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
Quick reference guide
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!