Zakynthos island : the greek paradise in 4 days

Navagio beach view

Hi travelers,

As promised in the last article about the Greek capital Athens, we come back to you to give you the information that will be useful to prepare your stay in the beautiful island of Zakynthos.

Do you want to visit the most mysterious of the Greek islands? to find the best beaches and the best places to visit?

Do you want to discover Zakynthos in a few days or a week? It’s easy: D !!

In this article we give you everything you need to avoid spending a lot of time on the internet. Let’s go quickly to the heart of the subject;).

TECHNICAL SHEET OF GREECE (REMINDER)

Before starting with Zakynthos, here is a reminder about Greece.

  • Capital: Athens
  • Currency: Euro (€), 1 € = 11.1773 MAD / 1 € = 1.19423 USD
  • Population: 10,768,477 (2017)
  • Famous cities: Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Corfu
  • Language: Greek, English (main foreign language)
  • Climate: Greece is semi-arid, summers are hot and dry and winters are mild, the summer drought actually lasts from April to October. The months of July and August are the hottest and driest. Athens is a dry city.
  • When to go ? :

    • correct period: April to October
    • favorable period: May to September
  • Entry formalities: The Schengen visa is obligatory for non-Europeans.
  • Major airports airports :
    • Athens (ATH)
    • Corfu (CFU, Ionian Islands)
    • Iraklio (HER, capital of Crete)
    • Kos (KGS, Dodecanese islands)
    • Thessalonike (SKG, second capital of Greece)
  • Time difference: GMT + 02 in winter, GMT + 03 in summer

ZAKYNTHOS: HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY

Zakynthos (transcription of modern Greek) or Zante ( itialian name) is the third largest island in terms of area (406 KM2), it has 41,472 inhabitants (2005).

Ile de zakynthos, zakynthos island

The island fell victim to an earthquake in 1953, but all buildings were rebuilt identically. Its landscapes are composed of two mountain ranges whose cliffs give way to long sandy beaches.
The main city, which is also the capital, has the same name as the island (Zakynthos – Zante).

Zakynthos capital
Zakynthos capital

HOW TO GET TO ZAKYNTHOS ?

Zakynthos is easily accessible by plane, bus and ferry.

By plane

Zakynthos has an airport located on the south of the island( 4 km far from the capital), the airport is called “Dionysios Solomos”.

In peak season, Daily flights are provided from Athens with companies like (Olympic, Skyexpress, Hahn air), usually flights are scheduled in the morning between 5am and 9am and in the evening between 18h and 20h.

If you decide to fly from Athens, you need to count around 70 euros if you book early.

It should also be noted that there are flights a few times a week from Kefalonia, Corfu and Thessaloniki.

As far as we were concerned, we had taken a flight with Olympic air, the departure was at 5:20 am from Athens airport, with an arrival at Zakynthos around 6:15. This flight costs us 64 euros per person with 23 KG luggage included.

Olympic air Zakynthos

There are also several direct flights from several European cities that connect Zakynthos during the summer period:

  • Italy : Milan (easyjet), Rome (Vueling, Iberia), Venise (Volotea)
  • Switzerland: Geneva (suiss air)
  • Germany: Stutgart, cologne (Eurowings)
  • Netherlands : Amsterdam (transavia)
  • Czech republic: Prague (Smartwings,Czech airlines)
  • UK : London (thomas cook, easyjet, british airways,jet2), Liverpool(Easyjet), Manchester (Jet2), New castle (Jet2), bristol (Thomas cook, Easyjet) , leeds (Jet2)
  • France (I did not find direct flights, you have to make a stopover in Athens, Prague, Geneva, Venice or London)

By bus + ferry

One of the most popular ways to reach Zakynthos, which saves money but to lose a lot of time, is to arrive by sea; the port of Zakynthos is connected with the port of Kyllini and igoumenitsa in Greece and also with that of Brindisi in Italy.

You can take the bus from Athens, then take the ferry to Kyllini, the crossing is done in one hour and departure is provided every hour.

The KTEL bus connects Kyllini to Athens in 7 hours, there are 5 departures per day and the price is around 28 euros (ferry price not included).

For more information on buses, go here;), and for the ferry is here !!

GETTING AROUND ZAKYNTHOS

Rent a car

From our experience, we think that the best way to get around and discover Zakynthos is to have your own vehicle, having a car or a motorcycle, alows a lot of flexibility in traveling and encourages to explore the hidden corners of the island.

Due to a car rental, we could visit more than 6 beaches in 3 days, besides, to go to the point of view of the shipwreck beach , without worrying about the invoice of a taxi or the last bus of the day, you absolutely need a car or motorcycle.

We booked our vehicle online at the rental agency budget (4 days before our arrival on the island), we chose the cheapest car (a city car), it costs us 110 euros for 4 days . 

As soon as we arrived at the airport, we were surprised by the number of passengers in the queue to collect their reserved vehicles, a pity for those who could not book in advance, that day, there was no vehicle available at the airport, they had to take a taxi to get to the city and then look for the rental agencies that are found everywhere.

The big surprise of the stay is that we booked a car in the category of city cars (Kia Picanto) and guess what ? : lol: We were given a powerful car (a volvo) that cost twice the price of the reservation, and we knew directly that the holidays are going to be sooo good 8-): D

voiture location Zakynthos

We saw a lot of people riding Quad bikes, apparently it is one of the most popular means of transport among tourists in Zakynthos.

Public transportation

There is a bus network ‘KTEL’  that is well organized, on each stop, there are schedules and prices, the tickets are not expensive, we can have them once in the bus.

From the capital Zante, you can go to several places: Alykes, Volimes, Saint Nikolaos, Laganas, Tsilivi, Alikanas, Kipseli, Argasi, Vasilikos, Porto-Roma, etc …

For more information on schedules and prices, go here !!

WHAT TO DO , WHAT TO SEE ?

Navagio Beach 

The flagship activity of the island of zakynthos, or THE THNIG not to miss, is the Shipwreck OR Navagio beach. With its fine sand, the high cliffs that surround it, and its wrecked ship, the Panagiotis, this beach has been named the most beautiful beach in Greece, and it is also one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Shipwreck Navagio

Shipwreck Navagio

The Panagiotis was a smuggler’s ship, in 1980,it left Turkey with a load of smuggled cigarettes (for the Italian mafia, as some versions of the story claim). The crew was suspected by the authorities, and so the Panagiotis was followed by the Greek Navy.

Because of a storm, the ship ran aground in a shallow creek on the west coast of Zakynthos, north of Porto Vromi, where the crew abandoned it to escape the pursuit of the navy.

The wreck remains on the site which is now called “Navagio“, Greek for “shipwreck“.

Shipwreck Navagio

Shipwreck Navagio

The beach is accessible only by boat, you can get there from Porto Vromi, port Saint Nikolaos Volimes, or the port of Zakynthos, by booking a cruise or booking your private boat.

A small advice, avoid big boats over than 30 people and leave early or late in the day to avoid the crowd.

Shipwreck beach

Shipwreck beach

Shipwreck beach

Shipwreck beach

Shipwreck beach

Shipwreck beach

We booked our trip with one of the agencies offering to start around 8am, the goal is to go early to enjoy the beach before the crowds arrive. We had to pay 31 euros per person, the price included:

  • Air-conditioned pickup from the hotel.
  • Cruise to Navagio beach (one hour on the spot to enjoy ) in Small boat of 20 people max.
  • Visit and swim in blue caves.
  • Swimming at Xigia Beach.

We were happy about our trip, everything went well, there was a nice atmosphere, we even had the opportunity to have breakfast and lunch at a restaurant called NIKO’s by the seas located on MIKRO NISI boarding port, the food was delicious and the view was beautiful.

Zakynthos trip

Zakynthos trip

Zakynthos trip

To admire the beach from the top of the cliff, and to take beautiful pictures, you can go by car to the top of the cliff, you will find a point of view on the edge, most of the postcard photos are taken to from there.

Navagio beach view

Navagio beach view

Navagio beach view

Navagio beach view

Navagio beach view

To get to the point of view, simply follow the signs to “Navagio”, or use the GPS indicating “Navagio Beach view”

Xigia Beach

Xygia Beach, is a very picturesque beach, with a characteristic smell of sulfur, coming from a sulphurous spring found in a nearby cave.

Xigia beach

Because the water contains sulfur, the surface of the water reveals white shadows.

Xigia beach

Xigia Beach is unique in Zakynthos, with easy access, parking, umbrellas and sun loungers. Whenever you are thirsty or hungry, the canteen has a special mechanism so you do not have to walk far!

Xigia beach

Xigia beach

Xigia beach

Xigia beach

Blue Caves / Keri Caves

Blue Caves

The blue caves are one of the most popular attractions, you can visit them with your own boat or with one of the many organized tours.

blue caves

They consist of particular geological formations giving life to a succession of caves along the north-west coast of the island; they begin shortly after Agios Nikolaos and end near Cape Skinari. Their name is due to the particular reflections of the water in the caves.

blue caves

blue caves

Between Agios Nikolaos and Cape Skinari, it is possible to reach by car a small mill and go down a few steps, to reach the part of coast where the caves are.

blue caves

blue caves

Boat trips to visit the Blue Caves departure is from Makris Gialos Beach, Agios Nikolaos Harbor and Cape Skinari.

Keri caves

The Kerì Caves, located to the south-west of the island, are accessible only by sea. Along the coast there are many caves whose entrances are barely enough to swim, others are wide enough to enter directly. with a boat.

By visiting the caves, it is possible to stop for swimming or sunbathing on one of the many small beaches of Cape Marathia.

Keri caves

Keri caves

Keri caves

Keri caves

Keri caves

Keri caves

ZAKYNTHOS BEACHES

Zakynthos beaches are famous for their beauty and their exotic color waters. The most famous is the beautiful beach of Navagio (shipwreck), with its soft white sand, turquoise waters, impressive cliffs.

There are other beautiful beaches in Zakynthos, most of them are on the east side of the island, and are well organized, while the ones on the west side are secluded.

Below you will find a list of the best beaches on the island of Zakynthos.

  • Navagio
  • Makris Gialos
  • Xigia
  • Alykes
  • alykanas
  • Banana
  • Gerakas,
  • Agios sostis
  • Laganas
  • Kalamaki
  • Tsilivi
  • Planos
  • Marathias
  • Proto Limnionas
  • Porto vromi
  • Stenitis Bay

4 DAYS ITINERY IN ZAKYNTHOS

Day 1

Explore the north of the island by car.

Alykanas Beach, Xigia Beach and Finish your day at Navagio Beach view.

Day 2

Trip to visit the Navagio beach and swim in the Blue Caves.

Be aware that the majority of agencies combine blues caves with Navagio Beach.

Day 3

Explore the south of the island by car.

Banana beach, Gerakas Beach (turtles) and Laganas Beach.

Day 4

Excursion from Agios Sostis Beach to admire the turtles, visit Marathonisi and Keri Caves.

WHERE TO EAT ?

There are several nice places where to eat in zakynthos, each city offers to its visitors a wide choice of restaurants. 

If you are staying in the city of Zakynthos, you will have a large choice of restaurants in the city center near the SOLOMOS place, you will find many Greek taverns nearby to taste local specialties.

Restaurant Zakynthos

Tsilivi also contains several restaurants offering local and international specialties, you will find mostly Italian food but not that, there are also restaurants that offer Mexican specialties.

And of course, every beach has restaurants for bathers, prices are affordable and the atmosphere is nice.

WHERE TO STAY ?

We spent 4 nights in Zakynthos, we stayed in 2 different cities.

We chose to spend the first two days in the capital Zakynthos, so we booked two nights at Hotel Plaza located 500 meters from the city center and restaurants.

Plaza Hotel is rated 8.7 at Booking.com, it remains a classic hotel, a practical room with air conditioning, free breakfast included in the room price, parking places on the street in front of the hotel, at the end, the advantage of this hotel is the location.

What I reproach to this hotel is the fact thet they did not warn us that the water is not drinkable in the island.

Réservez votre hébergement pas cher à Zakynthos ici !!

If you want to book at Plaza Hotel, you can go through this direct link.

The last two days were more pleasant than the previous ones, Sara found a great accommodation on a quiet cliff, not far from the town of Tsilivi (4km from Zante town), it’s Erietta Luxury apartments, this property offers 2 swimming pools and a jacuzi surrounded by landscaped gardens, the apartments and suites are tastefully decorated and offer panoramic sea views.

Vue Erietta Luxury appartments

Vue Erietta Luxury appartments

Erietta Luxury Apartments is rated 9.8 on Booking.com, it offers apartments for 2 up to 6 people with sea view, free parking, restaurant and bar, whithout forgetting to mention the warm welcome and homemade cakes to welcome to the guests.

Gateaux Erietta Luxury appartments

If you want to book at this property, I recommend you go through this direct link.

In the meantime, I leave you with the pictures of this wonderful establishment 🙂

Alternatively, you can consult the list of hotels and apartments in Zakynthos on the Booking.com website.



Booking.com

And if you wish to have more information from our greeK friends Kate and Kostas, just click on the link bellow 😉

PRACTICAL INFORMATION OF ZAKYNTHOS

How to get there ?

To Athens :

  • From Morocco:
    • the only direct flight operates from Menara Marrakech Airport with Ryanair (First flight 29 October 2018)
    • Several flights with stops from Casablanca, Marrakech with Lufthansa, Alitalia
  • From France :
    • Several direct flights from Paris CDG airport and Lyon Saint exupery with Transavia and Aegean.

To Zakynthos from Athens :

  • Daily flights with (Olympic, Sky Express, Hahn air), usually flights are scheduled in the morning between 

To Zakynthos from european coutries :

  • Italy : Milan (easyjet), Rome (Vueling, Iberia), Venise (Volotea)
  • Switzerland: Geneva (suiss air)
  • Germany: Stutgart, cologne (Eurowings)
  • Netherlands : Amsterdam (transavia)
  • Czech republic: Prague (Smartwings,Czech airlines)
  • UK : London (thomas cook, easyjet, british airways,jet2), Liverpool(Easyjet), Manchester (Jet2), New castle (Jet2), bristol (Thomas cook, Easyjet) , leeds (Jet2)
  • France (I did not find direct flights, you have to make a stopover in Athens, Prague, Geneva, Venice or London)

How to move ?

    •  Best Way: Vehicle Rental (Cars, Motorcycle, Quad)
  •  public transport (not recommended)

Must do ?

  • Navagio beach
  • Xigia Beach
  • Blue caves
  • Keri caves

where to sleep ?

I recommend Erietta Luxury Apartments

Where to eat ?

Several restaurants in the Zakynthos city and Tsilivi, many restaurants in front of the beaches.

What should I do before leaving?

Réservez votre hébergement pas cher à Athènes c'est ici !!

3 Replies to “Zakynthos island : the greek paradise in 4 days”

  1. […] notre cas, nous y avons passé une journée avant de nous envoler vers l’ile de Zante ‘Zakynthos‘ (Ne vous inquiétez pas, nous vous donnerons plus de détails sur cette île mystérieuse […]

    1. Thanks Guys 😉

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