Holidays in Zakynthos island
Full of trees and surrounded by turquoise waters, Zakynthos, Fior di Levante as it is called by the Venetians, is the southernmost island of the Ionian Islands. Forests with coniferous trees and wild plants, fragrant plains, beautiful beaches, cosmopolitan seaside resorts and mountain villages form a place of heavenly beauty, with stunning image alternations!
The capital and main port of the island is the homonymous, Zakynthos, city, which lies on the eastern coast, between the port and the Bochali hill. The beautiful city was destroyed by the earthquake in 1953 and the great fire that followed. However, it has now been reborn from the ashes, and still offers beautiful "corners."
The city tour starts from the busy Lombardou coastal road, known as Strata Marina. Here, the major temple of Saint Dionysios, with its imposing bell tower stands out. You will find yourself to the paved Dionysios Solomos Square, where the City Hall, the Cultural Centre of the municipality, the post Byzantine museum of Zakynthos and the old church of St. Nicholas of Molos dominate. In the square, the statue of Dionysios Solomos also stands out. Reference point of the city is the paved Saint Markos square. Here, in 1797, Popolari burned the Libro D 'Oro (golden book) of the noble. In this historic square there is Solomos & Kalvos Museum as well as the catholic church of St. Markos.
One of the most beautiful "corners" of the city is the old Bohali district. "Loose yourself" on the quiet streets of the area, surrounded by old houses; drink your coffee in the beautiful cafés and enjoy the local cuisine while listening to old Zakynthos music. Also, climb the Venetian castle, which dominates the full of green trees Bohali hilltop. This point offers a magnificent view over the city of Zakynthos, Argassi, Laganas Bay, as well as the blue Ionian Sea!
A great location, of great historical interest is Stranis hill. Here, in 1823 Dionysios Solomos wrote Greece’s national anthem! Besides its historical significance, the point offers outstanding panoramic views!
During your stay on this island, do not miss visiting the cosmopolitan Laganas village, which lies on the south coast of Zakynthos. It is a seaside village, renowned for its lively nightlife. Here, you will find many traditional taverns as well as international cuisine restaurants. Laganas Bay is part of the National Marine Park and surrounds two beautiful islands, Peluzo and Marathonisi.
It is also worth visiting Keri Lake; a beautiful coastal location with a picturesque harbor, where you can enjoy your meal in beautiful taverns overlooking Marathonisi island, the ridge of which has the shape of a turtle! Do not forget to continue your walk to the mountainous Keri; one of the most traditional villages of the island. During sunset time, head to Keri lighthouse from where you will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the most idyllic sunsets in Greece, with the sun sinking into the sea, painting the waters pink!
But if you want to really experience Dionysios Solomos birthplace, you should explore its magnificent hinterland. Olive groves, vineyards, fields and villages which nestle among pine forests create a dreamy scenery!
Zakynthos, this island with such rich history and tradition, is a place full of contrasts: cosmopolitan resorts and quiet traditional villages that lie within an unpretentious and unspoilt scenery; golden sandy beaches changing constantly with massive rocky coasts, create a unique puzzle which will be forever etched in your memory!
The island has beaches with golden sand and impressive cliffs. Trademark of the island is the famous Navagio (Shipwreck) beach: the pure white sand, the turquoise waters and the merchant vessel that has been moved to the coast by the sand storm, fully explain why Navagio (Shipwreck) is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece (and not only)!
Very near the town of Zakynthos there is Tsilivi organized beach, with golden sand and shallow waters. The beach is ideal for water sports such as windsurfing, jet skiing and waterskiing. The most popular beach of the island is the organized beach of Laganas, which unfolds in front of the homonymous settlement. It is an enormous area covered with a sandy beach, along which you will find bars, café/bars and taverns. At Vasiliko; a region of Zakynthos with heavenly natural beauty, filled with pine forests, olive groves, vineyards and farms, you will find beautiful beaches with rich sand and crystal clear waters, such as Gerakas beach, Agios Nikolaos beach, Porto Roma beach, Porto Zoro beach and Banana beach. In many of them, caretta caretta turtle comes and leaves her eggs.
Do not leave the island without visiting the popular Blue Caves, which are famous for their special morphology, the deep blue color the water gets inside them, as well as for the countless corals found in various shades of purple and orange colors! Another proposal is Korakonisi island; a real jewel of nature! The place is ideal for those who love snorkeling with a mask! Do not forget to visit the beaches in the "exotic" Marathonisi island by boat you'll find either in Laganas or Keri. The island is uninhabited and has beaches with sand or fine gravel. Here, you will find two caves you can explore!
How to get there
Travelling by bus
The fastest way to reach the island of Zakynthos from Athens is to fly there directly from Eleftherios Venizelos - Athens International Airport. During summer months there are also connecting flights to and from Thessaloniki, Preveza, Kefalonia, Corfu, Kithyra and London.
For more information on the flights schedule from Athens click here.
Travelling by car or bus and by boat
You can also drive to Zakynthos via the National Highway to Patras, until you reach the port of Kyllini or take the Intercity Bus (KTEL Bus of Zakynthos); the trip takes approximately 4 hours, from where you take the ferry-boat to get across to Zakynthos (1 hour trip).
For more information on the itineraries visit the companies’ sites:
Travelling by car or bus and by boat
You can either drive to Zakynthos or take the Intercity Bus (KTEL Bus of Zakynthos) to the port of Kyllini (approximately 8 hours and 30 minutes ride).There you take the ferry-boat to get across to Zakynthos (1 hour trip).
Connections with other ports
The island of Zakynthos is connected by boat with the island of Kefalonia, via the port of Agios Nikolaos in Volimes village. During summer months, there is also a connecting boat line with the port of Brindisi in Italy.
Transfer within Zakynthos
To move around the island you can take the Intercity Bus (KTEL Bus of Zakynthos) or taxies. You can also rent a car or a motorcycle from the rental services on the island. The best way to explore the island is on your own private vehicle.
For more information on the bus routes of KTEL Bus of Zakynthos click here.
During your stay in Zakynthos, you can be served for health issues:
General Hospital of Zakynthos which is located at 1, Mothonaiou street in the area of Perivola, Tel: (+30) 26950 42514-5
First Aid Station of Zakynthos, Tel: (+30) 26950 23166
Health Center of Volimes, Tel: (+30) 26740 31201
Health Center of Kalipanto, Tel: (+30) 26740 61301
Health Center of Alikes, Tel: (+30) 26740 83208
Health Center of Machairanto, Tel: (+30) 26740 92217
Health Center of Laganas, Tel: (+30) 26740 51210
Useful phone numbers
Zakynthos Port Authority: (+30) 26950 28117
Killini Port Authority: (+30) 26230 92211
Zakynthos Airport: (+30) 26950 28322
Police Station of Zakynthos: (+30) 26950 22649
Police Station of Alikanas: (+30) 26950 83217
Police Station of Laganas: (+30) 26950 51251
Fire Department: (+30) 26950 22199
Tourism Information: (+30) 26950 22518
General Hospital of Zakynthos: (+30) 26950 42514-5
First Aid Station of Zakynthos: (+30) 26950 23166
Health Center of Volimes: (+30) 26740 31201
Health Center of Kalipanto: (+30) 26740 61301
Health Center of Alikes: (+30) 26740 83208
Health Center of Machairanto: (+30) 26740 92217
Health Center of Laganas: (+30) 26740 51210
Intercity Bus of Zakynthos: (+30) 26950 42656
TAXI: (+30) 26950 22280, 48104