Zante Island Greece, Explore the Best Zakynthos beaches
Zante Island Greece (also known as Zakynthos) is located on the Ionian ocean, and many people know it for its nightlife and parties. But, away from the lively Zakynthos strip, Zante has beautiful coastlines, clear blue seas, and a variety of restaurants and bars that are quieter and more relaxing.
While the nightlife in Zante is certainly exciting, a trip to the island wouldn’t be complete without a road trip to explore the best Zakynthos beaches. This guide will give you everything you need to know about both worlds so that you can make the most of your holiday to Zante Island, Greece.
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Getting Around Zante Island Greece
If you drive, it is really easy to hire a car and explore this beautiful Greek Island. You will find many viewpoints, hidden coves, and charming locations without even looking for them. However, while you can grab a taxi or public transport, it is not very convenient so if you’re travelling far and don’t have a rental car, then book an organised tour instead.
When to Visit Zante Island Greece
If you’re interested in nightlife, the Zante season starts in June and ends in late September. This is when you will find all the major clubs and events open and at their busiest. Unfortunately, it is also when the prices in Zante Island Greece will be highest, although you can get cheaper deals at the beginning or end of the season.
If you’re more interested in discovering the best Zakynthos beaches, this is also the best time for the weather, with temperatures reaching 26 degrees throughout summer and the sea pleasantly warm.
How long to stay on Zante Island Greece
Zakynthos island is perfect for short weekend vacations as well as longer holidays. I’d recommend staying anywhere from 4 nights, up to 10 days.
Where to stay in Zante Island Greece
If you want to stay at the heart of the action, they stay in the lively Laganas area. However, another popular location is Zakynthos Town where you have more of an authentic feeling of being on a Greek Island. However, if you want a luxurious villa or apartment, try the surrounding areas as Bochali or Akrotiri that are close by Zakynthos Town.
Take a look at the interactive hotel map below:
Best Zakynthos Beaches
No matter what you’re travelling to Zante Island, Greece, for, you will definitely earn yourself some much-needed beach time. As can be expected with the Ionian islands, there are many different beaches to choose from. Some of the best Zakynthos beaches to add to your itinerary are below:
The best Zakynthos beaches are plotted on the map of Zante below:
1) Navagio Shipwreck Beach (Smuggler’s Cove)
Navagio beach is set within a small cove surrounded by calm turquoise water – a true blue lagoon. Stare in awe at the beautiful tall white cliffs that surround Navagio beach and the white sand… well, it’s more like tiny pebble sand, but it doesn’t hurt to walk on, and it won’t stick to your skin in the same way as fine sand would.
Also known as Shipwreck Beach, Navagio has a huge rusted shipwreck taking centre stage of Smugglers cove.
There are many different excursions to this Ionian Island; some do stop offs for snorkelling or explore the blue caves and lagoon surrounding the Shipwreck beach. However, whether you do an excursion or not, you can only get to this beautiful beach by boat.
Expect to only get about an hour on the island itself, so do your research. There is so much to see; take a look at the relevant tours that sail the cove, lagoon and blue caves around Navagio Beach.
You can also click on the below images to find out more tour options:
2) Dafni Beach & Turtle Bay
To get to Dafni beach, you need to drive through windy, mountainous roads that aren’t in the best condition, but that’s half of the experience. Dafni is a pebble beach like most beaches on Zakynthos Island, but the atmosphere is great.
If you visit Dafni beach between April to June, you might be lucky enough to find a Caretta sea turtle laying her eggs. 60 days later, the turtles will hatch, coinciding with the peak summer season. Dafni beach is part of the National Marine Reserve, so the turtles are protected, and there will be patrols to ensure that the turtles aren’t unnecessarily disturbed.
Tip: if you want to see turtles, visit Turtle island of Marathonisi in Laganas Bay, part of the Marine Park of Zakynthos. Turtle island is a uniquely shaped island that makes a perfect day trip to one of the major turtle nesting spots of the Ionian Islands.
3) Banana Beach
Banana Beach is the best beach on Zakynthos island. There are many nice beach bars and restaurants around, but it has actual golden sand. Not pebbles, not stones, not grit… yes, actual sand! Oh, and don’t forget the day beds and inviting blue waters!
After driving around the many beaches on this Ionian Island, you know a beautiful beach when you see one. So it’s worth staying the full day on this popular beach and enjoying some water sports and the soft sand.
If you want to catch a great sunset, leave the famous Banana beach before the sun goes down. A short drive east, and you will arrive at The Garden, Argassi.
Not only can you watch a beautiful sunset, but the décor and vibe in this bar/restaurant are also incredible. Sit in a swing seat with a glass of red, watching the sun go down over the ocean. Top it off with tasty tapas style food and plenty of cheese. Bliss.
4) Keri Beach
Keri Beach When I looked at the map of Zante Zakynthos Island, I couldn’t resist a trip to Keri Beach as it has a similar name to mine. It was like a siren calling me over to its rocky shores. The drive to Keri beach was stunning, and we found a random viewpoint with many olive groves and olive trees.
The shallow water is lovely to swim in and there are great views of nearby islands from the ocean.
Lagana’s Nightlife and Parties
Lagana’s Nightlife and Parties So have I saved the best till last? Well, it depends on what you’re wanting out of your holiday. I stayed in Laganas, a little bit further back from the strip, close enough to walk but far enough to avoid the noise of the parties all night.
There are plenty of restaurants, shops, bars and clubs and as you can imagine, people partying everywhere. There are club reps outside every doorway, trying to lure you into the club with cheap drinks that have been watered down. Drunken people are all over the streets, some of them not even standing. But that’s what you expect. You go to Laganas knowing that it is a party place, and unless that’s your thing, don’t bother.
If you want to experience Laganas nightlife, then I’m sure you will have a brilliant time at the main bars and clubs on the strip. However, the average age range is about 18 (and that might be generous), and men outnumber women massively, so be prepared!
I’m From the states and always wanted to do a European backpacking vacation, after seeing your blog I think it’s something I’m 100% going to take up !!! Zante looks right up my street
Howdy! Definitely visit Europe, there is so much to see and everywhere is different and has its own charm. I’d also recommend Italy and have a few blogs that might give you some more inspiration:
Road Trip the Amalfi Coast | The perfect itinerary to explore the coast – Italian style
Sorrento Italy – the perfect base to explore the stunning Italian coast and historyCapri Island – Day trip
Thank you for your reply, I did manage to have a look and it definitely looks like somewhere I would love to visit.
Thank you again
Firstly, I need to say, that you have an amazing tattoo on your back! ♥
Secondly, thank you for sharing so many beautiful photos and facts from your trip!
Zante Zakynthos looks incredible and I hope that one day I will be able to travel there!
Your tattoo is so beautiful! I haven’t made it to Greece yet but Zakynthos looks incredible. Would love to visit Banana Beach and The Garden, and that sunset – wow!!
I hope to visit Greece soon and had not heard of Zakynthos. I would definitely spend a day at Smugglers Cove, I love the name and hanging out at a blue lagoon sounds like the perfect day. Good to know Laganas is a party spot and to stay a bit away from the strip
Greece is known for its pristine beaches! Navagio Shipwreck Beach with its contrasting white cliffs and turquoise water simply looks amazing. Your images speak of this gem. I would love to visit this beach and also the Banana beach and the garden. The day beds and swing seats are unusual luxuries for the visitor! ????
We were supposed to be in Greece last summers but couln’t make it like many of us travelers. Zante Zakynthos though was not in our plans. It’s got such beautiful virgin beaches. Now I am sure to include this in our future plan. Love the peace of the place.
Your tattoo really catches the eye! I would love to go to Smuggler’s Cove. I just need to get physically fit to do that. And the beaches look so clean and amazing, the azure waters are so inviting.
Picturesque landscapes, fascinating beaches with sugar-fine sand and blue-green waters, also mad nightlife are the reasons why this Greek island is so popular. I would unquestionably like to spend a week in Zykintos to discover picturesque hilltop villages, traditional monasteries, and dreamy natural landscapes.
Woah! This is paradise! The view is beautiful and the water is so clear. We would love to visit in the future. I am not into parties so, I would love to camp out with the sea turtles.
I have never been to Greece even though I have planned it many times but never really made it to that spectacular country. I did not know about Zakynthos though. The places look so beautiful especially the beaches. I love partying as well so a perfect place for me I guess. I will add it to my list now.
Greece is one of those countries that I need to visit again because my first trip, which was only for a week, just wasn’t enough for me to cover everything I wanted to see. The Navagio Shipwreck Beach is actually one of the most iconic beaches in Greece and it’s the one big reason I wish to return for, I could not make it there on my first trip. I did not, however, realize that there’s is so much more to do in Zakynthos apart from that beach! I’m bookmarking this post for when I plan my next trip, thanks!