Greece claims some of the best tourist destinations in the world.
To the east of Greece lies the Aegean Sea, which has seven groups of islands, most of which belong to Greece.
And to the west of Greece is the Ionian Sea, which has seven Greek islands of which Zakynthos is one of them, and the third largest.
Zakynthos has an international airport that receives flights from Europe and around the world.
It has spectacular beaches and adventurous water sports.
It is also home to endangered sea turtle species and some of the best olive oils in the world.
Zakynthos is a slow-paced island that welcomes people from all over the world looking to relax.
With so much activities to do, there is surely something for everyone.
Things to Do in Zakynthos
Explore the Blue Caves
The Blue Caves is probably the most publicised attraction of Zakynthos.
The caves are made from a geological formation that created unique arches in the sea.
The reflection in the water creates a dazzling picture-perfect image.
Explore the caves using a boat or take a swim.
Visit the Venetian Fortress
This Castle of Zakynthos was built in 1646 AD by the Venetians.
It is located on the Bohali Hill. The fortress includes barracks, a house of parliament, and several churches, some of which date back as early as the 12th century.
Visit the Solomos Museum
Dionysios Solomos was a 19th century national poet.
The museum is the house he lived in all his life.
Some of the significant exhibits includes his writing desk and original manuscripts of his most popular works.
The opening hours are 08:30 – 15:00 from Tuesday to Sunday year-round.
It is closed on the 1st of January.
Visit the Agios Dionysios Church
This magnificent church lights up the Zakynthos shoreline at night.
It is the largest church on the island with a distinct tall bell tower.
Explore the Keri Caves
Just along the Marathia Cape lies the Keri Caves.
These caves can be reached by boat.
However, due to their small sizes, not all boats can go through them.
You may get to swim just outside the larger caves or in one of the Marathia Cape beaches.
Visit the Anafonitria Monastery
This monastery is surrounded by the pine forest of north-western Zakynthos.
It was built in honour of the Virgin Mary, which is one of the two reasons why thousands of pilgrims visit.
Celebrations occur annually on August 23 and August 24.
Visit the Byzantine and Christian Museum
This three-levelled museum located in D. Solomon Square exhibits the best arts of Zakynthos before the earthquake of 1953 when most were lost.
It also displays wooden sculptures by Byzantine artists.
It is open 08:00 – 15:00 daily except on Monday.
Enjoy a day in the Askos Stone Park
Askos Stone Park is a 124-acre land of pure nature.
It is a forest reserve, an unofficial zoo, a research center and a recreational park.
Slow things down by taking a day to enjoy nature.
Visit the Aristeon Olive Press & Museum
This Zakynthos pride in Lithakia started olive oil production in 18th century with local traditional means and kept evolving its technology ever since.
Today the ecological company is open year-round to visitors who wish to learn how productions have evolved.
Visit the Roma’s family Museum
The Roma museum is one of the few structures that survived the 1953 earthquake. It is a mansion built in the 17th century.
It exhibits portraits and paintings showing the old Ionian way of life.
Bochali is a small settlement just 2km from Zakynthos.
It is also the highest point in the city.
Enjoy a view of the Ionian Sea and the Zakynthos city below from here while relaxing under olive trees.
Visit the Keri Lighthouse
This 9-meter (30ft) lighthouse was built in 1925 in the town of Keri.
It was constructed on a very steep slope (200m deep).
Sailors on Ionian Sea used it to navigate home safely.
Today, it offers breath-taking sunset views of the sea.
Hike in the Loucha Area
Go on a solo adventure around the Loucha area by hiking.
Discover the Monastery of Yperagathos and the vineyard valley on your way.
There are several trails to follow if you do not wish to join an excursion group.
Enjoy the Exhibition Center in the National Marine Park
This marine park is situated in Agios Ioannis, very close to Dafni beach.
It is largely a nesting ground for oceanic turtles commonly called loggerhead or Caretta-Caretta.
Learn about marine life while having fun.
Visit the Helmi’s National History Museum
Still on education, this history museum is an ideal place to learn about the local species (over 1500) of Zakynthos and its ecosystem.
It is situated right in the middle of the island at Agia Marina.
Visit the Xenopoulos Museum
Visit the museum built in honour of Grigorios Xenopoulos, for his contribution to Greek children’s literature.
It is located in the district of Faneromeni.
Most of his original manuscripts and personal items are exhibited here.
It is open Monday – Friday from 09:00 – 13:00.
Moving away from historical locations, there are several beaches worth exploring.
Explore the Navagio Beach
Also known as the Shipwreck beach or Smuggler’s Cove.
It is the resting place of MV Panagiotis, a freight ship believed to have been smuggling contraband.
It was pushed off course during a storm on October 2, 1980 causing it to land on the beach.
Visit Laganas Beach
This 24-hour sandy beach is perfect for sun bathing.
It is equipped with bars and restaurants that cater to tourists.
In an effort to preserve the loggerhead sea turtle eggs, water sports are prohibited.
It is located just 9km north of the city.
Enjoy the Porto Limnionas Beach
This hidden gem is not easily accessible.
It is located beyond the Agios Leon village.
Then a short hike down will lead you to the foot of the cave.
Limnionas beach is beautiful with turquoise water that makes swimming a pleasant experience.
Go to Gerakas
Gerakas is perfect for a quiet solo or romantic getaway.
Its long sandy beach allows you to get away from any crowd.
It is also a breeding ground for the loggerhead sea turtles, as such, it is closed 30 minutes before sunset and before sunrise.
For those looking to enjoy water sports, this is the perfect beach for that. Its open waters is ideal for sporting.
While for those who simply wish to relax, there are umbrellas and sunbeds available as well.
Also called Turtle Island, this beach is just across the Keri bay area.
It is isolated and has no inhabitants.
Visitors are advised to pack their food and refreshments before going there.
It has two sides – one that is sandy, and one that is pebbled.
The crystal clear waters make swimming along the reefs quite an adventure.
You get to relax, learn and have fun all at the same time.
The cool ocean breeze will leave you feeling refreshed during your stay.
The local foods and drinks are sure to dazzle your taste buds.
And of course, the locals are always warm and welcoming.
With so much to do, whether you are traveling alone or with family, Zakynthos Island is a perfect holiday destination.
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