Greek Zakynthos is an island of white rocks. The perfect place for a vacation with kids

Greece, Zakynthos island – description

O.Zakynthos (Zakynthos) – a real piece of paradise. Snow-white beaches, beautiful caves, picturesque cliffs. My perfect vacation. I want to go back there again. I can’t get enough of the beauty of nature and historic sites.

Greetings to all avid travelers and beach lovers!

The islands of Greece are truly impressive in their beauty. Each island manages to surprise its visitors.

Greece is a country with its own history. Once you visit Greece you can’t resist its hospitality and charm.

With each new trip I fall more and more in love with this magical and fabulous world. Zakynthos (or Zakynthos) is located in the Ionian Sea. It has luxurious sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and marvelous, delightful color of water.

I can’t sit in one place. I want to explore all of beautiful Greece. Before the trip I had planned my vacation in advance, I already knew exactly what places I wanted to visit.

For a long time I wanted to go to Navajo beach.

It is an incomparable and wonderful bay with a sunken smugglers’ ship. We got by waterway, and at the same time decided to explore the caves. For the first time in my life I saw colorful stalactites and stalagmites.

The beach of Gerakas belongs to the National Marine Reserve of Greece.

Gerakas beach is gorgeous, framed by beautiful rocks, looks like a big horseshoe. Velvety sand and frames under the clutches of turtles, I wish I could see the Caretta Caretta turtles for myself.

My dream came true. The turtles are enormous, they are impressive. They are about 150 cm in diameter and weigh about 200 kg.

Caretta-Caretta turtles are in the Red Book because there are many turtle soup lovers in the world. The turtles come to Zakynthos Island in May and June to lay their eggs in the hot sand, and in a couple of months the little turtles hatch. I was unusually happy, excited as a child when I saw these beautiful turtles. It’s awesome!

The island’s main temple with gorgeous interior decorations, wall paintings, and stunning icons by Greek iconographers

Banana Beach. Crystal clear water, stylish beach bar, white tents, delicious cocktails, sand dunes and lilies.

Porto Zoro is a quiet sandy beach, with mushroom-shaped rocks protruding from the sea.

The waters of Xigia have healing properties due to their high sulfur and collagen content.

It is a great place to take rejuvenating procedures. After bathing, the skin feels like after taking a spa. Sulfur in the water, like fat.

The rocks Big and Little Mizitra – 2 conical white triangular-shaped hills.

Zakynthos

Zakynthos photo 1

Zakynthos fascinates with its fabulous beauty, lush green forests, sandy beaches, emerald sea water, white rocks, mysterious grottoes and caves. And yet here just a divine aroma of air, as if specially created perfumer, which skillfully combined the scents of freshness of the sea, pine and eucalyptus resin, lots of flowers and herbs. Time flows here slowly and quietly, so that every guest of the island can fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere of peace and enjoy all the gifts of nature. This is the best place for a family vacation!

The resorts of Zakynthos are quiet even during high season. While the island is hiding in the shade of the advertised tourist spots in Greece, it is time to plan a vacation with the kids in Zakynthos. You will learn about all the advantages of such a choice from our article.

Zakynthos on the map of Greece

The island of Zakynthos, or Zakynthos, is located in the southern part of the Ionian Sea, 15 km south of the island of Kefalonia, 17 km west of the Peloponnese. Its area is 407.5 sq. km, the length of its coastline is 123 km. The capital is Zakynthos. If you see on the map where Zakynthos is located, you can immediately get an impression of its climate – hot and sunny. The island is situated much more south of the other Ionian Islands, so the tourist season starts earlier and lasts longer.

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Holidays with children

“Greece, a mild climate, sandy beaches, lots of greenery, family hotels” – if you ask a search engine, it will select a variety of resorts. But if you add a point “budget holiday”, the number of options shrinks to one: Zakynthos.

Rest in Zakynthos has other advantages: it has a very clean and warm sea, quiet resorts, friendly locals and rarely cultural tourists. Is not it necessary to have a vacation with your child?

The trip to Zakynthos takes minimum time, as the island has an international airport that receives flights from different countries.

If you come to Zakynthos with children, you should be prepared for the fact that there are few entertainments. But on the island you can see something that is absent in other Greek resorts: the caretta-carreta turtles, for the sake of which noisy night entertainment is prohibited on the southern coast (even planes do not fly at night). Huge turtles, to the delight of children, sometimes go straight to the beach and calmly go about their business.

Zakynthos is also a great place for children to improve their health. Strengthening health contributes to the climate and the abundance of conifers, and thanks to the relatively low prices for accommodation here can spend “sanatorium” 3 weeks or as long as you think appropriate.

It is recommended to visit the island with infants in May or in the second half of September to avoid the difficulties of acclimatization, but with older children in Zakynthos you can enjoy the whole summer.

By the way, you don’t have to look for an all-inclusive hotel on the island (although they do exist). In local tavernas it’s easy to choose healthy food that will please a child. It can be delicious Greek pies with different fillings, moussaka, stuffed peppers or thick yogurt with honey and fresh fruit.

When to go

The main beauty of Zakynthos for beach lovers is the long summer with steady weather. The high season in Zakynthos lasts from early May to mid-October. This is the period in which the sun shines over the island from day to day, warming the sea and covering the skin of vacationers with a golden tan.

Is it worth coming to Zakynthos for the opening of the season? If you are going to limit yourself to sunbathing or want to drive around the island, you can come here at the beginning of May. But you’ll have to wait until June to swim in the sea. The best time to visit Zakynthos is from late May until early October, when it is advisable to take into account that Zakynthos airport accepts charter flights from other countries. The rest of the time you can get to Zakynthos only from Greek cities.

Weather and climate

The Zakynthos climate is a typical Mediterranean one, with hot and dry summers and mild rainy winters. The average annual temperature in Zakynthos is +19° C and the average temperature of the summer months is +28° C. The number of sunny days a year is about 300, of which half account for the tourist season.

You can come to Zakynthos with an infant in May, before the heat. In the last month of spring, the air gets up to +22°Ñ, and the rain is practically non-existent (a short drizzle is even for your benefit – it washes the greenery and refreshes the air).

June is good for a holiday with a child, when the temperature rises to +26-27 ° C. The heat peak is in July and August: the temperature reaches +30-31 ° C. Luckily, the heat almost never comes to Zakynthos, and the sea breeze and the abundance of greenery softens the heat.

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Many believe that the best vacation in Zakynthos with children begins in September. The heat at this time is less, +28 ° C, the sea is very warm, and tourists gradually disperse. Although there are a few rainy days in September, almost the whole month is very warm and sunny. If you want to relax on empty beaches and enjoy the silence, you should choose October for your vacations in Zakynthos.

During the first half of the month, the daytime temperatures are around +24-26° C and the sea water is still warm. In the second half of the month the weather becomes unpredictable and it rains more and more often: it’s time to close the beach season. It rains from November to March on the island. They feed the land with water and thanks to this, Zakynthos is dressed up in all shades of green with the first warmth of spring. The lush greenery lasts until late autumn.

Unlike the other islands of Greece, in Zakynthos there is little noticeable variation in the daily temperature. As night falls, the thermometers will only drop a few degrees. And if in May the night cold up to +18 ° C may cause the desire to wrap up warmer, in July and August the temperature drops to +25-26 ° C, so the air conditioning in the room will not hurt.

Sea water temperature

The swimming season in Zakynthos opens a month later than the beach season. No matter how hot it is in May, but the sea temperature in late spring is only +19-20 ° C. But after a month the sea warms up to +22-23 ° C, and in such water can bathe even kids.

The highest water temperature in Zakynthos is in July and August: +25-27 ° C. Children usually do not give in to the enticements to go ashore, because to splash in the warm sea is an immense pleasure.

The sea remains very warm in September. Often the water temperature does not drop below +26 ° C. You can take sea baths in October, because the sea retains its temperature at 23-24 ° C. Until the sea warms up, you can transfer your bathing to the pools of water parks. They open in early May, and the water in the sunlight quickly reaches the right temperature.

Nutrition

In Zakynthos hotels all-inclusive is relatively rare. If your hotel offers only breakfast or half board, ask about the availability of children’s menus or the possibility of ordering a special meal for a child.

If you plan to cook on your own, it is better to choose Tsilivi, Laganas or Zakynthos, where there are large supermarkets. Other resorts have small stores that close during the most hot hours (this period, analog of siesta, is called “mesimeri”).

In Zakynthos stores there is a very small selection of mixes, porridges and purees for babies. If your child is used to a particular brand, we recommend you to bring baby food with you.

Well, if the child is completely converted to adult food, you can go with him to the taverns. Many Greek dishes are suitable for children’s table. Be prepared for the fact that the child will exchange all the main dishes for a bar of almond nougat “mandolato,” the birthplace of which is considered Zakynthos. By the way, going on a tour around Zakynthos, do not fail to try the delicacies of other Greek islands. For example, on Kefalonia gather thyme and unusual pine honey.

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Transport

The public transport in Zakynthos is well developed, though represented only by buses. In summer, KTEL buses run regularly between the main resorts. The busiest traffic is between Zakynthos and Tsilivi, Laganas, Argasi, Kalamaki. Fewer trips are made in the direction of Alykes, Vasilikos, Limni Keri, Volimesse. On weekends, buses run less frequently. Schedules may change during the season (in addition, buses are often late).

The fare to most resorts is 1.80 euros, to Volimes – 3.60 euros. Tickets for children cost the same amount as for adults.

Another type of transport in Zakynthos is the pleasure trains, which run through the capital of the island and connect it with neighboring villages. Sometimes you have to resort to cab services. Firstly, it is the only way to get from the airport to Zakynthos. Secondly, sightseeing tours by cab are popular on the island. All resorts have cab stands, and you can also call for a car by phone or online.

Whichever resort you choose, we recommend you to rent a car, at least for a couple of days. At least that is the case for exploring the island and its natural landmarks, beaches, traditional Greek villages, and authentic Greek tavernas with their specialties. Such a trip will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the wonderful atmosphere of this colorful and unique island, leaving only the most pleasant memories. It is recommended to rent a car in advance, as during the high season all cars are in short supply.

For moving around Zakynthos, many people use bikes. The roads on the island are very good, in addition, there are separate bicycle routes. For a walk along the coast you can use an ordinary city bike, but if you are going on an excursion in the center of Zakynthos, you should take a mountain bike.

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What to do

There are almost no large-scale activities in Zakynthos, but it’s very easy to find something that will interest a child. Here are a few ideas of things to do in Zakynthos with a child. Chances are, you’ll find even more options once you get there.

  1. Take a ride on the sightseeing train around the city of Zakynthos, or better yet, walk in search of buildings taller than three stories (if you find one, consider it lucky: on an island with high seismic hazard, you can not build tall houses). By the way, there is a café in Zakynthos that sells dozens of kinds of soft Italian ice cream.
  2. Take a guided tour of the island and make sure that not in vain the Venetians called it the “flower of the East”. You can plan your own route on Zakynthos, or you can join a guided tour.
  3. Sail along the coast on a boat, swim in the mysterious bay Navagio (Navajo), look at the rocks and small islands, go to the caves of Keri, washed by water in the snow-white rocks, and see the giant tortoises caretta-caretta.
  4. Spend time with the kids at one of the water parks. At Water Village Park, kids take a long dip in the Aqua Jungle, where half a hundred water activities await them. In addition, Water Village has some stunning slides for adults. Tsilivi Splash Water Park has few adult attractions, but the children’s play area is a delight for kids. Another water park located next to the Caretta Beach Hotel in Kalamaki is a compact but very cute one.
  5. Take your child for a walk along the mountain trails of Askos Stone Park. It is both an open-air museum with preserved old buildings and a mini-zoo where animals roam free.
  6. Visit one of the farms. If you vacation with a child in Zakynthos in the spring, you can see the blooming olive and orange trees. And in summer, you can taste ripe fruits on the farms: cherries, peaches, figs.
  7. Find out what entertainments are available nearby. For example, in Tsilivi there is a small amusement park with trampolines, a laser tag maze and a video game room. Laganas has a miniature golf course and a go-kart track.
  8. Just relax while the kids run around the hotel’s playground. Having activities for the kids at the hotel is most positive for families. It is convenient to stay with preschoolers in hotels, where there is a place for games, children’s club, animation for kids, mini-disco, babysitting services. If you are going to Zakynthos in May, when the sea is still cold, a children’s pool at the hotel will be very helpful.
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The Sea and the Beach

The beach map of Zakynthos is a pleasure to look at: all its east and south coast is studded with blue flags. This award is given to the beaches which meet the highest standards of cleanliness and safety. For a holiday at sea with a child fit any beach on the island. Almost everywhere the shore is covered with sand (you can find a pebble beach only in Limni Keri), the water is very clean, the entrance to the sea is gentle.

The best sandy beach is Gerakas, near the resort of Vasilikos. The coast of Tsilivi is the ideal beach for kids: here you can find the shallowest sea, where kids swim with joy. In addition, here, as well as on the beaches of Alikanas and Argassi, there is a huge range of water activities, which means that even the teenagers will not be bored.

The beaches in the south of Zakynthos are part of the Marine Park Reserve, opened in 1999. This park has preserved the typical Mediterranean ecosystem, consisting of sand dunes and beaches washed by the clear waters of the Ionian Sea, lush green plains, vineyards, olive and pine groves. Resting here, you can get the most pleasure of communion with nature and at the same time enjoy all the benefits of tourist infrastructure, which are inherent in the lively resorts. However, the beaches are minimally developed infrastructure, so we advise you to bring water and if necessary, food.

Another peculiarity of the beaches in the southern part of the island is the habitat of Caretta caretta turtles. The sea here is the calmest and most tranquil, since boats and motorboats are forbidden. The part of the coast where the egg laying site is closed to the public, but the turtles do not mind strolling where tourists sunbathe.

For the adventurous, beach holidays on Zakynthos are not limited to this island, but also include neighboring islands. For example, on the island of Marathonisi, you can sunbathe in the company of turtles or explore underwater caves, armed with diving equipment.

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In addition, a lot of interesting diving spots are located on the southern tip of Zakynthos, near the beach of Limni Keri. The island’s diving center has a training center for beginners and a special course for children over 10 years old. All the beaches of Zakynthos are municipal property and therefore entrance is free. The only fees are for the use of the sun lounger and the sun umbrella.

What to see

Even the most experienced guide cannot offer a comprehensive list of things to see in Zakynthos. One of the most beautiful islands in Greece was very badly damaged by an earthquake in 1953, with the loss of many architectural monuments. Some of them were later rebuilt, so there are still interesting places for children on the island.

The first thing we recommend to visit in Zakynthos with a child is the Venetian fortress in Zakynthos. From the hill of Bokhali, where this ancient structure is located, you can see the whole city. The territory of the fortress resembles rather a cozy park, where you can walk even with kids.

Also in the capital of Zakynthos there is the Byzantine Museum, where a huge collection of church relics is on display. There are several interesting museums in other cities of the island. For example, at the Helmis Museum of Natural History, which is located in Agia Marina, you can show your child the animals and birds of Zakynthos. At the exhibition center of the National Marine Park in Dafni, you can learn about the life of the Caretta Caretta turtles. In Tsilivi there is a small maritime museum that tells the history of shipping. And next to Alykes there is an ethnographic exhibit, where you can learn about the life and crafts of the inhabitants of Greece.

Once the list of things to see with children in Zakynthos is exhausted, move on to excursions to the nearby islands. You can rent a boat and swim to the island of Marathonisi, where giant turtles swim off the coast. Or take a ferry to Kefalonia island. Its main attractions are the cave Drogarati with red stalactites, the underground lake Melisani and ancient monasteries.

If you want a vacation in Zakynthos with children to be rich, take a ferry to the Peloponnese peninsula, where there are countless attractions. The closest to the port of Killini, where the ferry arrives, are the ruins of ancient Olympia. Just imagine: the stadium where the first Olympic Games were held could hold 40 thousand spectators. Next to the ancient settlement is the Museum of Modern Olympia.

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