Zakynthos or Zante (as it is commonly known) has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful Greek islands. Zakynthos is the southernmost and third largest in both size and population of the Ionian islands. It is situated 8.5 nautical miles south of Kefallonia, 9.5 nautical miles west of the Peloponnese and approximately 300 kilometres west of the capital of Greece, Athens.

The island has a wealth of history and tradition, as for many centuries it was the crossroads for numerous nations and cultures. The Venetians, who ruled the island in the Middle Ages, named it “Flower of the East”. Zakynthos is an island full of contrasts and home of the famous Shipwreck beach (Navagio) voted as one of the finest in the world, with its unforgettable turquoise waters, and the breathtaking blue caves.

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best beaches in zante

The vibrant turquoise colour of the sea is Zante’s most famous attribute. Yet, not the only one. Sunshine all day long, picturesque shores and the island’s spirited heart form a unique holiday experience that starts and ends at the beautiful beaches. Whether you enjoy being at the centre of it all, visiting a popular beach or whether a peaceful more secluded option is ideal for you, Zante has it all. Start your exploration today.

Tsivili beach

A few steps away from your Lesante room (about 80 metres), is Tsivili beach. Awarded with the Blue Flag, the beach encompasses soft gold sand, crystal clear waters and a positive energy among all of its guests. A popular choice for all Zante explorers, it is guarantees a day under the sun that has it all: relaxation, swimming, socialising.

Next to Tsivili beach is Planos beach, known for its picturesque harbour. Here you can hire a boat to take you to the magical blue caves and the famous Shipwreck beach. Otherwise, you can just chill out and enjoy the beautiful view of the fishing boats coming in at daybreak. The beach also offers a great variety of activities. Sports lovers will be happy to discover: Jet-ski, pedal boats, banana rides, parasailing, scuba diving, and so much more here.

Makris Gialos

This small beach will become one of your favourites. Beautiful, concealed by cliffs and small caves, all of the natural elements create the perfect scenery for relaxation all day long under Zante’s sun. Swim to the caves and admire their beauty up-close –a must see for all adventurers. Bigger caves found near the area, can be explored by hiring one of the local boats.

Gerakas and Dafni

The scenery in Zante varies but is always beautiful. The east side of the peninsula of Vassilikos is home to the National Marine Park that protects the Caretta-caretta turtle –absolutely worth a visit. In this area you will find the beaches of Gerakas and Dafni. Well known by all sports lovers, here you will have the chance to enjoy snorkeling or admire those who do. The beach of Gerakas is located nearby. Sandy, peaceful and free-spirited –no facilities or beach bars around- the beach will be your tranquility haven. Embrace the perfect setting and enjoy swimming under the sun all day long.

Agios Nikolaos

At the end of the peninsula of Vassilikos, lies Agios Nikolaos beach. It is here that the summer sports ‘community’ gathers since the beach provides a great variety of activities such as scuba diving, jet skiing, wind surfing, parasailing and snorkeling. Yet, the secret of this beach is a path just behind the chapel of Saint Nicholas. Walk along to reach to reach a long sandy beach called Plaka –also known as Banana beach due to its shape! Admire the Ionian sea and relax until late at night.

Porto Zorro or Azzuro

Port Zorro, located on the north side of the peninsula of Vassilikos, is host to trendy bars that attract lots of party lovers. Music, cocktails and dancing last until late at night or even until sunrise!

If you do not join the beach party, you can simply admire the view to the sea. Porto Zorro offers a unique scenery. Giant rocks emerging from the sea, are the perfect surroundings for authentic Mediterranean holidays.

Kalamaki and Crystal

These two beaches are extremely clean thanks to the volunteers of the Sea Turtle Protection Society, who take good care of it. It is popular mostly due to the fact that the waters remain shallow for a long way out, thus making it a safe swimming place for children of all ages.

Going past the river next to Kalamaki beach you will find the famous Laganas beach. If party-time is on your cards, then Laganas is the spot for you.


Here, the crystal blue of the waters meets the vibrant green of the trees. Small, secluded and pebbled, Marathia beach is as an authentic Greek beach as it can get. Its remoteness pulls only the real explorers, who dare to discover less popular beach choices. Explore the area and let your steps lead you to a near-by, very small beach that offers to you a stunning view over the uninhabited island of Marathonisi.


Prepare to be amazed. Xigia is a secluded beach located among big rocks. The turquoise waters –Zante’s most famous asset- also can be enjoyed here. Relax, enjoy the free-spirited essence and embrace the exotic view. At Xigia beach you can completely rejuvenate yourself thanks to the water’s healing qualities. The natural spring waters that flow into the sea from the beach caves are filled with sulphur, which is a therapeutic spa for your body and mind. Swimming here is a one-of-a-kind experience, body and mind wise.

Koukla and Kamina

Cosmopolitan, gorgeous and well-organised. Both of these two beaches are a must-see during your holidays in Zante. And it could not be otherwise since “Koukla” in Greek means “beautiful”.

Turquoise waters, sandy beaches and a spectacular view to the sea, will make your day very rewarding.

Yet the secret of this particular area lies on the shore. Explore the nature that surrounds the beaches to discover the oldest olive trees of Zante. They have stood tall, magnificent and proud for more than a thousand years.

Ambula and Psarou

The Blue Flag has been awarded to both Ambula and Psarou. The first one is a small, picturesque beach, mostly sandy yet with some pebbled spots. Organised facilities and a variety of activities on site, satisfy all types of visitors.

Psarou beach, a few kilometres further on, is a favourite spot among the locals. Sandy, secluded –only accessible by a small road- and with shallow waters, it is the perfect place for a family-oriented day on the beach.

Zante Map


Zante is loved by all because it offers everything. It combines spectacular beaches and incredible mountainous views. Here you can find secluded shores to relax, or you can party all day and all night long in cool beach bars. Zante offers a little bit of everything. Explore everything it has to offer to fully capture the island’s spirit and experience a traditional Greek summer holiday.

Shipwreck beach

This is the reason you came to Zante. And truly it is a good one. The ‘Shipwreck’ beach, also known as “Navagio”, is one of the most famous Greek beaches in the world. The wreck of an old smugglers’ ship rests amongst the golden sand. According to the locals, the shipwreck’s story began in 1980 when the ship called ‘Panagiotis’, carrying a freight of contraband cigarettes, while being pursued by the Greek Navy, encountered stormy weather. The ship ran aground in a shallow cove on the north-west coast of the island, with the crew abandoning ship.

The shipwreck lies gracefully on the beach to this day. The turquoise waters that embrace it together with the gold sand create a charming image, one that you will never forget.

Tip: Reach the beach by boat from Porto Vromi or Agios Nikolaos.

Caretta caretta turtles

From June till mid September, during the night time, these cute creatures rush to the shore where they lay about 100 eggs each into the sand. The breeding ground is only to be found on the dry part of the sandy beaches around the bay of Lagana. After two months, the eggs hatch and the tiny hatchlings make their way to the sea. For the protection of this natural process, numerous beaches are closed at night and guarded by volunteers of the Sea Turtle Protection Society.

It is not easy to spot the Caretta-caretta turtles since they are very vulnerable and easily frightened by noise and bright lights. To view them up close, take one of the organised tours starting their voyage to the world of Caretta-caretta, from the port of Agios Sostis or Porto Koukla.

Blue caves

A journey to Zante is never complete without an exploration of the famous Blue caves. Situated on the northern tip of the island, near the port of Agios Nikolaos, these natural arches and water-caves that have been cut out by tides over thousands of years, form a distinguished image of the kingdom of the sea. Swim and explore the caves one by one –a one-of-a-kind experience. Snorkeling and diving are also suggested so that you will fully capture the carefree water essence.

Marathonisi island

It may be uninhabited yet it is precious. Admiring Marathonisi island from afar you are presented with a surprising fact: its shape resembles a turtle! Maybe this is why the Marathonisi beach is also the place where Caretta-caretta turtles choose to breed. Due to the Caretta-caretta presence, the island is part of the National Marine Park, thus guarded by volunteers that protect the growth of the turtle population.

The other side of the island hosts tiny exotic beaches, ideal places for swimming and total relaxation under the sun. Hire a small boat and anchor in the caves where from you need to dive and swim in order to reach the hidden beaches. The remoteness of the island offers crystal clear waters and peacefulness like no other.

Tip: To discover Marathonisi –located just off the coast of Laganas bay- you need to rent a boat from Porto Koukla.

Zante town

The island’s capital -called Zakynthos- has 15,000 residents. Vibrant and modern, the city has managed to preserve the traditional spirit of the past, visible in the main squares of Saint Marcus and Solomos. Exploring the city centre you will find traditional picturesque shops owned by the locals, full of homemade food and handcrafted items. Stroll down the main shopping street of Alexandra Roma and enjoy some much needed shopping therapy.

The ruins of the Venetian fortress lie above town, overlooking Zante’s harbour. The fortress is called Kastro, which means castle in Greek, and adds to the city’s charm with a view of the past.

Walking around the city you will find a mix of modern and traditional buildings. The 1953 earthquake that shook the island was the reason for the reconstruction of lots of areas of the capital. This is why today, the architecture of Zante’s capital is a unique mix of the traditional and the contemporary, blending both spirits into one –very charming indeed.

Keri caves

The gorgeous coastline of the Keri peninsula –located on the south west of Zante, will win your heart over at first sight. It will take you more than that though to fully appreciate its beauty. Rent a boat and sail around it to explore the caves, the dark tunnels and the sealife inside. Reaching the shores, you will be able to find some of the most secluded and quiet beaches of Zante island (ideal for snorkeling and diving). Walk about the beaches and explore nature’s beauty. While relaxing in the water do not be surprised if you spot a monk seal swimming next to you! Zakynthos is the only place in the Mediterranean region where monk seals are still to be found.

If you visit the beach with your loved one, do not miss out on exploring the two giant rocks called ‘Mitzitres’ up close. According to the local legends, if you go there with your loved one and you look into each other eyes while passing between the rocks, you will stay together forever.

Mountainous region

The island’s east side offers a gorgeous mountainous experience that can make for an exciting road trip. Picturesque villages such as Loucha, dark green forests full of pine trees, high cliffs offering stunning views of the island and the precious sounds only mountain’s nature can form, create an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Tip: Rent a car to stop and explore each spot for as long as you want to.

Protected Marine park

Laganas bay has been a National Marine park since 1999, in order for the endangered Caretta-caretta turtle to be protected. That’s why the bay has been split up into several nautical zones, where fishing is banned and speed limits are extra strict. On the southeast side even more strict rules apply, with all vessel activities being prohibited. In total, six beaches are completely controlled by the Sea Turtle Protection Society, meaning the visitors should respect certain rules during their stay.

Tip: Find out more about the rules to each beach, from the explanatory signs at their entrance.

Cultural sights

Zante’s proud historical past is visible all around you. Amazing architectural monuments are still an integral part of the island, contributing greatly to its charm. Many important historical figures have lived here, such as Dionysios Solomos who composed the Greek national anthem. Discover the majestic stories of the past in every street and every corner and discoverl a nostalgic Zakynthian journey to its charming past.

Church of Saint Dionysios

Walk to the city centre of Zante’s capital and you will be amazed to find the beautiful Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Dionysios. Dating from 1708 it is dedicated to the patron saint of Zante island, Saint Dionysios. The church attracts lots of visitors for its architectural magnificence as well as for the fact that Saint Dionysios relics –which are considered sacred- have been kept here since 1717. The Saint, famous for his miracles that cured the sick, is being celebrated twice a year by the locals by displaying his ‘healing’ relics.

Solomos and Kalvos museum

Zante has nurtured two of the most famous poets in Greece. Solomos and Kalvos. Their rich heritage can be admired at the museum, which displays a grand collection of manuscripts and lots of personal objects. The museum acts also as a mausoleum, since the graves of the two poets are found on its ground floor. When visiting the museum, do not miss out on exploring the other exhibits. The themes vary, presenting exhibits from the Byzantine era together with interesting archaeological and folklore objects found on Zante island.

Post-Byzantine museum

The Post-Byzantine museum is one of the buildings that was built right after the earthquake of 1953. A day here is a marvelous journey into the past by viewing important ecclesiastical items, post-Byzantine icons up close, and wooden works of art as well as wood carvings dating from the 16th century. Yet the journey does not stop here, since the museum offers a glimpse of the development of Greek art evolution starting from the Byzantine era and ending in 21st century. The museum is located on Solomos Square in Zakynthos town.

Helmis natural history museum

Our world is privileged with spectacular beauty. Get a glimpse of nature’s greatness by admiring rare kinds of flora and fauna that exist on Zante island, by visiting Helmis Natural History Museum –located in the beautiful village of Agia Matina. Rocks, minerals, fossils, shells, corals and rare kinds of fish are just a small part of the collection presented here. The museum also offers lots of interactive games that transform learning into fun. A café on the rooftop, is the ideal place for you to relax while admiring the view, after a day exploring the museum’s exhibits.

Roma mansion

A survivor. The Roma mansion is one of the few buildings that survived the 1953 earthquake of Zante island. A marvelous architectural accomplishment, it stands proud still, giving us the pleasure of exploring a nostalgic trip to the past. The mansion belonged to the Roma family, aristocrats with Venetian roots, who played a significant role in Greek politics. Thus, during your visit you can admire gorgeous portraits, paintings, rare books and impressive furniture.

Monastery Agios Georgios ton Krimnon

Huge pine trees embrace the Monastery of Agios Georgios which is located in the north west of Zakynthos and dates back to the 16th century. When you arrive at this peaceful place, allow yourself a few minutes to admire what the locals believe to be the best view down to the symbolic and picturesque Navagio Beach (the Shipwreck). Yet, there is another reason your visit here is so worthwhile. The monastery’s extensive library –a precious asset then and now- in the past attracted the visitation of many ecclesiastical figures such as Agios Gerassimos, the patron saint of the Kefalionia island.

Agia Mavra Church

Agia Mavra is one of the oldest churches of the island dating from the early 17th century and it is located at the village of Macherado. The fine internal decorations and the collection of wall frescoes and Byzantine icons will amaze you. The centrepiece though–the icon of Saint Mavra- is the one that attracts most of the visitors’ admiration by being an ethereal piece of art that only the artists of the past can shape.

The Venetian belfry of Hypoxanthic is situated next to the church. Its melodious bells can be heard throughout most areas of Zante, filling the island’s spirit with nostalgic sounds.

Askos stone park

Askos stone park is a natural gift. Located at the north end of the island, it is a lively exploration of more than 200,000 types of local flora and fauna. Experience the wild life up close by viewing deer, rabbits, squirrels, ponies and turtles strolling around the park. Walk about the stone paths, relax and embrace the pureness of life in nature.

Lagadakia village

Lagadikia village is situated on the west side of Zakynthos, high up on the mountain slope. The place is the living proof of the 1953 earthquake. Stroll down the little pathways and admire the ancient bell towers standing still amid the rubble of broken stones and collapsed walls. Every corner, every rock, is a living remembrance of the Zante earthquake. Embrace the nostalgia. It is one more gift of Zante to you.

Healthy heaven

It is not an exaggeration. Zante’s cuisine is extremely healthy –and tasty- due to the fact that all of the ingredients are homegrown. The finest vegetables, fresh fish and local products of the highest quality, truly showcase the healthy aspect of the Mediterranean cuisine. Taste all of the local delicacies and find your new favourite Greek dishes that you will want to recreate back home!


The good climate and fertile soil conditions with which the land of Zante has been blessed, allows for the cultivation of a great variety of fruit. This is why wherever you are, at a five star hotel, a great restaurant or a small taverna, you will always be presented with the freshest fruit. Zante is famous for the cultivation of: strawberries, lemons, limes, oranges, kiwis, apricots, peaches, apples, watermelons, melons, grapes, pears, figs, berries, tangerines, dates, pomegranates and nectarines.


Homegrowning vegetables is a tradition that is continued to this today. The local families grow their own vegetables that the excellent climate conditions and fertile soil, shape into taste that is full of nutritious elements. The most common local vegetables produced here are: tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, garlic, onions, spinach, asparagus, pumpkins, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli and peppers.

Game, poultry and fish

The activity of hunting takes place in selected areas of Zante island, mostly to keep the game population in balance. The excess of wild rabbits, boar and pigeons is the inspiration behind many famous local dishes. The local cuisine’s specialty is the roasted rooster –a dish definitely worth a try.

As with all of theGreek islands, fishing is also a part of everyday life in Zante. Early in the morning the fishing boats return to the harbours of Zakynthos with fresh fish caught a few hours earlier. The seafood and fish –sold on site- are mostly: sardines, swordfish, mullets, perch, mussels, octopus, squid, eels, crabs and lobsters. If you are a fish lover do not miss out on tasting all different kinds of local fish.


Exploring the mountainous regions of Zante you will have the chance to explore the art of beekeeping. The areas, covered by herbs such as thyme, oregano, aniseed and basil contribute immensely to the honey’s distinctive and exquisite taste. Thus, the honey you taste at the local restaurants or at your hotel, is the purest and most delicious delicacy that nature can offer. Buy a few jars from roadside vendors or at the local shops in order to recreate local Zakynthian recipes with honey when you go back home.

Olive oil

Zante island is proud of the high quality olive oil that it produces. During winter, about 2 million olive trees are harvested with the olives being hand-picked one by one to make Zante’s famous and popular extra-virgin olive oil. Each tree can yield up to 100 kilos of olives, leading to 10 litres of exquisite local extra virgin olive oil.

The rich flavor, transparent colour and super nutritious core, blends harmoniously with Greek salads and all of the traditional recipes that you will have the chance to explore here. It is a healthy dose of nature that adds to your Mediterranean meals!


The blessed land of Zante also produces raisins of the finest quality. At the end of August the island’s visitors have the chance to experience their sweet aroma while exploring the island and even see the seedless sweet Korinthe grapes being picked and dried in the Mediterranean sun. The raisins are spread on close-meshed nets in every farm.

Recipes made with raisins are the most creative dishes in Zante. Their sweetness transforms every local dish and excites even the most selective connoisseurs of taste!


Greek cuisine is rich in dessert recipes -that is why you will find a pastry shop almost on every corner of the island and a huge list of choices on every restaurant’s menu. The most common delicacies are “Fytoura” and “Pasteli”, both made of roasted sesame and honey, as well as “mandolato”, nougat made of egg white, honey, a bit of sugar and almonds. A must taste is also “Baklava” and “Kantaifi”, two traditional recipes that are both particularly sweet and fulfilling.