The 10 best beaches of Zakynthos

With its powdery white sandy beaches, dazzling blue seas and hidden coves where endangered hawksbill turtles come to lay their eggs, the beautiful, lush island that the Venetians called ‘Fiore di Levante’ (Flower of the East) has some of the best beaches in the Ionian archipelago. .

Besides the famous Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos, also known as Zante, the island’s most popular beaches are located along the east coast, while the rugged and rocky west coast is the best place to find almost empty bays with pristine waters, perfect for snorkeling.

From secluded, cave-strewn beaches where monk seals love to hang out, to cosmopolitan, taverna-lined beaches with excellent water sports facilities, these are the 10 best beaches in Zante.

And for more Zante inspiration, check out our guides to the best hotels, restaurants, nightlife and things to do on the island. Plan an extended visit with our ultimate guide to planning a Greek island hopping holiday.

1. Shipwreck Beach

Navagio, a horseshoe-shaped scoop of pale sand beneath sheer white cliffs on the island’s rugged northwest coast, better known as Shipwreck Beach for the rusted remains of the MV Panagiotis that washed up on the beach after a storm in the 1980s, is Zante Beach . most picturesque beach.

How do you get there: It is a 30-minute boat ride from Agios Nikolaos, Zakynthos, Skinari or Porto Vromi.

Insider tip: Navagio is often out of reach due to landslides, but you can take great photos of this famous beach surrounded by kingfisher blue waters from the designated viewpoint near the village of Volimes.

2. Laganas Beach

Notorious party strip at night, during the day the laid-back Laganas in the south of the island takes on a sleepy atmosphere as partygoers flock to the resort’s long ribbon of golden sand to sleep off their hangovers on plump comfy loungers, or relax in bars and tavernas behind the strand.

How do you get there: Numerous buses shuttle back and forth between the capital of Zante and Laganas.

Insider tip: For the best sunset views, head to Agios Sostis and cross the rickety wooden bridge to the small island of Cameo. The entrance fee to the island includes a drink at Cameo’s scenic beach bar.

3. Marathonisi

Only accessible by boat, this uninhabited island is a magnet for endangered hawksbill turtles and has idyllic silken sandy beaches surrounded by pine, olive and green oak forests and lapped by crystal clear waters. During turtle nesting season, visitors can only laze on a small part of this beautiful beach.

How do you get there: Regular taxi shuttles run from Keri Beach opposite. You can also rent a self-propelled boat.

Insider tip: Discover the do’s and don’ts for turtles at the National Marine Park Visitor Center in Agios Ioannis. Better yet, book a day trip to Marathonissi with Nefis Travel’s certified nature guides.

Banana beach

Banana Beach is popular with water sports enthusiasts

4. Banana Beach

With its excellent facilities, this lively beach on the island’s southeast coast is popular with water sports enthusiasts, who can try activities ranging from parasailing and flyboarding to jet skiing and kayaking. Ideal for beginners, but also for more experienced water sports enthusiasts. Beginners can splash around safely in the shallow waters at Banana’s blonde sand beach.

How do you get there: It is a 20-minute drive from Zante city. There is also a free shuttle service every morning in summer from the resorts of Laganas, Kalamaki and Argassi, returning around 4:30 PM.

Insider tip: Families planning to try out different activities can inquire about Banana’s budget-friendly packages.

5. Gerakas

An immense arc of golden-white sand edged by shallow turquoise water and framed by twisted gray peaks of natural clay, Gerakas is perfect for younger families who can spend long lazy days on the beach, or seek shade and sustenance in a cluster of low beaches. The main tavernas in the area offer hearty, home-cooked food.

How do you get there: It is a 30-minute drive from the city of Zante. There is a large (free) parking lot near the beach.

Insider tip: This silky sandy beach is popular with nesting hawksbill turtles, so stay away from areas where the sand has been disturbed and be aware that the beach is off-limits half an hour before sunset.

6. Xigia Beach

Follow the bad egg smell of sulfur and find this secluded pebble beach on the northeast coast of the island, a few kilometers from the fishing port of Mikro Nisi.

The boisterous pong emanates from the beach’s vibrant emerald green waters, which bustle with mineral-rich thermal springs said to cure everything from arthritis to depression and eczema.

How do you get there: It is located 8 km from Alykes Beach, on the way to Cape Skinari.

Insider tip: The water drops suddenly and there are rocks littered with sea urchins (their spines are poisonous), so wear rubber shoes and keep a close eye on young children.

Agios Nikolaos ZanteAgios Nikolaos Zante

Agios Nikolaos is named after its small whitewashed chapel

7. Agios Nikolaos

Popular with locals who come here to relax in a range of hip tavernas, splash around on jet skis or paddle a SUP or sea kayak through pristine waters. Agios Nikolaos is named after its small whitewashed chapel dedicated to fishermen that overlooks the resort’s endless golden mountains. sandy beach.

How do you get there: It is located along the steep Vassilikos peninsula near Cape Skinari, about 30 km from the city of Zante. Driving yourself is the best option here.

Insider tip: Agios Nikolaos beach in the north can easily be confused with the beach of the same name in the south of the island, which has its own harbor and pebble-lined beach.

8. Porto Vromi

For an exciting beach escape far from the crowds, follow narrow roads to Porto Vromi on the island’s less developed northwest coast, where two bays lined with fine pebbles and sugar-white sand overlook the ice-clear turquoise waters of a strikingly picturesque fjord. like bay.

How do you get there: It is about 33 km from Zante Town, along a narrow road that winds like a licorice spiral. Taxi or self-driving are the best methods.

Insider tip: There are a few kayaks and paddle boats available for hire (perfect for exploring the nearby caves and coves). Boats also leave from here to visit the Blue Caves and Navagio beach.

Porto LimnionasPorto Limnionas

Porto Limnionas is fed by underground springs

9. Porto Limnionas

If you don’t fancy sand in your shoes (or sandwiches), this rocky cove, surrounded by high chalk-white cliffs and pegged to the translucent turquoise sea, is ideal. The refreshingly cool water, fed by underground springs, is deep and clear as glass and is also perfect for snorkeling and diving.

How do you get there: From Zante the road winds across the island, via a cluster of mountain villages and down to the (free) parking lot of Porto Limnionas. From here it is a steep climb to the beach.

Insider tip: Although this beach is quite remote, there are a few canteens selling water, skewered souvlaki and other snacks. There are also a handful of sunbeds and parasols that can be rented by the day.

10. Marathias Beach

Perfect for would-be Robinson Crusoes, this isolated pebble beach is surrounded by pine trees and olive groves in a sheltered bay on the southern tip of the island. It overlooks the pristine waters of the Zakynthos Marine Park and Marathonisi Island. There are a handful of sunbeds and umbrellas to rent, but there’s nowhere to buy food or drinks, so bring your own.

How do you get there: It is located 26 km south of the city of Zante, near the small hamlet of Keri, where the road turns into a dirt road. From here it is a steep walk to the beach.

Insider tip: Taxi boats make a half-hour journey from Marathias Beach to the opposite island of Marathonisi.

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