How to Spend Three Days in Zakynthos, Greece

Zakynthos Town, on the east side of the island, is the capital of Zakynthos
Zakynthos Town, on the east side of the island, is the capital of Zakynthos | © David Tomlinson / Alamy Stock Photo
Gabi Ancarola

Exotic and unique Zakynthos is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, not far from the more famous Corfu. Also known by the name of Zante, the island is a popular summer destination in Europe featuring unique turquoise waters and breathtaking beaches.

One of the best-known beaches on Zakynthos, Navagio Beach – or Shipwreck Beach – is featured in countless magazines and travel guides and is probably the most famous beach in Greece. But Zakynthos has much more to offer, including exciting nightlife and entertainment, great hotels, tasty food and a unique green landscape.

Day one

If you enjoy snorkelling or diving, start your adventure with a day trip to southwestern Zakynthos, home to the National Marine Park, a nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles. Board a turtle-spotting cruise at Laganas Beach – a popular beach on the island – and visit the uninhabited islet of Marathonisi and the Keri Caves, reachable only by sea.

Relax for the rest of the afternoon on Laganas Beach and enjoy a delicious fish dinner at sunset in a seaside taverna. Head back to your hotel for an early rest, because day two in Zakynthos is going to be intense.

1. Diana Hotel, to be at the heart of the action

Hotel

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Courtesy of Diana Hotel / Booking.com

Diana Hotel enjoys a central position in Zakynthos Town, making it simple to reach virtually any point on the island. The hotel takes pride in its unique ambience, refined comfort and impeccable service.

2. Lesante Classic Hotel, for five-star chic

Hotel

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Courtesy of Lesante Classic Hotel / Booking.com
Lesante Classic Hotel is another luxury stay in the surroundings of Tsilivi, a privileged seaside location. This five-star venue has chic, contemporary rooms, a spa and superb gourmet cuisine.

3. Blue Caves Villas, for sea views

Hotel, Villa

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Courtesy of Blue Caves Villas / Booking.com

If you’re looking for a private hideaway by the sea, Blue Cave Villas is a perfect collection of elegant homes and villas catering to different kinds of travellers, including families, couples and groups of friends. All the properties feature stunning sea views and the utmost comfort.

Day two

Day two is full of adventure and inspiring views. Head north to explore the famous Shipwreck Cove, with its imposing backdrop of white limestone cliffs plummeting into the turquoise sea. The area is not easy to reach, so it’s a good idea to join a tourist bus. As an alternative, board a boat at Porto Vromi or Zakynthos Town.

Spend the afternoon in the nearby area, marvelling at the fantastic Blue Caves of Zakynthos. Jump on another boat at the small port of Skinari and visit these unique limestone sea caves and arches, which can only be accessed by sea.

End the day by paying a visit to the Anafonitria Monastery, not far from Navagio Beach. This Byzantine convent was built back in the 15th century and is known as the place where Saint Dionysios – the patron saint of Zakynthos – lived. Visit at sunset to enjoy a walk through its gorgeous garden or take a snapshot of the imposing stone bell tower.

Jump on a boat at the small port of Skinari to visit the unique limestone Blue Caves of Zakynthos

Day three

Devote your last day on Zakynthos to discovering the most precious towns and villages on the island. Let’s start by exploring the capital, Zakynthos Town or Zante Town. Walk along Santa Marina to end at Dionysios Solomos Square, opposite the Byzantine Museum.

Next, walk to Bochali, on the hill over the city. The area has dozens of traditional restaurants and cafeterias and offers great panoramic views over the city and the sea.

Macherado is the second-largest village in Zakynthos – a beautiful mountain town 10km (6mi) south of Zakynthos Town. Here, visit the impressive Venetian belfry of the 14th-century Church of Agia Mavra.

Back on the road, head to the picturesque village of Keri. Calm and traditional, Keri remains an authentic place to see the unspoilt side of the island. Enjoy a fish lunch at the nearby beach of Limni Keriou to keep your energy levels up.

In the afternoon, drive north to spend some time in Kambi, a traditional village 30km (19mi) north of Zakynthos Town known for its breathtaking sunsets. There is no better way to end your Zakynthos trip than sipping a cup of Greek coffee in one of the cafes in the village. As your trip comes to an end, drive back to the capital for a dinner at the harbour before your departure.

Dionysios Solomos Square is the main square in Zakynthos Town

This is an updated version of an article originally by Ethel Dilouambaka.

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