21 Best Things to Do in Zakynthos (Greece)

In the warm Ionian Sea, not far from the western coast of Greece, is located one of the most beautiful and romantic islands on the planet.

Blessed with unique landscapes and Mediterranean climate, ecologically clean environment and fantastic local cuisine, Zakynthos is a world-class destination.

Due to its relatively small area, two weeks are enough time not only to get to know it well, but also to fall in love with the island, hopelessly and forever.

Thanks to the sunny cloudless skies and bright colors, Zakynthos is the perfect antidepressant for every person who is tired and bored by the routine of the gray corporate everyday life in the big city.

So, if this is the place where you want to spend your next vacation, here are 21 things to do (and see) while you’re on the island:

1. Visit Navagio Beach

navagio beach
Navagio beach by dronepicr/Flickr

Navagio Beach is considered to be the most beautiful beach in Europe.

It is located in the northwestern part of Zakynthos and is definitely the number one landmark on the island.

That’s why it is the first place to stop while you are on Zakynthos.

You can reach this place by car or by boat.

2. Cliffs of Keri

cliffs of keri
Cliffs of Keri by Live Zakynthos/Flickr

The Cliffs of Keri are a great example of the majesty of nature.

They steeply descend to the sea, resembling a white limestone wall separating the turquoise sea from the emerald green interior of the island.

Calm and secluded, this place attracts photographers from around the world as well as couples who want to see and enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets ever.

3. Scuba diving with a professional instructor

scuba diving keri bay
Scuba Diving in Keri Bay by Robert Emperley/Flickr

Zakynthos is blessed with an incredibly rich underwater world.

There are numerous reefs around the island and some of the most amazing creatures in the Mediterranean live here.

Many people think they need to go to the Red Sea, Australia or the Caribbean in order to dive with the sea turtles.

However, you can do that even here, into the deep blue waters of the paradise island of Zante.

4. Korakonisi Island

Very few people have ever experienced the pleasure to visit Korakonisi.

This is a small rocky island, covered with evergreen Mediterranean vegetation, which mostly consists of bushes.

It is located just off the west coast of Zakynthos and is a good choice, especially if you are searching for some privacy at one or another point of your vacation.

The most specific moment is the remote and isolated location of Korakonisi.

That’s why the easiest way to reach this place is to rent a car.

Once you arrive here, you will surely want to spend at least a few hours enjoying the limpid sapphire blue water of the bay, locked between the islet and the shore of Zakynthos.

5. Spend a day on the island of Marathonisi (Turtle Island)

marathonisi turtle island
Marathonisi (Turtle) Island by dronepicr/Flickr

Marathonisi Island looks just like the tropical islands from the shipwreck movies.

It offers the most fantastic white sandy beaches and is surrounded by the most pristine turquoise waters you can imagine.

Its interior is hilly and covered with lush subtropical vegetation.

Marathonisi seems like a lost paradise and is definitely one of the top places to visit while on Zakynthos.

6. Join a glass bottom boat trip

glass bottom boat
Glass-bottom boat by Jason/Flickr

To join a glass bottom boat trip is an amazing experience and is also a chance to see the rich underwater fauna of the island.

It’s a good alternative for the people who, for one reason or another, are not able to dive.

The glass bottom boat trip is not only an exceptionally enjoyable adventure and an opportunity for active rest, but it is also a way to see wonderful reefs, corals, and rare species of animals, including caretta-caretta turtles.

7. Short trip on a pirate ship (and a party on board)

trip on a pirate ship
Trip on a Pirate Ship by Connor Burton/Flickr

An extremely interesting experience is the opportunity to join a short pirate boat trip.

This is a real adventure which comes with a number of advantages:

This is the easiest way to visit the most exciting coves, islands and peninsulas in the area;

Diving and swimming in hard-to-reach places;

Delicious Greek food and drinks are guaranteed;

There are experienced local guides on board;

Some of the best parties on Zakynthos are usually held during or after a pirate boat trip.

8. Visit Porto Limnionas

porto limnionas
Porto Limnionas by dronepicr/Flickr

Porto Limnionas is one of the places you definitely shouldn’t miss.

This isolated and remote corner of the island is located in a quiet and secluded area on the west coast of Zakynthos.

It comes to a narrow bay between the coastal cliffs, whose turquoise water is almost always calm and extremely transparent.

This is one of those places where tourists initially come just to take a look but stay for hours captured by its natural beauty.

9. Skinari Lighthouse

skinari lighthouse
Skinari Lighthouse by David Short/Flickr

Skinari Lighthouse is a beautiful stone structure that combines modern and antique features.

It is located in a very quiet and pleasant to visit area in the northernmost parts of the island.

This corner of Zakynthos offers a wonderful sea view, which reveals in front of yourself the greatest variety of blue shades.

10. Buy some souvenirs

greek souvenirs
Greek souvenirs by Klearchos Kapoutsis/Flickr

One of the most entertaining moments during a trip is to choose and buy souvenirs for your family and friends at home.

This is something we usually do at the end of the vacation, which is pretty normal, considering the fact that we have already learned what are all the pros and cons of the destination.

Of course, we could buy a gift for our loved ones at any time we encounter something really interesting.

The most traditional choice is the great variety of hand-made richly decorated ceramics and glass products, including dishes, glasses and vases.

Most of them are decorated in traditional colours such as white and blue.

Interesting choice are the small white pebbles with blue (or in other colours) paintings.

As in any other place, here you can also find a lot of the well-known fridge magnets with popular local symbols such as the loggerhead turtle or tourist attractions such as Navagio Beach.

11. Snorkeling

snorkeling zakynthos
Snorkeling in Zakynthos by Live Zakynthos/Flickr

No matter if you are interested in scuba diving or snorkeling, Laganas is considered one of the best places to visit.

This is a beautiful village located on the coast of a wide bay in southern Zakynthos.

This is the place for you if you are interested in joining some organized snorkeling tour to the best places around the island, which are also some of the best snorkeling spots in Europe as a whole.

Of course, if you want to organize your own adventure, you can always go to Marathonisi, and be sure that there is no way to go wrong.

The waters of Marathonisi are crystal clear and are definitely full of life.

12. Spend a day in the city of Zakynthos

view to the city of zakynthos
View to the city of Zakynthos by Heather Cowper/Flickr

The city of Zakynthos (or Zante) was almost completely destroyed by a powerful earthquake in 1953.

After the natural disaster almost all the buildings on the island were partially or completely destroyed.

Only the church as well as a few public buildings remained intact.

After the disaster, the city of Zante has been carefully restored in its initial form from the period before the earthquake.

The city is a place where you will find charming cafés, stylish boutiques, traditional restaurants, centuries old churches and inspiring museums, making it a great place for everyone, no matter what your interests are.

13. Visit the beach of Gerakas (Yerakas) on the Vassilikos peninsula

gerakas beach
Gerakas beach by zolakoma/Flickr

Gerakas Beach is a relatively peaceful and idyllic beach located on the Vasilikos peninsula, in the southernmost parts of the island.

As the beach is a place where sea turtles lay their eggs, this area is declared a marine park and is protected by law.

Near the beach there is a Turtle Information Center where you can learn the most important and interesting facts about the life of these creatures.

By itself, the beach is superb, covered with fine golden sand, and the seawater is clear and transparent.

14. Visit Blue Cave

The charming and mysterious Blue Caves are one of the top attractions on the island.

They are located in the northeastern part of Zakynthos.

If you want to visit this place, however, you should know that the caves are not visible from the shore.

To make some really good pictures, you need to get closer to them by boat, which is also a good way to find some coolness in the hot summer days.

15. Visit Agios Sostis

agios sostis
Agios Sostis by zolakoma/Flickr

No matter where on the island you are staying, you should definitely visit the resort village of Agios Sostis.

There are numerous restaurants and other entertainment options, the beach is magnificent, and the sea is smooth as a mirror.

16. And don’t miss Laganas

laganas
Laganas by dronepicr/Flickr

Laganas is considered the center of water sports in Zakynthos.

Scuba diving and snorkeling courses, boat trips and water skiing are all available here.

In addition, Laganas is considered one of the most attractive places for young people to visit because of its numerous night clubs and bars.

17. Visit the Byzantine Museum

byzantine museum zakynthos
Byzantine Museum by Tilemahos Efthimiadis/Flickr

The Byzantine Museum is one of the most important on the island of Zakynthos.

It is located in the city of Zante and offers the opportunity to enjoy Byzantine frescoes from the period 15th-18th century.

The museum will let you experience the Greek and Byzantine art, exploring the past on this beautiful island.

The museum is opened every day from Tuesday to Sunday in the hours between 8:30 and 15:00.

18. Bochali and Venetian Kastro

bochali and venetian kastro
Bochali and Venetian Kastro by Listenwave Photography/Flickr

At first glance, Bochali is just a regular small village.

However, what makes the place special is undoubtedly its location.

It is situated on the top of a hill over the city of Zante, from which you could enjoy an exceptionally beautiful panorama of the city, the bay and the harbor.

However, the breathtaking panorama is not the only reason why you should climb the steep hill to the village.

The place is well-known also for its Venetian fortress, which has been preserved over the years, and today attracts many visitors.

The fortress is known as the Venetian Kastro and is one of the main attractions on the island.

19. Cameo Island

cameo island from above
Cameo Island from Above by dronepicr/Flickr

Cameo is a small idyllic paradise which is located just off the coast of Agios Sostis in the south of Zakynthos.

The island of only a few hundred square meters has the shape of the letter “C” and is connected to the shore by a simple pedestrian bridge.

In the cove it forms, you will find a wonderful white beach as well as emerald green crystal clear waters.

Cozy and quiet, the beach is surrounded by steep white limestone rocks.

It is an extremely desirable place to hold wedding ceremonies.

20. Enjoy the sunset

sunset view zakynthos
Sunset view in Zakynthos by Gerry Smith/Flickr

Zakynthos is well known for its phenomenal sunsets.

One of the best places to enjoy the irresistible view is the small village of Campi on the west coast, and the other is the village of Keri, which is located to the southwest.

It is recommended to reach Campi or Keri by car in order to follow your own schedule and to manage your time better.

Don’t miss to visit one of the several panoramic taverns here.

The only thing you need to consider in advance is keeping places, because in the middle of the summer here can be a little difficult to find a free table, especially if you want a better one.

21. Eat octopus and fried calamari in a provincial tavern

octopus and fried calamari
Octopus and fried Calamari by Andy Montgomery/Flickr

Zakynthos Island is well known for its delicious seafood.

This is definitely one of the most popular places in the world where you can try octopus or crunchy fried calamari.

You can combine them with a traditional Greek salad and olives, as well as with a glass of superb local wine or ouzo.

Recommendations:

Zakynthos is a relatively small island.

The two farthest points are located less than 37 kilometers from each other.

However, many places are difficult to access without a car.

That’s why it is particularly recommended for you to rent a car while on the island.

Keep in mind that prices are quite reasonable, and infrastructure is very good.

This is the best option if want to easily reach even the most isolated places on the island.