Looking for things to do in Zante? Visit Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach) & Xigia beach – amazing attractions on the Ionian island – Zákynthos!
Are you looking for the best things to do in Zakynthos? Not sure what is the best time to visit this stunning Greek island? No worries, we have you covered! 🙂 But before we start talking about all the amazing places and things to do in Zante, it is worth to mention a few words about the beautiful country – GREECE.
It is home to some of the most interesting histories and cultures in the world. Even today, the Greek myths and legends influence so much of our entertainment. We still reference them in common phrases, right?
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth – comes to mind 🙂
The diverse landscape allows the imagination to run wild as you peer over steeps hills, climb massive mountains, and take idle strolls along the vast coastline.
Did you know that there are actually 6,000 islands in Greece?! 🙂
And less than 300 of them are inhabited – not only making it a unique part of Europe but also allowing for some seriously gorgeous nature to thrive on the islands. Home to some of the best award-winning beaches in Europe, it’s ideal as a sun holiday destination!
Top 10 Things to do in Zante: At a Glance
- Navagio Beach
- Xigia Beach
- Keri Lighthouse
- Turtles spotting
- Porto Limnionas
- Marathonisi Island
- Porto Vromi
- Porto Roxa
- Cameo Island
- Day trip to Kefalonia
One of the most interesting of the Greek islands is Zakynthos (also known as Zante to the British). It really is one of the best natural wonders of Europe!
Facts about Zakynthos:
|Sunset spot:||Keri lighthouse|
|Best beach:||Navagio Beach|
|Best hotels:||Zante Plaza|
Greece and Zakynthos (stunning European island) have so much to offer – there are so many stunning things to do in Zakynthos! It is a place that we have certainly loved when visiting as a couple on our September holiday.
So, to help you discover where you should visit on your trip to Zakynthos, we have gathered the best places that we loved the most for you to explore. Hopefully, you will add some of them to your list of the best things to do in Zante🙂
Is Zakynthos worth visiting?
The Greek island of Zakynthos, a very popular corner of the Ionian Sea, is one of the most beautiful places in southern Europe. When visiting Zakynthos you will be amazed by its beautiful beaches, stunning coast, blue water and lots of greenery. Zante is the greenest of all Greek islands and offers many attractions which prove it’s worth visiting Zakynthos even if you are not looking for a typical sunny vacation.
Here are the top reasons why Zakynthos is worth visiting – enjoy the best 13 things to do in Zakynthos:
TOP things to do in Zante island:
This particular beach is also known as Shipwreck Beach is an exposed cove that is also sometimes nicknamed Smugglers Cove since its tucked-away location was perfect for sneaking in goods in the dead of night. It really is a contender for the best landscapes in Europe!
It used to be called Agios Georgios but was renamed in 1980 after a freighter named the MV Panagiotis ran aground on the shore of the beach while trying to escape from the Greek navy as the ship was smuggling goods such as cigarettes and alcohol.
The ship was abandoned, and since then it has been left on the beach – making it quite a popular tourist attraction as you can walk right up to it and explore. It has decayed quite a lot, but it still looks magnificent. There have been claims that the real story is the ship was wrecked due to bad weather conditions, but we much prefer the adventurous tale of smugglers escaping the law 😉
The beach, as well as the surrounding area, is truly spectacular! It is a perfect place to take a few photos together while you are on your trip. While you can visit the ship up-close, there is also an amazing view that you have to take advantage of. The sight isn’t just glorious, it is also incredibly romantic – for many people, this is the most magical and romantic place in Europe. Midday is the perfect time to visit if you want to witness the water sparkling as the sun hits it.
The colour of the water is just out of the world!
And YES! It really looks like on the pictures. We couldn’t believe before we have seen in real 🙂
Our advice is to skip the official viewing point balcony and head a little further right. You will find a little path that is lined with rocks and bushes. It will lead you to the most spectacular location! You get the ship, the sea, and the beach in one shot – just a stunning spot you will love! 🙂
You really need to book a boat trip to Navagio Beach!
Navagio Beach is probably the most recognisable picture of Zakynthos – it’s one of the best places to see while visiting Zakynthos!
2. Xigia Beach
While on Zakynthos, you will likely be visiting as many beaches as possible. So we have another of Zakynthos’ wonders for you to take a trip to – the Xigia beach!
At first, you might notice that the water in Xigia has both a strange colour – as well as being cloudy with an almost milky coating. This is because it has a high concentration of sulphur. It really is one of the best things to do in Zante!
Yes, the same you can find in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.
The sulphur comes from the neighbouring caves, making it quite a unique spot. If you suffer from joint pain or arthritis, the water is said to have healing properties that can help to ease the symptoms.
There is also small carpark and a little canteen if you fancy a quick lunch by the water.
(read our guide to renting a car in Europe)
3. Keri Lighthouse
This is a location best visited in August or September, although it remains beautiful throughout the year.
If you are searching for a romantic sunset location to take the one you love, this is it. There is nothing quite like watching the sun dive into the sea as it goes down to make way for the night, and in many ways, words cannot describe the sheer splendour of the experience. It’s one of our favourite locations and possibly one of the best places to visit in Zante.
There are a restaurant and parking near the lighthouse. We recommend getting there a little early so that you can find a good spot to watch the show.
4. Boat Tour in Zante – Turtles spotting
There are actually quite a few boat tours that you can take to see the Caretta Caretta Turtles in Zakynthos. But there is one outstanding, which was recommended to us. It’s Levante Speedboat Excursions with captain Spiros!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! 🙂
He is a very reputable boat owner that respects marine laws and will not harass the turtles. The number of turtles is shrinking so they need to be protected.
They also organise boat tour to Shipwreck Beach. Unfortunately, our trip was cancelled due to the weather conditions…
If you get the chance to see the Caretta-Caretta turtles, you will love this experience. One of the best things to do in Zakynthos – it is so worth it!
5. Marathonisi Turtle Island
We couldn’t forget to shout out Marathonisi Turtle island as one of the best places to visit in Zante, could we? This little islet is the nesting grounds for the Loggerhead Turtle.
The fact that the islet itself actually formed in the shape of a turtle has led to the creation of many myths and legends over the years. 😉
The mystery that surrounds this little piece of land is part of what makes it such an exciting adventure. We really loved this place, which we visited with captain Spiros on the way to watch the turtles. A MUST have to visit while on Zakynthos.
Seriously! One of the best places to see on the island of Zakynthos.
Make sure you check any restrictions before you take a boat trip there though, as it is a protected site.
6. Gerakas Beach
This southern beach is probably one of the most beautiful and exciting in Zakynthos. There are lovely cliffs which are made from clay.
But the main attraction is… under the ground 🙂
Between May and October, if you fancy getting up incredibly early, you might be able to get the chance to help the newly hatched turtles make their way to the sea.
It is also a protected beach, and it is important to check the opening hours as there are some restrictions.
7. Porto Limnionas
This is a real hidden gem everybody has to visit while on holiday in Zante!
One that you definitely need to take the time to visit. If you are looking for a little time alone in a quiet location, this will be a perfect place for you.
You will have to take a quiet backroad through a little town in the mountains to get to this secret place. The whole area is surrounded by wildlife and plants, so it looks really stunning.
The fjord has clear blue water. It gives the feeling of a tropical paradise that you will never want to leave. 🙂 We fell in love with the place straight away and it’s really up there with the best things to do in Zante.
It is certainly worth visiting the little mountain town as well on your way to or from the area.
8. Watching the Sunset
We have already mentioned that Keri Lighthouse is a great place to watch the sunset on the island.
But there is one other that we would strongly recommend – and this time you can enjoy it with a romantic meal and some delicious Greek cuisine.
The Cross Taverna and the Porto Schiza Sunset are the two best places to dine and watch the sun go down.
It can’t get better than that!
So, if you are searching for the best spot to watch the sunset in Zakynthos – head to Porto Schiza. You will honestly be blown away by how beautiful this place is and really is one of the best places to visit in Zante.
You will love it!
This was one of the best sunsets we have seen in Europe! And definitely one of the best things we have seen in Zakynthos! 🙂
9. Porto Vromi & Anafonitria Beach
It is a white pebble beach, and quite small, but absolutely worth it for the views. Plus, the water is so clear and cool you might be tempted to have a quick swim together; and you would be welcome too.
Many people take the time to relax in the waters of this secluded bay. And you can’t blame them! We did the same 🙂 I’ve been to a lot of places in Zante and we can’t recommend Porto Vromi enough!
It’s not a huge beach but the surroundings make this place very special. Make sure you add Porto Vromi to the list of trips in Zakynthos!
There is a little canteen if you get hungry, as well as some lovely boat trips that you can take part in.
10. Drive around the Island
Hire a car, pack some essential supplies, and get on the road! 🙂
A driving trip around the island is the perfect way to really explore Zakynthos. Zante island is one of the best places for a road trip in Europe.
You can easily see the island in 4-5 days, and there are loads of great locations that you can visit – including each of the ones mentioned in this article.
Who wouldn’t like views like the below? 🙂
11. Try Greek food
There is everything from bright Greek salads and rich yoghurts to unbelievable fish and mouth-watering lamb dishes 🙂
There is something for everyone!
If you can find it, you should definitely pick up several boxes of baklava – the most delightful dessert/sweet treat around.
12. Porto Roxa
This is another secluded bay. One that is not often directly advertised to tourists so it will be definitely less busy.
The azure waters are incredibly welcoming!
If you are up for it, you can use the springboard to dive straight in and enjoy the experience. Or just take a little walk – there is a path that leads straight to the edge of the water.
With very few facilities nearby, it is the perfect occasion for a little picnic on the shore that the two of you can enjoy in peace and quiet.
13. Cameo Island
This is a private island, and so there is a small fee to enter. But it is so worth it – and it includes a free drink 😉
After dark is the best time to visit. There is live music on the beach, colourful lights and an excellent bar that has a lot to offer.
You may even get the chance to see some Loggerhead Turtles swimming around.
Where to stay in Zante island?
There is no shortage of amazing places to stay during your holiday in Zante. Please see below some of the TOP hotels we have selected for you:
“The 5-star Mabely Grand Hotel features 16 pools, 1 children’s pool and a restaurant. The classically decorated property offers a variety of leisure and sports facilities, such as a bridge room.”
“Offering an outdoor pool and a restaurant, Zante Atlantis Hotel offers self-catering accommodations. Free WiFi access is available in public areas”
Need more inspiration? Find a hotel in Zante island.
Are there any other things to do in Zante?
Zakynthos, and the entirety of Greece really, is a beautiful place to visit at any time of year.
Yes, the summer months are best if you want to relax on the beach. And as you know, there are plenty of amazing beaches to choose from 🙂
There is so much that you can do while you are on Zakynthos! The question is, how much time you have there?
Zakynthos island FAQ:
One common question that is asked about Zakynthos and Zante is whether or not they are the same place. The answer is yes. The island can be known as both Zakynthos and Zante. Zakynthos is the Greek name for the island, whilst Zante is the Italian name.
Luxury Villa 3min from the famous Shipwreck is one of the best places to stay near Shipwreck Beach!
If you are looking for a lively break with plenty of people having fun, then Laganas is the place to go. This busy resort is not only popular with tourists, but it also has plenty to see and do during your time there. This includes daytime and night-time activities.
Whilst many people choose Zante so that they can have some fun and let their hair down, there are also people who choose Zante as a destination that they can relax on the beach and grab some sunshine. For those looking for a beach holiday, Porto Zoro is a great destination, in fact, it is one of the most popular beaches in all of the Ionian islands!
When staying in Greece, including the island of Zante, you are going to need to bring the right plugs (or adaptors) for sockets that are type C and F.
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