Zakynthos is a marvellous island blessed with unspoilt natural beauty and stunning beaches; in addition to its many natural ecosystems, it also features a vibrant nightlife. Here is our guide to spending three days in Zakynthos, Greece.
By Air: Zakynthos has a small airport, which connects it to Athens with daily flights all year around. During the high season, low-cost airlines also connect the island to many other European countries – including France, England and Belgium – as well as to Kefalonia, Corfu and Thessaloniki, but not daily.
By Sea: The island’s main port is connected to Killini, a small harbor town in the Peloponnese, with a one-hour ferry trip. It is also possible to reach Zakynthos from Kefalonia during the summer months from Pessada port.
By bus or private vehicle: There are frequent departures from Athens, Thessaloniki and Patra with a direct link to Zakynthos by car or bus ferry.
Located near St Marcos catholic church and minutes away from the Zakynthos beach, the Diana Hotel boasts a convenient location, views over the city and a rooftop pool bar.
Diana Hotel, Mitropoleos 2, Zakynthos town, Zakynthos, Greece, +30 2695 028547
Lesante Luxury Hotel
On the northeast coast of Zakynthos, Lesante Luxury Hotel is located near Tsilivi Waterpark. Comprising a spa, a hammam and pools, the hotel provides its guests with elegant and classy facilities while offering astonishing views over the area.
Lesante Luxury Hotel, Tsilivi, Zakynthos, Greece, +30 26950 41330
Blue Cave Villas
Welcome to higher realms of relaxation and isolation; at Blue Cave Villas, comfort, serenity and elegance meet to give guests an authentic experience. Each villa, all of which overlook the sea, has a private pool and beach access, and all are equipped with a kitchen, a fireplace and a theater.
Blue Cave Villas, Agios Nikolaos, Zakynthos, Greece, +30 693 246 9717
DAY 1: Navagio beach and the Blue Caves
Most of the western coast of Zakynthos is characterized by steep cliffs plunging straight into the sea. There are a couple of spectacular places you can reach by car that you shouldn’t miss during your stay, one of which is the Navagio beach (or Shipwreck beach). So rent a car and head west; the whole region is worth a thorough exploration, from the Eleftherotria Monastery, near Macherado, to Kiliomeno, a small village where you can admire stunning panoramas of the surrounding countryside and the sea.
From Agios Leon continue to Maries, then Anafonitria. At that point, the road takes you through kilometers of lush forest and vegetation as it departs from the coastline. Past Anafonitria, the road leads to Volimes, where you will take the only road on your left to an abandoned parking lot. Don’t be scared; just walk down to the edge, and you’ll soon be able to admire the Navagio beach from above. Be careful though, as there are no barriers and the ground at the edge cannot be trusted.
Once you’re finished taking in the scenery, drive back to Anafonitria to reach Porto Vromi, a tiny harbor with daily trips to the Navagio beach during peak season. The Renata Boat offers trips to the infamous beach and to the Blue Caves and other popular sites, as well as private boat rides. If you are visiting the island in the off season, you might get lucky and find a fisherman willing to drop you at the beach and let you enjoy it for half a day or more if you want.
Where to eat
DAY 2: Keri Caves and Marathonisi
From Zakynthos town, follow the road to Laganas and continue past Lithakia. You will arrive at the bay of Limni Keri, where you will see the turtle-shaped island Marathonisi across the bay. The place is, surprisingly, a nesting cove for turtles. You can take a small boat to reach this turtle paradise or contact EcoZante (if you are an experienced diver) or Nero Diving Center for a diving session at the Keri Caves nearby.
After lunch, you can opt to spend the rest of the day at the beach near the small harbor, or take your car and drive to the secluded Cape Marathia beach. For sunset, head to the picture-perfect village of Keri, where you will think time has come to a standstill. Drive to the lighthouse, where you may find people waiting for the sunset, but don’t stop there…follow the little path to the right to enjoy a majestic view over the bay in relative seclusion.
Where to eat
Isalos Restaurant, Keri harbor, Keri, Zakynthos, Greece, +30 6976652993
Remezzo, Keri harbor, Keri, Zakynthos, Greece, +30 2695 048784
DAY 3: Vassilikos and Zakynthos town
This is your last day, so don’t waste it. Head straight to Gerakas beach; this extensive beach is probably one of the best on the island, boasting fine golden sand and turquoise waters. It is also the nesting place for the Caretta caretta turtle. The beach is well-maintained and protected by Zakynthos’ National Marine Park.
If, on the other hand, you are tired of sunbathing, head to Zakynthos town and visit the handful of landmarks and museums available. The town also features the only catholic church on the island, St Marcos. Otherwise, stay put; you’ve got to enjoy your holiday until the last minute.
Where to eat
Prosilio, Agios Panton 15, Zakynthos town, Zakynthos, Greece, +30 2695 022040