We have explored the island by land and by sea and have found some pretty cool things to do in Zakynthos, Greece.
Greece has 6,000 islands, all beautiful in their own way.
We have explored some of the other Greek islands and must say, Zakynthos really has something.
With its many vineyards, olive grove, rough coastline, cute little villages, turquoise blue water, and beautiful beaches it is definitely a top Greek Island destination.
We spent a week in Zakynthos and this was enough time to explore the island and enjoy the sun. With our rented car, we explored the whole island and we even drove past the same things several times.
It is very cheap to rent a car in Zakynthos (approx. 15-17 € / day) and it gives you the freedom to explore more – we can highly recommend it.
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Are you planning a trip to Zakynthos?
We have listed 18 of the coolest things to do in Zakynthos, so you won´t miss a thing.
1. Shipwreck Beach (Navagio Beach)
Okay, let´s start with the main attraction of the island.
On the northwest side of the island, you will find this amazing site. In a cove covered with 300 meters of steep white cliffs on three sides, with its unbelievable turquoise blue water and wonderful white sand, you´ll find the famous shipwreck, MV Panagiotis lying on a beautiful white sandy/rocky beach.
There are two ways to see this attraction…
Actually, there are three, we will tell you about them all.
You can see the Shipwreck Beach either from the viewing points or by sea.
Note: It is not possible to get to the beach from the viewing points.
We say viewing points, cause there are actually two. The official one and the off-the-beaten-path one. We did both, actually, it was a mistake we took the difficult, hardcore climbing rock path first… even in flip flops, (not recommendable) but it was definitely worth it and we only met a few others on the mile-long adventure.
The official way to see the beach is up by the road, where there is built a small viewing platform. If you come in the wrong hour, you can run into the crowds of tourist buses. Luckily they will only have 10 minutes to take a picture and be on the bus again and the place will be calm again.
Please be careful!
People will climb on the cliffs to get the perfect shot of the picturesque view. We have done that as well on the non-official path, so we do not want to preach to you about anything. Just be careful. It is only rocks and they can be fragile.
If you want to take a close up photo with the shipwreck or just enjoy the sun on the beautiful sandy beach, you´ll need to take a boat ride, either by yourself renting a boat or by a boat tour. You can do both from Porto Vromi, only a few miles south of Navagio Beach.
The boat tour costs 25 € pp and your own speed boat from 50 € / hour (2019)
Tip: We recommend you to take the tour boat otherwise you´ll not be able to enter the beach.
2. Blue Caves
There are three different sites on the island to see the blue caves, but we think the northern part was the prettiest. Again, you can rent your own speedboat or go with a tour boat.
We took a small tour boat and did not regret it. The captain found all the beautiful caves and showed us why they were called the blue caves.
When the crystal clear water reflects on the white cliffs inside a cave, the most amazing blue color appears. Truly amazing!
We did have some stops on the tour to jump in the water and explore some of the caves.
The price for the tour cost 15€ pp (2019).
3. Porto Limnionas
This place was amazing. Imagine one of the white rocky cliffs. On the top, there is this nice restaurant with places to sit and then down the cliff there are “terraces” with sunbeds and parasols with palm leaves. Magnificent.
At the bottom where the ocean hits the cliffs, you will climb on rocks to find a spot to place your stuff, so you can jump into the water and start exploring the surrounding caves in the inlet.
The most fascinating about this place is the view. Two large caves open up on the other side of the cove. The crystal blue water mixed with the white cliffs and a beautiful sunny day – you´ll be captivated.
Tip: On the way through the many sunbathing costumers, there is a small shed where you can change, if you´re not already wearing bathing clothes.
4. Zante Town
When you are visiting Zakynthos, you´ll have to visit its capital.
The town was destroyed in 1953 by an earthquake but got rebuilt in the traditional Venetian style making it feel cozy and charming.
Take a slow walk along the beautiful pedestrian street with restaurants, all kinds of shops and gelato cafes and inhale the shimmering atmosphere.
The town is located with the harbor on the southeast side of the island. With a bit hectic promenade covered in cars, scooters and other tourists, you´ll find all kinds of restaurants side by side where you can view the still water with the parked ferries and boats.
5. Agios Nikolaus
This small fishing village certainly has lots of charm. Actually, it is only one street running along the waterside. On the street, you´ll find some tour discs, a gas “station” and a few restaurants. Simple and relaxing.
Grab a drink or enjoy some lunch in one of the restaurants where you can sit right next to the water and enjoy the picturesque view.
From Agios Nikolaus, it is possible to take a tour boat or rent your own boat to explore the beautiful Blue Caves. (no. 2)
6. Enjoy a sunset dinner
Like any of the Greek island, Zakynthos can also deliver some pretty wonderful sunsets. If you´re driving around the island you´ll see a lot of signs with “best sunset view”, “enjoy the best sunset view” and “the islands best sunset view”. They all guarantee a great sunset. They are probably all true in each of their own rights.
We enjoyed two wonderful sunset dinners, that we would like to recommend.
The first was truly a hidden gem. We discovered this when we were about to explore the Cave Damianos. We arrived at about noon with no people around and we could explore the place in its peacefulness.
Cave Damianos Taverna was built into nature. They have used the stone and the trees to create a beautiful cozy taverna with an overwhelming view of the sunset – it was so beautiful.
We came back in the evening to enjoy their delicious food. It was a standard higher than most tavernas.
Our second taverna was a bit more traditional. Porto Schiza can be found near Kampi on the western part of the island. The family-owned restaurant is situated right on a cliff next to the ocean. With a beautiful sunset, the food just tastes a little bit better.
Enjoying a sunset dinner with our love is definitely one of the most romantic things to do on Zakynthos.
7. Cave Damianos
Only a few hundred meters from the taverna mentioned above, you can explore Cave Damianos. There is a cute legend written near the taverna about the Cave Damianos. About a dragon, a lord and the 12 wells.
The caves are indeed fascinating – two large caves above each other with an incredible view.
8. Organic farm
Around the island, it is possible to find family-run farms that welcome tourists inside. They have opened up their farms to visitors who can come and have a small insight into their lives and what they are producing.
We went to Therianos Family Organic Farm near Kalithea. It was a very spontaneous visit, but definitely worth it. Ken is just crazy about olives and wine – it was a totally a win-win!
We had a small introduction but could go around the farm by ourselves. In the end, they wanted to show us what they were producing on the farm. It was actually very interesting. We tasted wines, raisins, different kinds of spices, honey, olive oil and much more. We could also try their soap, massage oil and cremes. The prices were okay for a private organic farm.
They also have small houses/villas for rent and in September you can join their making-wine-party, by squeezing grapes to liquid with your feet in a huge barrel.
Everything they do is organic and sustainable. Even their plastic bags were not made of plastic at all – they were actually made of potato peals if you can imagine that. Biodegradable and awesome!
9. Rent a boat
Almost everywhere in Zakynthos, is it possible to rent your own boat to go explore the island from the seaside. You can rent motorboats and speedboats. We recommend the speedboat, they are a bit faster.
We rented a speedboat in Keri to explore Turtle Island (just an island with a beach resembling a turtle – there are no actual turtles on the island) also, we went to Keri Caves and trying to look for turtles in the water. It cost 60 € for 2 hours. (2019) We only had to show our driving license to rent the boat. One of the staff took a quick 5 minutes introduction on the water with us, explaining how the boat works and off we went.
10. Keri Caves
With an island built by beautiful white cliffs with the amazing crystal blue water, there are many sights around Zakynthos to see rock formations, caves, and unbelievable blue waters – and Keri caves are no exception.
As mentioned above we rented our own speedboat to explore this site and it was definitely worth it. Sail through arches, into the mysterious caves or just jump in the water. Enjoy the boat trip more by bringing your own drinks and snacks.
You can also jump on one of the many tourist boats to enjoy the Keri Caves, it will cost you about 18 € pp. (2019)
11. Cameo Island or Wedding Island
Actually, this island is only included on the list because you are able to take some pretty nice photos with the old wooden bridge and the small cliffed island in the back.
The island is not open for the public. Its called the wedding island cause people are getting married on the island. On the other side of the cliff, there is a perfect small beach cove where you can hold a beautiful ceremony.
12. Turtle Rescue Center
In Vasilikos in the southeastern corner of Zakynthos, you can visit the Turtle Rescue Center. A nice nursing center driven by volunteers to help the famous loggerhead turtle, who can be seen around the island from May to October.
Unfortunately, or luckily, the center did not have any rescued turtles when we visited. Only some small land and garden turtles. But there was some good information and background about the turtles and how we interfere with their way of life.
13. Gerakas Beach
From the same parking lot as Turtle Rescue Center, you can visit the most southern beach, beautiful Gerakas. The golden powdery sand and shallow water are very popular among tourist as well as for turtles.
The beach is a protected area of the Zakynthos Marine Park and in the period when the turtles begin to nest and the baby turtles are hatching there will be guards on the beach. And it will be forbidden to stay on the beach half an hour before sunset and half an hour after sunrise.
14. Xigia Beach
A small unique pearl on the eastern side of the island. Xigia beach is squeezed in by three cliffs and the crystal blue water. The area is characterized by a sulfur-scented aroma, which comes from the surrounding caves and has healing properties.
With sand under your feet, a nice sunbed under the palm-leaves-umbrella, view to crystal blue water and food and drinks available – a half day on the beach here wouldn´t be a bad idea.
15. Porto Vromi
Another unique pearl is Port Vromi. Not known by many, but it will come.
Port Vromi only consist of a small pebble-stoned beach, a food and drink stand and tour boat operator covered by tall white cliffs.
From here you can rent your own boat or go with a tour boat to Shipwreck beach.
16. Poseidon’s Face
Actually, this a bit funny to have on the list, but yet again, we want to cover everything to do on Zakynthos.
Poseidon’s Face is a rock formation that looks like a face staring into the water. It is in the rock on your right side as you enter Port Vromi.
If you´re taking a tour boat they are saving this to the end of the tour.
Can you spot the face?
17. Oldest Olive Tree in Zakynthos
This is also a bit funny thing to have on the list, but also a bit extravagant.
In a small tiny village in the farm field landscape on the corner of a junction of the main street of Exo Chora, we found the oldest living olive tree on Zakynthos. It has branched out into two and looks a bit monstrous, but the 2000-year-old lady still generously gives her olives.
18. Viewing Points
Whether you are renting a car or joining a tour bus around the island, there are several prime stops on the way to take pictures and enjoy the view. You will come through beautiful olive groves and vineyards, charming Greek villages and on the mountainside you´ll have beautiful views over the landscape and cliff sides.
Bonus things to do in Zakynthos
Or actually, they are not in Zakynthos, but some things you can do from Zakynthos island.
- Go to Kefalonia. From Agios Nikolaus, the ferry will sail twice a day to Pesada in the south of Kefalonia. It will take about 1 hour to cross the sea.
You´ll be able to take a ferry in the morning from Zakynthos and return in the evening. Or if you´re not comfortable to take the tour yourself, you can join a group.
Check out the tour here
Unfortunately, we discovered this too late, so we did not have time to explore Kefalonia. Must be next time.
- Visit Olympia. If you´re totally into the Olympic games, this is the place for you. This is the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Take the ferry to Kyllini and explore one of the most interesting antique sites with Temple of Zeus, Temple of Hera and the stadium dated back to 8th century BC, where 45,000 people cheered on the very first athletes. Again if you’re not into exploring this site by your own, you can go with a group.
Check out the tour here
We truly hope this guide will help you to have a wonderful time on beautiful Zakynthos island. If you have any question, comments or just think this article was useful, please write us a comment below – we would love to hear from you.
Read about our other Greek adventures here:
Adventures on Rhodes:
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