Zakynthos Zante, Greece

 

Shipwreck Beach

The world famous Shipwreck of Zakynthos (also called Navagio and Smuggler’s Cove) is not to be missed as it is a truly astonishing sight. Shipwreck is one of the most photographed beaches in Greece and a pole of attraction for thousands of tourists every year. When the MV Panagiotis washed up on the shore in October 1980, no one could have predicted that this beautiful place would become one of Europe’s most iconic beaches. MV Panagiotis spent the later part of its life as a smuggling ship. In 1980, Panagiotis was making its way from Turkey with a freight of contraband cigarettes. The crew was suspected by authorities and the ship was pursued by the Greek Navy. Encountering stormy weather, it ran aground in a shallow cove, where the crew abandoned it to evade the pursuing Navy. The amazing Shipwreck, with its crystal clear blue waters and the imposing cliffs rising far above the beach, is only accessible by the sea but you can also admire its beauty from the viewing platform located near the mountain village of Anafonitria, where you can go by car or motorbike.

Blue Caves

Blue Caves is one of the top sights in Zakynthos island. These magnificent caves are located just below the lighthouse of Cape Skinari in northern Zakynthos. The distinctive element of the Blue Caves is that they reflect the striking blue color of the waters in them, which at the same time capture and reflect the shine of the lucid sky on their surface, creating a stunning atmosphere. In order to visit the Blue Caves you can hire a boat or take a boat trip. The impressive arches, created by erosion along thousands of years, will allow you to enter the caves and wander into this magical environment. There are boat trips departing from several areas in Zakynthos, but the nearest point to the caves is the harbour of St. Nikolaos, near Volimes village, where you can board on a Blue Caves cruise. You can go to St. Nikolaos harbour by car or motorbike.

 
 

Marathonisi Island

Marathonisi (also known as the Turtle Island) is a small uninhabited island in the bay of Laganas. Marathonisi is part of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, which is the spawning place of the Caretta-Caretta loggerhead sea turtles. The National Marine Park of Zakynthos, established in 1999, was the first national park created for the protection of sea turtles in the Mediterranean. It is part of the Natura 2000 ecological network. This amazing turtle-shaped island is completely covered in dense vegetation and offers a wonderful landscape. It has two main beaches (one of them has white sand, while the other has pebbles) and some beautiful sea caves you should definitely visit. There are boat rentals and organized boat trips, departing from Keri, Laganas and Agios Sostis beaches, that go to Marathonisi frequently.

Porto Limnionas

The stunning Porto Limnionas bay is located 25 kilometers from Zakynthos town, close to Agios Leon village. You shouldn't miss this place if you wish to see nature at its best! Surrounded by crystal clear waters and imposing cliffs, Porto Limnionas is a little paradise on earth. There is a parking lot where you can leave your vehicle. First, you will find a traditional tavern with delicious local delicacies. You can then go down the steps to admire the breathtaking landscape. Many of the rocks are flat and so you can sunbathe. The water is almost transparent at many points and extra cold as there are underwater currents and an underwater river coming from within a very long and not fully explored cave. Porto Limnionas is ideal for snorkeling as there are many caves, a variety of fish and for the brave ones, tall rocks from which you can dive.

 
 

Venetian Castle

The Venetian Castle is located on Bohali hill, on the outskirts of Zakynthos town. The castle was built in 1480 and only shortly after, part of it was destroyed by invading Turks. From 1514 and onwards it was repaired and at one point it became the capital of Zakynthos. It was completed by the Venetians in 1646 and the Winged Lion of Saint Mark, a symbol of the Venetian empire, stands above the main entrance. When the British Empire took over the Ionian islands in 1812, the castle was reconstructed and new buildings were built. The castle was initially constructed on the site of the ancient acropolis of the island. Even though it is in ruins today, it is still worth visiting as it offers a great opportunity to familiarize with the history of the island. It also offers exceptional views of Zakynthos town.

Xigia Beach

Xigia in the north of Zakynthos is a beautiful beach that offers a unique chance to enjoy a health spa for free! One of the first things that will strike you as you approach the beach is the incredible turquoise colour of the sea. This is due in part to the natural spring water that flows into the sea picking up sulphur through the rocks. You can actually see the undissolved minerals pouring into the sea in some areas. This flow of sulphur into the sea produces a natural spa which has a number of healing properties. Sulphur is reputed to be good for skin, removing cellulite, relieving arthritis and other minor ailments. Due to the higher than average mineral density the sea in Xigia is also very easy to float and relax in. The beach is small but comfortable. It is easily accessible by car or motorbike and parking is available nearby.

 
 

Kampi Cross

The Kampi Cross is located on Schiza mountain, in the picturesque Kampi village. The Cross was erected in remembrance of the lives lost during the Greek Civil War and the World War Two. It is made of cement and due to its huge dimensions it can be spotted from far away. The lush area surrounding the Kampi Cross offers spectacular views across the sea and is a great place to enjoy the famous Kampi sunset. Experiencing the sunset in Kampi is awe-inspiring. The dramatic cliffs at the edge of Kampi look out to the Ionian Sea and boast the best sunset views in the island. Kampi village is preserving the authentic traditional Greek way of life and is a charming place to stroll around. There are many tavernas and cafes in the area, ideally located to soak up the astonishing surroundings.

Shipwreck Beach

The world famous Shipwreck of Zakynthos (also called Navagio and Smuggler’s Cove) is not to be missed as it is a truly astonishing sight. Shipwreck is one of the most photographed beaches in Greece and a pole of attraction for thousands of tourists every year. When the MV Panagiotis washed up on the shore in October 1980, no one could have predicted that this beautiful place would become one of Europe’s most iconic beaches. MV Panagiotis spent the later part of its life as a smuggling ship. In 1980, Panagiotis was making its way from Turkey with a freight of contraband cigarettes. The crew was suspected by authorities and the ship was pursued by the Greek Navy. Encountering stormy weather, it ran aground in a shallow cove, where the crew abandoned it to evade the pursuing Navy. The amazing Shipwreck, with its crystal clear blue waters and the imposing cliffs rising far above the beach, is only accessible by the sea but you can also admire its beauty from the viewing platform located near the mountain village of Anafonitria, where you can go by car or motorbike.

Blue Caves

Blue Caves is one of the top sights in Zakynthos island. These magnificent caves are located just below the lighthouse of Cape Skinari in northern Zakynthos. The distinctive element of the Blue Caves is that they reflect the striking blue color of the waters in them, which at the same time capture and reflect the shine of the lucid sky on their surface, creating a stunning atmosphere. In order to visit the Blue Caves you can hire a boat or take a boat trip. The impressive arches, created by erosion along thousands of years, will allow you to enter the caves and wander into this magical environment. There are boat trips departing from several areas in Zakynthos, but the nearest point to the caves is the harbour of St. Nikolaos, near Volimes village, where you can board on a Blue Caves cruise. You can go to St. Nikolaos harbour by car or motorbike.

Marathonisi Island

Marathonisi (also known as the Turtle Island) is a small uninhabited island in the bay of Laganas. Marathonisi is part of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, which is the spawning place of the Caretta-Caretta loggerhead sea turtles. The National Marine Park of Zakynthos, established in 1999, was the first national park created for the protection of sea turtles in the Mediterranean. It is part of the Natura 2000 ecological network. This amazing turtle-shaped island is completely covered in dense vegetation and offers a wonderful landscape. It has two main beaches (one of them has white sand, while the other has pebbles) and some beautiful sea caves you should definitely visit. There are boat rentals and organized boat trips, departing from Keri, Laganas and Agios Sostis beaches, that go to Marathonisi frequently.

Porto Limnionas

The stunning Porto Limnionas bay is located 25 kilometers from Zakynthos town, close to Agios Leon village. You shouldn't miss this place if you wish to see nature at its best! Surrounded by crystal clear waters and imposing cliffs, Porto Limnionas is a little paradise on earth. There is a parking lot where you can leave your vehicle. First, you will find a traditional tavern with delicious local delicacies. You can then go down the steps to admire the breathtaking landscape. Many of the rocks are flat and so you can sunbathe. The water is almost transparent at many points and extra cold as there are underwater currents and an underwater river coming from within a very long and not fully explored cave. Porto Limnionas is ideal for snorkeling as there are many caves, a variety of fish and for the brave ones, tall rocks from which you can dive.

Venetian Castle

The Venetian Castle is located on Bohali hill, on the outskirts of Zakynthos town. The castle was built in 1480 and only shortly after, part of it was destroyed by invading Turks. From 1514 and onwards it was repaired and at one point it became the capital of Zakynthos. It was completed by the Venetians in 1646 and the Winged Lion of Saint Mark, a symbol of the Venetian empire, stands above the main entrance. When the British Empire took over the Ionian islands in 1812, the castle was reconstructed and new buildings were built. The castle was initially constructed on the site of the ancient acropolis of the island. Even though it is in ruins today, it is still worth visiting as it offers a great opportunity to familiarize with the history of the island. It also offers exceptional views of Zakynthos town.

Xigia Beach

Xigia in the north of Zakynthos is a beautiful beach that offers a unique chance to enjoy a health spa for free! One of the first things that will strike you as you approach the beach is the incredible turquoise colour of the sea. This is due in part to the natural spring water that flows into the sea picking up sulphur through the rocks. You can actually see the undissolved minerals pouring into the sea in some areas. This flow of sulphur into the sea produces a natural spa which has a number of healing properties. Sulphur is reputed to be good for skin, removing cellulite, relieving arthritis and other minor ailments. Due to the higher than average mineral density the sea in Xigia is also very easy to float and relax in. The beach is small but comfortable. It is easily accessible by car or motorbike and parking is available nearby.

Kampi Cross

The Kampi Cross is located on Schiza mountain, in the picturesque Kampi village. The Cross was erected in remembrance of the lives lost during the Greek Civil War and the World War Two. It is made of cement and due to its huge dimensions it can be spotted from far away. The lush area surrounding the Kampi Cross offers spectacular views across the sea and is a great place to enjoy the famous Kampi sunset. Experiencing the sunset in Kampi is awe-inspiring. The dramatic cliffs at the edge of Kampi look out to the Ionian Sea and boast the best sunset views in the island. Kampi village is preserving the authentic traditional Greek way of life and is a charming place to stroll around. There are many tavernas and cafes in the area, ideally located to soak up the astonishing surroundings.