbnb. The paradise island of Zakynthos is no exception. I took a closer look at numerous villas, all with their own pool. The pictures often speak more than a thousand words, but I won’t keep you waiting any longer.
Zakynthos – simply a dream-like destination
Zakynthos is simply a great travel destination, not yet besieged by mass tourism. So if you’re planning a trip to Greece, the Ionian island is definitely worth a consideration. I have spoken to holidaymakers returning from Zakynthos and they have confirmed that the island really is as pretty as the images show, maybe even prettier. :) So, what are you waiting for? I’d be happy to find a great bargain for you over at my Deal Finder: just tell me when you would like to go on holiday and what your budget it. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!