Zakynthos is an island known mainly due to the Shipwreck Bay. However, it has much more to offer tourists than just this extremely picturesque attraction.
Zakynthos is primarily an island with captivating nature and unforgettable views. There are plenty of beaches, high cliffs and beautiful bays, i.e. typical magnets attracting tourists from around the world.
For this reason, the accommodation and catering base in Zakynthos is extremely developed, but on the other hand you can still find peaceful typical Greek villages that have not lost their original character. The island has been at the forefront for years when it comes to holiday trips to Greece, let’s see what really attracts crowds of visitors here every year.
Tourist attractions in Zakynthos
Begin your tour with our travel guide who will tell you what to see in Zakynthos!
Shipwreck Bay (Navagio Beach)
The most famous attraction on Zakynthos is of course the already mentioned Shipwreck Bay (Navagio Beach). Shielded from the rest of the island by 300-meter cliffs, it is the hallmark of Zakynthos.
This beach is only accessible from the sea, so sometimes weather conditions may prevent you from reaching it. There is not only a pebble, bright beach, but above all a shipwreck, which, according to legend, was a smuggling unit and, fleeing the coast guard, crashed into the local cliffs.
Other voices deny these reports, and the ship was supposed to carry small goods at one time and sink in unexplained circumstances.
Then the Greeks fished it out and placed the wreck on a nearby beach. However, this does not change the fact that the circumstances of nature are favorable and every year crowds of tourists come here to see the Wreck Bay with their own eyes.
See on the map where this attraction is located:
Another place worth seeing in Zakynthos is the Blue Caves, hollowed out in light limestone rocks; they owe their unique blue color to the reflected light from the sea.
You can enter them by a rented boat or motorboat, or organized water transport in the form of a cruise ship. The water in this place is in an extremely blue shade and its transparency in places reaches 8-9 meters.
See where the caves are located on the map of the island:
The third such attraction that must be included on the Zakynthos map is the island of Cameo, which is led by a small but well-known and often photographed wooden bridge in Agios Sostis.
The place itself is very often used for honeymoon sessions because of its unique charm. Admission to the island of Cameo is paid, there are bars, a disco and a beach. You can also organize a wedding here.
See on the map how to get to the island:
Tourist attractions in Zakynthos are not only interesting places but also beautiful nature and animals.
Caretta turtles, which have their breeding grounds on this island, are also a big attraction on Zakynthos. For this reason, the beaches of Kalamaki and Laganas, as well as the beaches of Gerakas and Dafni during the breeding season are partly closed and protected by volunteers. And caretta turtles themselves can be admired in the sea, for example by going on a tourist boat cruise. It is also worth adding that in the area from the Marathonisi Peninsula to Gerakas Beach, a protected area of the Marine National Park was created. It aims to protect not only the caretta turtle species, but also other animals (seals, swans, frogs, birds).
What is worth seeing in Zakynthos?
Zakynthos is primarily beaches, which tempts both families with children and people who like to spend time on the water. Interestingly, you can see a fairly clear division when it comes to the island. The east attracts more tourists, due to the sandy beaches and greater density of tourist infrastructure. In the west, there are picturesque cliffs, and the beaches are more gravel, making the number of visitors slightly less.
Popular beaches in Zakynthos:
Tsilivi Beach – sandy wide beach, marked with the Blue Flag for cleanliness. Popular among families with children due to a gentle entry to the sea. There are plenty of food taverns in the area.
Xigia Beach – is a small pebble beach, distinguished by a not very pleasant smell. The reason for this is the sources of sulfur, which have their outlet here. But bathing in this place has a beneficial effect on our health and beauty (helps with joint diseases and, for example, hair growth).
Banana Beach – is a popular beach, where you can try your hand at wind- and kitesurfing, for those less brave it can even be just riding a banana.
Porto Zorro Beach – a sandy beach located on the Vassillikos Peninsula, well equipped with beach infrastructure. It is a perfect place for snorkeling and enjoying underwater life.
Porto Limnionas Beach – is a small cove formed by the sea breaking between the rocks. It is not a good place for sunbathing, but you can jump straight into the sea from the rugged shore.
Porto Vromi beach – these are two coves that are separated by one hill. On both of them there are small ports from which ships depart to the Shipwreck Bay and where you can rent water equipment.
What else is worth visiting and seeing while spending your holidays in Zakynthos?
On Zakynthos it is also worth seeing the Keri Peninsula, which is the southernmost point of the island. It is worth visiting the traditional village with narrow streets and a viewpoint located on the lighthouse with a panorama of the cliff coast and the two characteristic rocks of Megali and Mikri Mizithra. You can also visit Keri Grottoes, carved into the rocks, for example by a cruise ship. These caves are smaller than the Blue Caves, but no less charming.
A place worth seeing is also the uninhabited island of Marathonisi, which you can reach by boat or rented boat. You can sunbathe here and enjoy the amazing views. This is also another place where caretta turtles lay their eggs.
The island of Zakynthos, despite its lush history, does not offer tourists too many monuments. This is due to the fact that in 1953 a powerful earthquake destroyed most of the local, multicultural architecture.
For sightseeing it is best to go to the island’s capital, i.e. Zakynthos city-port. You can admire the church of St. Dionysus with colorful frescoes and a golden iconostasis. It is worth visiting the Byzantine Museum with a collection of works of sacred and Ionic art and local painting. Walk around Solomos Square and Saint Mark’s Square, and there look at the Solomos Museum, dedicated to poets (Solomos and Kalvos) with an exhibition of archaeological and ethnographic finds.
Not far above the city on a hill, there are ruins of the medieval fortress of Bohali, from where there is a beautiful panorama of the city and the surrounding area.
From the wheel near Macherado there is the Monastery of Panagia Eleftherotria, a women’s order. This building resembles a castle more than a church in which pieces of the Holy Cross and stones from the Holy Land are hidden.
In turn, the oldest church in Zakynthos is the monastery of Anafonitria dedicated to the Virgin. It was here that abbot Dionysus, who is the patron of the whole island, lived. The uniqueness of this building is also testified by the fact that this monastery practically did not suffer at all during the great earthquake on the island.
Optional trips in Zakynthos
Optional trips in Zakynthos are primarily sea attractions, i.e. smaller and larger cruises to the island’s biggest attractions. They usually include courses to Shipwreck Bay and Blue Grottos, as well as sea expeditions in search of caretta turtles. We pay around 40 euro per person for a full day tour (by bus) of viewpoints, the beach plus a cruise. The cruise to Shipwreck Bay alone costs around 20 euro. Round trips around the island’s most important places start at 25 euro per person.
You can also take cruises to the nearby Kefalonia (35 euro) and to Olympia, the site of the first Olympic Games (45 euro). For children, the so-called pirate cruise (cost 30 euro adult and 12 euro child) combined with a trip to the Wreck Bay, a swimming stop and pirate stories can be great entertainment. For our part, we encourage you to visit the official website of the Ministry of Tourism of Greece to find out some additional attractions.
Opinions on attractions in Zakynthos
We look forward to seeing you from the holidays in Zakynthos and your reviews and opinions on attractions and interesting places that can be found on the island of Zakynthos. All opinions are appreciated!