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Best beaches in Zante
At the southern most tip of the island you will find Gerakas peninsula. The beach of Gerakas forms the eastern part of Laganas bay, is a protected area of the National Marine Park and nesting ground for the loggerhead turtle Caretta Caretta. The shallow turquoise waters combined with the golden sand and rocky formations in the distance make-up an impressive spectacle. There is local initiative led by the villagers to maintain the natural beauty and ecological significance of Gerakas and the wider area of Vasilikos. In 2005 Gerakas was voted amongst the top beach resorts in Europe by Times online. View map for details
Best for: Tuning in to the natural eco-system and soaking up the glorious sun in stunning surroundings.
Popular with: Families and couples. Naturists have also used the isolated parts of the beach over the recent years.
This scenic golden sandy beach with warm shallow waters stretches out for approximately 3km before merging with Laganas and Agios Sostis further on. It is a protected nesting ground for the loggerhead turtle Caretta Caretta, therefore visitors are not allowed before sunrise or after sundown. Kalamaki has a developed side with beach front hotels and restaurants but once you walk away from the crowds you can treat yourself to a little paradise of leisure and relaxation with panoramic views of Laganas Bay.
Best for: Quiet walks along the sea taking in the endless views of sand dunes and Marathonissi islet in the distance.
Popular with: Families, couples and groups. Naturists have used the most isolated parts of the beach over recent years.
On the west side of the island, approximately 7 km from Agios Leon, you can find Limnionas a beautiful cove tacked away from the busy tourist resorts. There is no beach as such and in order to approach the water you need to walk down steep steps formed in the rocks. The refreshing cold waters are a combination of sea currents and underwater streams. Adventurous divers might enjoy exploring the small and larger caves found in the cove, however we would advise you to be cautious and not venture too deep. The scenic views of the lagoon are also enjoyed by the only taverna in the vicinity which serves fresh fish and other local delicacies. View map for details
Best for: Snorkeling, diving and a taste of the wild side of Zakynthos.
Popular with: Adventurers, explorers and couples.
4. Ksigia (or Xigia Bay)
This small pebbly beach can be found approximately 20 km from Zakynthos Town. The beach is known for its underwater sulphur spring which also gives a distinctive smell to the area. The locals are convinced of the water's remedial qualities, especially for conditions such as arthritis. Access to the beach includes a walk down a sloppy path.
Best for: A relaxing swim and sunbathing in peaceful surroundings.
Popular with: Families and couples.
image by Paolo Rosa
5. Makris Gialos
A beautiful sandy-pebbly beach with deep, cool waters in the north of the island. This is a great destination after a tour of the northern part of the island. The crystal clear waters and small caves found in the little bay are perfect for snorkeling and exploration. During the summer months, in the late afternoon hours, the rocky shelter surrounding the beach offers a natural shade for the bathers. The area is not widely developed but a few basic facilities can be found in the vicinity. Makrys Gialos is also known for its night time beach parties – look out for published events over the summer season for updated information. View map for details
image by: dkilim
Best for: Group leisure time, swimming, snorkeling, reading in the shade and beach parties.
Popular with: Families and young couples during the day. Party goers during the night.
6. Navagio (or Shipwreck Bay)
The famous Shipwreck is the most photographed beach in the country and is positioned on the west coast of the island under the famous and picturesque mountainous village of Volimes. In 1983 an illegal boat carrying cigarettes was washed off the shore of the Agios Georgios bay, as it was then known. In the years that followed the white sand ‘swallowed’ the boat exposing only parts of its rusty body thus creating a stunning picture combined with the crystal clear blue waters of the beach and the mesmerizing cliffs hovering above. Even though it can get very busy during the summer months the attraction is worth a visit for its breathtaking natural environment. You can only access the beach from the sea and the best way to do this is by catching a taxi-boat from Porto Vromi. Many tour operators include a stop off to the Navagio beach as part of their round-the-island trips.
Best for: Scenic views, photography and boat trips.
Popular with: Adventurers, keen photographers and groups.
One of the most popular resorts on the island, Alykes beach takes its name by the salt flat found in the area. The municipality of Alykes has greatly developed the area over the recent years and is now one of the top destinations on the island with many excellent hotels and restaurants to choose from. The open sea in the region is ideal for water sports like wind surfing and water skiing. The surrounding villages offer a taste of traditional Zakynthos with local arts and sights to be enjoyed by the the whole family.
Best for: Active holiday makers who enjoy a combination of leisure, water sports, shopping and good food.
Popular with: Families, groups and water-sports lovers.
8. Porto Zoro
Best known for its two picturesque rocky formations emerging from the sea, Porto-Zoro is a well-organized sandy beach with clear waters and easily accessible facilities such as beach bars, tavernas and accommodation. Popular with young tourists, couples and families.
Best for: Beach bar cocktails, music, leisure and fun for the whole family.
Popular with: Families,couples, groups and people who love having fun.
This beautiful white pebbly beach is located opposite Marathonissi islet at Keri Lake. To access the beach you need to drive up the hill and park off the main road before you walk down a steep path which leads to the sea. Its secluded location allows for relaxation and peace and even though it is never over crowded it is becoming very popular with well-informed visitors. The natural shade by the surrounding trees is welcoming in the hot summer months as are the cool deep waters of the bay. There are no facilities on the beach but local tavernas can be found on the hill as you drive to or from Keri Lake. There are natural sulphur and bitumen sea springs in the area. Many visitors access this beach by the sea.
Best for: Peace and quiet, reading, snorkeling, boat trips.
Popular with: Couples, families and explorers.
One of the busiest and liveliest resorts on the island. Tsilivi beach is located just 6km from Zakynthos town. A highly developed and tourist area Tsilivi is a favourite among young travelers, groups and families especially for its beautiful surroundings, long sandy beach, ample choice of activities, water sports, local amenities of bars, tavernas, hotels and vivid nightlife. The area is very well-situated and organised and you, more or less, have everything you need at your finger tips.
Best for: Active holidays with a combination of leisure, water sports, shopping and good food.
Popular with: Young groups, families and water sports lovers.
This little paradise is situated in Laganas bay and is a protected wildlife area by the National Marine Park. Strict visiting and mooring regulations apply. It's worth visiting for a dive into the crystal clear waters and to admire the beautiful natural heritage of the island. Please respect the local rules and regulations of beaching, anchoring and mooring to help preserve this natural treasure.
Best for: Boat trips, island tours, nature exploration and photography.
Popular with: Explorers, adventurers and families.
One of the most beautiful beaches on the island with mesmerizing views of Pelouzo in the distance (a protected islet not accessible to visitors), Dafni is part of the National Marine Park therefore visiting restrictions apply. Dafni used to be one of the most significant nesting grounds for the loggerhead turtle Caretta Caretta but due to recent developments in the area the nests have greatly reduced. There is a lot of controversy around Dafni between ecologists striving for the protection of the loggerhead turtle and local businesses benefiting from tourism. We would advise you to respect the local guidelines applied by the National Marine Park when visiting the area. Access to the beach itself is by an off-road bumpy track and parking is not allowed near the beach. A mini-bus service transfers visitors from the parking area to the beach.
Best for: Great views, snorkeling, swimming, relaxing.
Popular with: Explorers, couples and naturists.
13. Porto Koukla
This small sandy beach is a few kilometers away from busy Laganas with many local amenities. Porto Koukla is a favourite destination with families and groups as there are plenty of waterfront fish tavernas to choose from after a refreshing swim.
Best for: Swim-and-eat, leisure and family time.
Popular with: Families and groups.
14. Porto Roxa
As with Limnionas, this small cove is a secluded resort tucked away from the busy commercialized tourist areas on the island. The deep azure waters are a refreshing break form the heat at the peak of the summer, however come organised as there are not many facilities near by. For experienced swimmers there is a spring board for you to dive straight into the water. Alternatively, you can follow the steep path down to the water edge.
Best for: Diving, snorkeling and sunbathing.
Popular with: couples, swimmers and young explorers.
Extending beyond Alykes and devided in two parts by Cape Agia Kyriaki, Alykanas offers white sandy beaches with dunes, a fishing port and local amenities. There is also a picturesque 'mini wreck' of a sunken boat in the sea (reminiscent of the famous Navagio on the island). Alykanas’ shallow, warm waters make it ideal for young children and families.
Best for: Water sports, family activities, beach games and photography opportunities.
Popular with: Families, groups and keen photographers.
16. Porto Roma
A small and peaceful sand-and-pebble beach next to Gerakas peninsula. Often by-passed in favour of the more well-known Gerakas, Porto Roma has maintained a quiet and picturesque quality which is favoured by families and couples. There are a few local amenities around like tavernas, beach bars and small shops for your convenience. A small jetty and fishing port are also available.
Best for: An unhurried holiday, family time, relaxation and lunching/snacking by the water.
Popular with: Families and couples.
17. Keri Lake
Keri is one of the most scenic destinations at the South of the island and is formed by Keri Lake by the sea and a traditional village at the top of the hill. Limni Keriou (Keri lake) took its name by the wetland that is still home to many animal and plant species. Down by the narrow strip of shore and the pedestrianised walk along the sea front you can find many local tavernas, cafes and bars. From the small port you can hire a boat, visit Keri Caves and dive into the cool crystal clear turquoise waters. Back at the small and quiet village of Keri at the top of the hill you can enjoy the simple joys of village life like hand-made Greek coffee at the local kafeneion and a stroll among the small cobbled streets and traditional stone houses. You can also enjoy the magnificent views of Myzithres, two large rocky formations in the sea, viewed by the Faros (lighthouse).
Best for: Swimming, boat trips, food and wine, exploration, photography,
Popular with: Families, explorers and people who love relaxing by the sea.
18. Keri Caves
Even though it does not qualify as a beach and you can only access it by the sea, Keri Caves is definitely worth visiting. Just off Keri Cape you can find this little paradise of crystal clear turquoise waters and a succession of caves from which the area takes its name. Many divers visit the area as well as visitors on katamaran tours or boat trips . You can swim through one of the small caves and admire the mesmerizing reflections on the ceiling of the cave as you glide through refreshingly cool deep waters.
Best for: Swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, photography, nature exploration.
Popular with: Adventurers, families, couples and explorers.
19. Agios Nikolaos
Not to be confused with the busy tourist resort in the south of the island, Agios Nikolaos is a tranquil and removed destination in the North-Western coast of Zakynthos. There is a small harbor in the area where you can catch a boat to neighboring Kefalonia. The beach of Agios Nikolaos is pebbly and the waters deep and cool. The picturesque scenery is completed by beach front tavernas. An ideal stop-off for a swim and bite-to-eat for keen explorers of the more remote parts of the island.
Best for: Enjoying meze with ouzo by the sea, relaxation, reading under the shade
Popular with: Couples, explorers and people who love peace and tranquillity.
20. Porto Vromi
A small picturesque bay with thick sand and deep waters in the North-West of the island is linked to the mountainous villages of Maries, Anafonitria and Orthonies. The cove is full of little caves and scenic views of the surrounding rocks and cliffs. From here, you can catch a boat to the famous Navagio (Shipwreck) beach. Apart from the odd canteen or beach bar there are not many facilities around so remember to come prepared.
Best for: Swimming, snorkeling and boat trips.
Popular with: Families, couples and explorers.
Image by Enrico Marchi
While this is our top-20 list of favourite beach resorts on Zakynthos this is by no means exhaustive and there are plenty more destinations for you to discover and explore. Just remember to have a good road map of the island with you (and lots of sun block) and your choices are endless. You may upload your suggestions and favourite beach pictures on our blog! Happy exploring...
Zante map. Our top-20 beaches
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