The island of Zakynthos has a lot to offer visitors. Stunning beaches, beautiful villages and towns, lively shores, rugged mountains and a green interior. Whether you decide to explore the island on your own or with a tour, here are some of the best excursions and day trips in Zakynthos.
Boat trip to Blue Caves and Shipwreck Beach
The Shipwreck Beach, also known as Navagio Beach, is one of the most popular sites in Zakynthos. It is only accessible by boat, plenty of which you will find leaving from Porto Vromi or Agios Nikolaos. These usually include a stop at the nearby Blue Caves, a series of sea caves where the water shines an iridescent colour. Snap a few photos, swim in the turquoise waters and soak up some vitamin D on the pebbly shores of the beach. You won’t regret it.
Get acquainted with marine life
Visit the next-door island of Kefalonia
Zakynthos’ proximity to Kefalonia means you can also take the opportunity to discover this sunny island, which is home to several fantastic attractions, including the Melissani underwater lake and Myrto Beach. You may not have time to explore the entire island, given its size, but you can rent a car and select a few of the island’s highlights.
Explore Olympia for a day
Don’t fail to discover one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the country. Plan a trip to Ancient Olympia on the mainland, where the Olympic Games were created. Get lost in this extensive site, where you will see the ruins of the gymnasium and the stadium, walk through the alleys to the Temple of Zeus and make a stop at the adjacent museum, where you can admire the fascinating sculptures and artefacts found on the site.
Take a break in Volimes
Considered one of the island’s best-kept secrets, the little mountainous village of Volimes offers an insight into authentic life on the island. Wander the narrow alleys and take the time to taste the local cheese produced there. Volimes has many honey producers, and you may even spot one selling its sweet products on the side of the road. While the village is not frequented by tourists, it is a refreshing excursion that will allow you to take a break from the beach.
Across the southern coastline of Zakynthos lies the uninhabited islet of Marathonisi, with stunning beaches with crystal water. A nesting ground for sea turtles, the islet features a small steep hill, on which the ruins of an old monastery stand. You can explore the island through organized tour boats or rent your own. One thing to keep in mind is that you should limit yourself to the first five meters of beach from the sea, as turtle nests are located at the back.
Learn about the local ecosystem
Skip the beach and head to the village of Agia Marina, where you will find Helmi’s Natural History Museum. There you will learn all about the fauna, flora and sea life of Zakynthos, especially good for children. The museum showcases the island’s rich ecosystem, and houses a collection of more than 1,500 specimens and species, rocks and fossils. Take advantage of the surroundings and explore the village, where you can see the church at Agia Marina, built in 1855 on top of an old temple.
Explore Keri Caves by sea kayak
Located in the south-western area of the island, the Keri Caves are splendid rock caves formed along the Marathia Cape. Since these are only accessible by boat, this is your chance to explore them with sea kayaks. Combine physical activity and sightseeing with a fun sea kayak tour. The tour starts at Keri Lake and includes a snorkeling break near the cave. Or, you can visit them on a regular boat tour.
Hike around the mountains in the area of Loucha
Many forget that Zakynthos is also a hiking paradise. If you desire to explore the interior, this tour around the area of Loucha is a great opportunity. You will get to discover the island’s vineyard valley as well as the scenic landscape of Zakynthos, with a stop at the Monastery of Yperagathos. Don’t feel like booking a tour? No problem, you can find a plethora of trails allowing you to roam across the island.
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