I think most of us grow up dreaming of the white townscapes and blue ocean hues Greece is famous for.
When vacationing in Greece, choosing which of the 227 inhabited islands can be... overwhelming.
For one trip to Greece, we chose the island of Zakynthos, commonly known as Zante. We loved it so much, we came back the following year!
Zakynthos is home to one of the most famous and most photographed beaches in Greece, Navagio Beach. It's unbelievably blue waters is what first put Zante on our radar but this wonderful island has so much more to experience.
Zakynthos is the third largest and southernmost of the Ionian Islands. A Zante holiday has something for everyone, whether you want to experience exciting nightlife or if you're looking to unwind.
Here is our guide to finding bliss while on vacation in Zakynthos, Greece.
Towns on Zakynthos
Zakynthos (or Zante) Town
Zakynthos Town is the main town and port of Zakynthos. You'll find lots of shopping, restaurants, and night life here.
Just 2km from city center, Zante Town, this is one of the prettiest little towns on the island. Walk along the coast enjoying views of the harbor, and pop into any of the quaint tavernas.
Since all of our trips to Zante have been about relaxation, we like to say in the Northern part of the island away from the more party vibes of Zante Town in the south.
Agios Nikolaos is a charming port town about 45 minutes from the airport. An added bonus of staying in the north, a much shorter boat ride to the famous Shipwreck Beach and the Blue Caves.
We love to stay at Emerald Villas where the private villas are perched on top of a hill with unobstructed ocean views - you'll never want to leave!
Eat & Drink
There are a ton of wonderful tavernas all over the island but there is only one that keeps us coming back over and over, The Old Windmill. Run by a husband and wife, this is arguably the best Greek meal I've ever had. No nonsense food, just wonderful home cooking complete with the sense of community as Denny and his wife treat you like family when you dine with them. Plus, the view is spectacular.
Discover more restaurants on Zante.
Beaches on Zakynthos
No trip to Zakynthos would be complete without a trip to Navagio Beach, also know as shipwreck beach. The color of the water is mesmerizing, pictures don't don't do it justice. Navagio is spectacular not only from the beach but from above as well. Make a point to take a boat ride to the beach (since its only accessible by boat) as well as drive to the look out point (pictured viewpoint).
Porto Limnionas is a beautiful cove for swimmers and sunbathers. There's a restaurant perched on the hill with stunning views. They also have loungers and umbrellas. Climb down the hill to swim in the turquoise waters.
Makris Gialos Beach
Makris Gialos is a quiet beach between Zante town and Agios Nikolas. With it's tranquil, crystal clear water and is a great place to relax with a cocktail. Plus as it's not an organized beach, it doesn't get as crowded in the summer months.
Xygia, or sulfur beach is a located down a steep hill in a beautiful cover. Blink and you might miss it. As soon as you step out of the car you will be hit with the smell of sulfur produced from a nearby cave. The beauty of this beach more than makes up for the smell. Plus the Greeks believe that the sulfur in the water has healing powers.
Other Activities on Zakythos
Take a boat to the Blue Caves.
Watch the sunset from Keri.
Discover the charming little town of Volimes on the way to the shipwreck lookout. Stop in the shops for some handmade tapestries, honey and wine!
Watch for sea turtles in the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.
Note: This article was originally posted in February, 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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