Zakynthos island, Greece.

Zakynthos

Navagio beach, Zakynthos)

Zakynthos or Zakynthos is a fabulous dream island sung by poets for thousands of years. The untouched beauty of nature, picturesque views, a variety of rich and saturated colors, miles of golden beaches – a truly “magnificent flower of the Mediterranean”. Everywhere on the island, you can smell the aroma of pine forests, lush beautiful flowering plants, citrus fruits and grapes. Do you want to be in a fairy tale? Welcome to Zakynthos!

According to ancient legends, the great Greek gods Artemis and Apollo were enchanted by the incredible beauty of the island. This is not surprising, as the magical atmosphere of the island envelops travelers from the first seconds of arrival and does not let them go until their departure. Zakynthos was mentioned in Homer’s works as “drowning in emerald forests”. The inhabitants of the island treated Apollo with particular reverence in antiquity and were famous among the Greeks for their love of music and art. The heyday of the culture of Zakynthos was during the Venetian rule.

The island has a very special value for the Greeks: it is not only an extremely beautiful place but also the birthplace of the great Dionysios Solomos, poet and author of the “Hymn of Freedom”. In the main square of the island, named after Dionysius, a monument has been erected to remind visitors of his talent.

Did you know that on Zakynthos there is a marine reserve with the rarest species of turtles?

Picturesque coves fringed with golden rocks and bright blue waves – the landscapes of Zakynthos are found on postcards all over the world. Particularly famous is the photograph of Navajo Bay with the wreck of a ship. The island is so rich in picturesque panoramas that from any, even the most hidden corner you can enjoy unforgettable and fantastic views of cliffs, sea, golden coasts or bright green vegetation.

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The local landscape consists of two rows of mountain ranges, between which there is an emerald valley. Due to the peculiarities of the soil, there are many artesian springs on the island. The ancient island of fairy-tale beauty was repeatedly praised by the Greek and Venetian poets, and the best painters tried to transfer at least a part of its magnificence on the canvas. Mighty pine trees, lush greenery, golden dunes, strange mountain ranges, vineyards, cozy villages with narrow streets, orange groves – for hundreds of years Zakynthos has been a source of inspiration for creative people.

Navagio Beach Fantastic scenery of Zakynthos

Did you know that the island is home to the only natural park in Greece Askos, gathering unique species of animals and plants from all over the world?

Climate

The “green island” is warmed by the hot rays of the sun for most of the year. The weather in Zakynthos is perfect for an unforgettable vacation in any month. Summer days are dry and hot, but the sea breeze and azure waves make travelers feel comfortable even under the scorching sun. The climate is similar to that of the other Greek islands. Precipitation is rare here, except for rain during the warm winter months. In the winter there is almost no frost or snow. Most tourists come to the island from May to October.

The best hotels in Zakynthos

Lesante Cape Resort & Villas

A 5-star luxury resort with villas, listed as one of the Leading Hotels of the World (opening May 2022). Read more

10% discount on Early Bookings, plus 5% extra discount from Grecomania

Contessina Suites & Spa, Zakynthos

Among the emerald waters and green tropical gardens is Contessina Suites & Spa, a charming adults-only boutique hotel. Read more at

Up to 60% off hotel, plus 5% additional discount from Grecomania

Lesante Blu Exclusive Beach Resort

Modern style, beautiful grounds, choice of comfortable rooms. Learn more

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Extra discount from Grecomania

Attractions and Entertainments

The sights of the island are mainly picturesque beaches, grottoes, lush greenery and incredible panoramic views. The locals carefully protect the natural treasures that are scattered all over the island. Unfortunately, most of the historical monuments have not survived to this day, but the perfection of nature on Zakynthos has remained unchanged. In the northern part of the island you can touch a real natural wonder by visiting the Blue Caves. Countless grottoes, stone arches rising above the sea foam, and mesmerizing blue water… The most famous cave is on Cape Skinari. To get to the mysterious grottoes is possible only by swimming.

But did you know that the water in the snow-white grottoes contains a lot of calcium and minerals? Because of that it has a beneficial effect on the skin, and the depth of healing waters in the caves is about four meters!

Blue Caves of Zakynthos

Blue Caves of Zakynthos

One kilometer away from the port of Agios Nikolaos, there is the fantastic stone sanctuary of Askos. It hosts some of the rarest species of animals and plants from all over the world. Impressive stone structures, water tanks and wooden compositions harmoniously merge in a single dance with the untouched grandeur of the island’s natural treasures. The local museums, the most popular ones, are a must-see:

  • Museum of Byzantine Art
  • Museum of famous Greek poets Dionysios and Andreas Solomos
  • House Museum of the family of Alexander Roma

On the territory of Argassi you can find the famous ancient bridge, one part of which is hidden under water, and the other in the sand. Another pride of the island are the Byzantine churches:

  • The ancient church of St. Dionysius.
  • Medieval church of St. Nicholas
  • The church of St. Moor in the small settlement of Maherado
  • The convent of Our Lady of Eleftherotria in the small village of Lagopodo
  • The white-stone church of Our Lady of Skopetissa (built on the site of an ancient temple of Artemis)
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Church of St. Dionysius Church of St. Maura

Beaches, Coves, Resorts

Take a walk along the incredibly beautiful coasts, inhale the fragrance of pine trees and strange herbs with a touch of salt water and you will feel how slowly and smoothly time flows in Zakynthos. This magical island gives you a chance to touch the charm and splendor of unspoiled nature. The main attraction of the island are the countless and ineffably beautiful beaches.

The island’s most famous beach is Shipwreck Beach or Navagio Cove. Here, on the snow-white sand, is a smugglers’ ship that washed ashore during a big storm. Access to the most fantastic beach in the world exists only from the sea. Crystal clear blue water and towering rocks with an emerald mantle – the views on the beach are mesmerizing and striking in their beauty. The easiest way to get to the beach is by boat, from the port of Volimés (Porto Vromi).

Another beach that impresses with its splendor is Gerakas. Located in the southern part of the peninsula, the immaculate and tranquil Geracas Beach charms with its rich colors and warm turquoise water. Gerakas is popular not only with tourists, but also with the rare species of sea turtles – Caretta caretta, which lay their eggs in the sand. That is why the beach is one of the components of the National Marine Park. The inhabitants of the island strictly protect the peace of the turtles: all kinds of water sports are forbidden on Geracas.

Navagio Beach, Zakynthos

Shipwreck Beach (Navagio)

Laganas is a lively and very popular resort on the island. The beach is 5 km long, and the soft golden sand of Laganas is another favorite place of the Caretta-caretta turtles. Organized water excursions give the opportunity to see these outlandish and noble inhabitants of Zakynthos. Water sports are limited here, as well as on Gerakas beach. Holidaymakers can always visit the cozy beach restaurants, small cafes or bustling bars. All possible amenities and entertainment can be found just a short walk from the hotel.

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Ksigia beach which is located about twenty kilometers from Zakynthos is quite an interesting vacation spot. The popularity of the beach was brought by an underwater spring which gives the beach its characteristic scent. The surface of the beach is pebble. A few kilometers from Zakifa is Tsilivi resort, where tourists have a lot of nightclubs, bars, taverns, restaurants and all kinds of entertainment. Tsilivi sandy beaches are surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Water sports such as windsurfing or water skiing are common here.

Agios Sostis, Laganas, Zakynthos

Agios Sostis, Laganas

Cuisine and restaurants – olive oil and garlic

The local cuisine, like all Ionian cuisine, is truly Mediterranean. The most important ingredient in any dish is olive oil, which in Zakynthos is especially delicious due to the large number of olive groves. Tomatoes, lemons, garlic and aromatic herbs are used in large quantities. “National” dish of the island is considered “Sarza” – beef with tomatoes, garlic and special sheep cheese “ladotiri”. Another dish common in these places is “Skordostubi”, which includes eggplant, tomatoes and, of course, olive oil with garlic.

Another local cheese, which can be salty or unleavened, is “mizitra.” It is customary to eat “mizitra” with honey or sugar. Homemade bread and sweets are popular on the island. For example “mandolato”, a sweet made from egg, almonds and honey, or “pasteli”, a sweet made from sesame, honey and almonds.

Museums

The Museum of Solomu and Calvu is located in St. Mark’s Square. On the first floor are the remains of the national poets Dionisios Solomou and Andrea Calvou. On the second floor are the halls of Solomou, Roma and Coliva with their important manuscripts and a rich collection of their portraits. You will also find here an ancient library, various archaeological finds and a wealth of photographic material. The building was renovated in 1957 and has been open to the public since 1967. The new museum is located on Solomou Square and is rich in Byzantine works.

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Caretta Caretta.

This is a species of sea turtle that lives on the shores of Zakynthos and annually from June to August the Caretta Caretta (Loggerhead) lays its eggs here at night. After 55 days new generations of this rare species are born and find their way to the sea. However, only 1-2 turtles out of 1000 survive. Therefore, it is very important to protect their minks. That’s what the sea turtle conservation community was created for, sending volunteers every year to protect them 24 hours a day.

Turtle Careta-careta, Zakynthos

Careta Careta Turtle

How to get there

Getting to the “green island” can be done in different ways, each of them convenient in its own way.

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