Zakynthos is a charming little Ionian town with breathtaking beaches, beautiful natural landscapes and a rich past. But it is also a popular destination among foreigners and locals, which makes it crowded during the summer. While it is virtually impossible to avoid running into a crowded area, it is possible to limit your exposure to the masses, especially if you opt to rent a car. Here are a few tips to get away from the crowds in Zakynthos.
The northern region of Zakynthos, with the little port town of Agios Nikolas and the tranquil region of Skinari, offers a welcoming respite from the busy resorts along the eastern coast or down south. This remote area boasts small fishing villages, splendid nature and tranquility. At Skinari you can enjoy undisrupted views over the sea and long walks in the lush vegetation. You will get to enjoy Zakynthos with the locals.
Explore the mountainous west
Thanks to its mild yet rainy winters, Zakynthos is lush inland, where few tourists venture. The hilly landscapes are a refreshing alternative to crowded beaches and offer serenity away from the crowds. The central plain includes a mix of olive groves, fertile fields, and hidden villages, all featuring a beautiful little church or main café to savor local fare.
Stick to the sea turtle paradise
The peninsula of Vasilikos, south of Zakynthos town, features a beautiful coastline with a few relaxed and laid-back hotels and rooms to rent, as well as small beaches. It’s ideal if you don’t want to stay too far from civilization and don’t mind busy beaches. Since the region is a well-known breeding area for sea turtles, it has been protected from massive tourism development and still retains a sense of authentic charm. With beaches such as Gerakas and Porto Zoro or Porto Roma, you can still benefit from the fairly laid-back vibe.
Give the interior a chance
You can base yourself in the north or the Vasilikos Peninsula and spend a few days exploring the lush interior. There are a few less touristy villages in the interior and along the western coastline, such as Maries, Volimes, Katastari, Exo Chora, and Pigadakia. They all offer stunning views over the sea and the hills. There, you may be the only tourist and you will quickly see that locals will welcome you with a smile.
Zakynthos has a variety of outdoor activities to suit all tastes and ages. Whether you feel like hiking your way through the island or exploring on two wheels, there are plenty of trails or roads you can follow. If you prefer water sports, kayaking and SUP are also possible, as well as some scuba diving. A holiday in Zakynthos doesn’t have to be all about sunbathing and day drinking.
Avoid peak season
If you really, really want to avoid the crowds, your best bet is to visit the island outside peak season. With the majority of tourists visiting Zakynthos around July and August, try to come earlier or later. If you spend Greek Easter here you will see the island in full bloom and enjoy the more authentic and traditional Zakynthos. Alternatively, opt for a late summer break or visit up until November. If visiting Navagio Beach, you may even have it all to yourself for a few hours.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.