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Enjoy your summer holiday in Zakynthos!

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from Athens to Zakynthos

The quickest and most convenient way to get to Zakynthos from Athens is by flight. Daily flights operate from Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in Athens to Zakynthos International Airport, which is located close to the main town of Zakynthos.

If you prefer to travel overland, you can take a bus from Athens to the port of Kyllini and then catch a ferry to Zakynthos. This option takes longer than flying but offers a scenic route through the Greek countryside. 

By ferry only: Another option to get to Zakynthos from Athens is by ferry. Ferries depart from the port of Piraeus in Athens and arrive at the port of Zakynthos. The ferry journey takes around 5-6 hours.

If you’re driving to Venice, you’ll need to park your car in a car park outside the city and then take a water taxi, a private water shuttle, or a public water bus (vaporetto) to reach the city center, as private vehicles are not allowed in the city center.

Travel Tip(s)

Regardless of your mode of transportation, it’s recommended to book in advance, especially during peak season, to secure your spot and avoid disappointment. Enjoy your travels to Zakynthos!

Stay

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  • Location: Consider the location of your accommodation in relation to the beaches and attractions you want to visit. If you want to be close to the nightlife, choose a hotel or apartment in Laganas, the main tourist area. For a more peaceful vacation, consider staying in one of the traditional villages such as Volimes or Alykes.
  • Budget: Zakynthos offers a range of accommodation options for different budgets, from budget-friendly apartments to luxury hotels and apartments. Determine your budget before booking and research options within your price range.
  • Type of accommodation: Choose from hotels, apartments, villas, and studios based on your preference for comfort and privacy. Hotels offer a range of facilities and services, while apartments, villas, and studios provide more independence.
  • Amenities: Consider the amenities you want, such as air conditioning, swimming pool, and Wi-Fi. Some properties offer additional facilities like a restaurant or bar, making it easier to dine in if desired.
  • Reviews: Read reviews from previous guests to get a good idea of the quality of the accommodation and the service provided by the staff.
  • Booking in advance: It’s recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure availability and avoid paying higher prices.

Eat & Drink

The local cuisine in Zakynthos is a mix of traditional Greek and Italian influences, reflecting the island’s history of occupation and migration. These must-have food and drinks in Zakynthos are sure to provide a taste of the island’s rich cultural heritage.

  • Dolmades: These are stuffed grape leaves filled with rice, herbs, and sometimes meat. They are a popular appetizer and can be found in most tavernas on the island.

  • Tzatziki: This creamy yogurt dip is made with garlic, olive oil, and dill and is commonly served as a condiment with meats or as a dip with pita bread.

  • Souvlaki: These grilled meat skewers, usually made with pork or chicken, are a staple in Greek cuisine and can be found throughout the island.

  • Octopus in Wine Sauce: This is a popular dish made with tender octopus simmered in a sauce made with red wine, olive oil, and local herbs.

  • Stifado: A hearty stew made with beef or rabbit, onions, and red wine. It is traditionally slow-cooked for several hours and is a staple dish on the island.

  • Baklava: This sweet pastry is made with layers of phyllo dough, honey, and chopped nuts. It is a popular dessert and can be found in bakeries and cafes throughout the island.

  • Ouzo: This anise-flavored liqueur is a staple of Greek culture and is often served as an aperitif before a meal. It is typically mixed with water, which turns it milky white, and is best enjoyed with meze plates of small dishes.

  • Greek Coffee: This strong and flavorful coffee is traditionally brewed in a small copper pot called a briki. It is often served after a meal and is an essential part of Greek culture.

The Story about Zakynthos' Famous Turtles

Once upon a time, on the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos, there lived a special species of turtles known as the Caretta caretta turtles. These turtles were famous for their grace and beauty as they swam through the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea. They lived in peace and harmony with the inhabitants of the island, who cherished and protected them.

Every summer, the turtles would make their way to the shores of Zakynthos to lay their eggs. The islanders would watch in awe as the magnificent creatures emerged from the sea, crawled up the sandy beaches, and dug holes in which to lay their eggs. The sight was a breathtaking one, and the islanders were proud to play a role in the preservation of this special species.

However, despite their best efforts, the turtles faced many challenges. The island’s beaches were often cluttered with trash, which not only spoiled the beauty of the beaches but also posed a threat to the turtles and their eggs. Fishing nets and other debris would often get tangled around the turtles, making it difficult for them to swim and breathe. The islanders knew they had to do something to help the turtles, so they came together to create the Zakynthos Sea Turtle Protection Society.

The society worked tirelessly to clean up the beaches, to educate tourists and locals about the importance of keeping the beaches clean, and to enforce stricter regulations to protect the turtles and their habitats. Their efforts paid off, and soon the beaches of Zakynthos were once again clean and safe for the turtles.

The Caretta caretta turtles thrived once again, and the islanders took great pride in their successful efforts to protect these magnificent creatures. Visitors from all over the world flocked to Zakynthos to see the turtles, and the island became known as a haven for these amazing animals.

Years went by, and the Zakynthos Sea Turtle Protection Society continued to work tirelessly to protect the turtles. Today, the Caretta caretta turtles of Zakynthos are a symbol of hope and resilience, a testament to the power of cooperation and the human spirit to protect and preserve the natural world. The islanders will always be proud of their role in the preservation of these special creatures, and they will continue to work to ensure that the turtles of Zakynthos are protected for generations to come.

Best time to go to Zakynthos

NEW YORK WEATHER

The best time to visit Zakynthos depends on your personal preferences and the activities you plan to enjoy while on the island.

  • For beach-goers and those looking for warm weather, the best time to visit is from June to September when temperatures are at their highest and the sea is warm enough for swimming.
  • For those interested in hiking, spring (April to May) is a great time to visit as the island is lush and green with wildflowers blooming.
  • For those who want to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful and relaxed vacation, the shoulder season from April to June or September to October may be the best time to visit. During this time, temperatures are still pleasant and the crowds are smaller.
  • It’s important to note that the peak tourist season in Zakynthos is July and August, so prices may be higher and the island may be more crowded during these months.

Regardless of when you visit, Zakynthos offers something for everyone, from its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters to its rich history and cultural heritage.

10 best activities in Zakynthos

Overall, Zakynthos offers a mix of adventure, history, and relaxation, making it a perfect destination for travelers seeking a memorable and enjoyable experience.

  • Beaches: Zakynthos is famous for its crystal-clear waters and stunning beaches, including Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach, Porto Limnionas, and Xigia Beach.
  • Hiking: Explore the island’s natural beauty by hiking to the top of the mountain, Skinari, for panoramic views of the island and the sea. Another idea is to hike the National Marine Park of Zakynthos: This park, located on the eastern coast of the island, offers scenic hikes through the island’s lush forests and along the rugged coastline.
  • Food: Try the local cuisine, including fresh seafood and traditional Greek dishes like moussaka, tzatziki, and souvlaki.
  • History & Culture: Visit the National Historical Museum and learn about the island’s history and culture.
  • Nightlife: Enjoy the lively nightlife scene in the capital city, Zakynthos Town, with its numerous bars, clubs, and tavernas.
  • Boating: Take a boat tour to discover hidden caves and coves, including the Blue Caves.
  • Wildlife: Observe the Caretta-Caretta sea turtles on their nesting grounds, including the Laganas Beach and Marathonissi Island.
  • Scuba Diving: Dive into the turquoise waters to explore the underwater world and its diverse marine life.
  • Shopping: Browse the local markets and shops for traditional crafts and souvenirs.
  • Festivals: Experience the island’s vibrant culture through its many festivals and events, including the Zakynthos International Film Festival and the Saint Dionysios Festival.
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  • Walk along the promenade in Zakynthos Town: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade in the capital city of Zakynthos and admire the beautiful views of the Ionian Sea.
  • Explore the streets of the capital city: Walk through the narrow streets of Zakynthos Town and admire the traditional architecture and charming squares.
  • Visit the Solomos Square: This charming square, located in the capital city of Zakynthos, is named after the famous Greek poet Dionysios Solomos and is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.
  • Visit the St. Mark’s Square: This charming square, also located in Zakynthos Town, is surrounded by traditional taverns and cafes and is a great place to relax and people-watch.
  • Visit the Public Library of Zakynthos: This library, located in the capital city of Zakynthos, houses a collection of books, maps, and manuscripts related to the island’s history and culture.
  • Walk through the Bohali Hill: This hill, located in the capital city of Zakynthos, offers panoramic views of the Ionian Sea and the town of Zakynthos.
  • Visit the St. Dennis’ Church: This church, located in the capital city of Zakynthos, is dedicated to St. Dennis, the patron saint of the island, and is known for its beautiful frescoes and icons.
  • Walk along the harbor: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the harbor in Zakynthos Town and admire the boats, cafes, and restaurants.
  • Navagio Beach: This iconic beach, also known as Shipwreck Beach, is accessible by boat and offers stunning views of the turquoise waters and the abandoned ship on the shore. Book a boat tour to explore the surrounding caves and cliffs.
  • Keri Caves: These caves are located on the southern coast of Zakynthos and offer a breathtaking view of the crystal-clear waters from the top of the cliffs.
  • St. Dionysios Church: This church, located in the capital city of Zakynthos, is dedicated to the patron saint of the island and houses some of its most important religious artifacts.
  • Turtle Watching: Zakynthos is a protected habitat for the Caretta-Caretta sea turtle, and guided boat tours are available to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
  • The Blue Caves: These natural caves are located on the northern coast of Zakynthos and are known for their blue waters and stunning rock formations.
  • The Village of Volimes: This traditional village offers a glimpse into the island’s rural life and its cultural heritage, with narrow streets, stone houses, and a traditional bakery.
  • Drogarati Cave: This underground cave, located near the village of Kambi, is known for its unique stalactites and stalagmites.

Zakynthos is a vibrant and lively island that celebrates its rich cultural heritage with a number of festivals and events throughout the year.

  • Saint Dionysios Festival (August 24th): This is the biggest festival of the year and is held in honor of the patron saint of the island, Saint Dionysios. The festival features traditional Greek music and dancing, church services, and a grand procession.
  • Zakynthos International Film Festival (July): This festival showcases the works of Greek and international filmmakers, with screenings held in outdoor theaters and cultural centers around the island.
  • Wine Festival (September): This festival celebrates the local wine-making tradition and includes tastings, music, and traditional dancing.
  • Carnival (February/March): This festival is held before the start of Lent and features colorful parades, street performances, and music.
  • Summer Solstice (June 21st): This is a celebration of the longest day of the year and includes bonfires, music, and dancing on the beaches.
  • Olive Harvest Festival (November): This festival celebrates the olive harvest and includes food tastings, music, and folk dancing.

Zakynthos is a Greek island that is rich in history and culture, with many interesting historical sites to explore. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique and interesting experience, these sites offer a fascinating glimpse into the past and the cultural heritage of Zakynthos. Some of the most notable historical sites on the island include:

  • The Venetian Castle: This castle, built by the Venetians in the 16th century, is one of the most recognizable landmarks on the island. It offers panoramic views of Zakynthos Town and the harbor and is a popular spot for tourists.
  • The Solomos Museum: Named after the famous Greek poet Dionysios Solomos, this museum is dedicated to the life and works of the poet and is located in his birthplace.
  • The Byzantine Museum: This museum is dedicated to the Byzantine era on the island and features a collection of Byzantine artifacts, including icons, frescoes, and manuscripts.
  • The Venetian mansion: The Venetian mansion is a beautiful example of Venetian architecture and is now a museum dedicated to the Venetian era on the island.
  • The Saint Dionysios Church: This is one of the largest and most important churches on the island, and is dedicated to the patron saint of Zakynthos, Saint Dionysios. The church features a beautiful wooden iconostasis and several important religious relics.
  • The Museum of Post-Byzantine Art: This museum features a collection of post-Byzantine art, including icons, paintings, and sculptures from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
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From Athens: Ancient Greece & Zakynthos Private 5-Day Trip

Discover Mycenae, Ancient Olympia, Meteora, and more. Cruise around Zakynthos Island and see the Navagio and Blue Caves.

Travel Tip(s)

Remember to book tours in advance, especially during peak season, to secure your spot and avoid disappointment. 

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A last word about this gorgeous Greek Island...

Zakynthos is most probably the most exotic of all the Greek islands. It has the full package, namely exquisite scenery, amazing nightlife, clear turquoise water, pristine beaches with sugar-fine sand, and Greek cuisine at its very best! 

Enjoy Zakynthos and come back to “tell us all about it”!

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