Regions of ZakynthosVillages in Zakynthos Resorts in Zakynthos
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There are five main districts along with the region of Zante Town within the Municipality of Zakynthos
Each of the regions of Zante listed to he left of this page has their own unique character, but they all share the natural beauty and cultural identity of the island of Zante. It is helpful to understand the different regions of Zakynthos before you arrive on holiday, so you have your bearings for where you are located on the island and what you can do and see.
Zante Town Region of Zakynthos Greek Islands
The capital of Zakynthos, which has the same name as the island, is known as Zante Town or Zakynthos Town
Zante Town is located on the eastern coast of the island, with a large port, from where ferries depart throughout the day for Kilini, on the mainland of Greece. Zante Town has a settled population of about 15,000 who live here throughout the winter as well as the summer months. There are a few hotels located centrally within Zakynthos Town. Strada Marina Hotel and The Plaza are two of the biggest, both offering gorgeous Greek Island sea views in the heart of Zante Town.
Some tourists do choose to stay in Zante Town for their holiday in Zakynthos. The town does not offer a main swimming beach, but it enjoys a very central location on the island so you can head out in various directions every day to enjoy the very best beaches and sites the island has to offer. Plus, staying in town you enjoy a very authentic Greek experience. The tavernas, cafes, bars and shops are all geared towards locals as well as tourists so you experience a much more traditional stay than if you were located in a Zante resort.
The architecture in Zakynthos Town has been influenced by the Venetians, the French and the English who have all colonized Zakynthos at some stage in the history of Zante. Zakynthos Town is really charming to stroll around in the evening, and the Strada Marina Promenade, on the waterfront, has a delightful ambience.
Zante South Coast beaches Argassi Kaminia Daphni Porto Zorro Azzuro beach Club Ionion Banana Plaka St Nicholas Ammos beach Club Porto Roma Gerakas Main Zante Resorts Zante Beaches
Heading south from Zakynthos Town, the region from Argassi to Gerekas is considered the South of the island.
This region is dominated by lush, green vegetation with sprawling pine forests and fertile olive groves. Driving along the southern coastal road you will be dazzled by wonderful seascape views and beautiful sandy beaches.
After passing through the tourist resort of Argassi, at the entrance to the South, the region becomes far more rustic and natural. There are no more resorts in this region, just a few small settlements which are suitable for really laid back holidaymakers looking for a really authentic and traditional Greek Island holiday.
The main beaches and sites of interest along this South coast are:
Argassi tourist resort offers a fun selection of water sports on the beach here. However, the beach in Argassi is not one of the most naturally beautiful in Zante, but is good for families wanting to stay close to their resort hotels.
Mount Skopos is one of the oldest monasteries on the island of Zante and has recently been fully renovated to its original design and splendour. The road to Mount Skopos is just a few kilometres along the coastal road from Argassi, as you head towards Vasilikos. The drive up to the Monastery is very steep and best taken on by a four wheel drive car and a confident driver. Once you get to the top the views are spectacular and the old site is a charming place to wander around. This is one of the best places in Zante to take in the history of the island.
Porto Zorro Beach is situated just before Vasilikos village; you will see the entrance clearly marked by a sign leading you up a rod to Azurro Beach Club. Porto Zorro is a lovely, golden sand beach, with picturesque jagged rocks at the far end, great for exploring and snorkelling. The Azurro beach Club at Porto Zorro provides one of the classiest places to laze you time away in Zante. In this tranquil setting youll enjoy luxury beach beds and palm umbrellas, with great service and food from the bar. At the far end of the beach you can even treat yourself to a body pack with natural mineral rich mud, renowned for being great for the skin.
Banana Beach in Vasilikos is one of the longest stretches of sandy beach in Zakynthos great for a casual stroll or a brisk beach walk. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the sea water here is shallow, crystal clear and really warm. Relax bars line the beach, providing shade from the sun, hammocks, swings, and delicious refreshments and meals.
Vasilikos Village is set back from the sea, on the main road to the South. This is a really cute place to stop and wander on your way into Vasilikos. The Village Store has lots of great bits and bobs, souvenirs, clothes, and other goodies to buy. Next door, the village coffee shop serves a selection of tasty treats throughout the day. They do the best home-made apple pie on the island and really delicious bacon and egg baguettes at fantastic prices.
The idyllic beach of Agios Nikolaos, more commonly known as St Nicholas or St Niks, is one of the most popular beaches on the island, with tourists and Greeks alike. The traditional Orthodox Church of St Nicholas stands on a rocky peninsular, overlooking the bay, adding a charming Greek touch to your day. There is also a superb range of water sports here at St Niks, as well as a licensed Zante Scuba Diving school, and one of the best beach clubs on the island of Zante. Ammos Beach Club is really popular with the Greeks for its fabulous chic decor, great selection of food and drinks, and really great DJs playing here throughout the summer.
Gerakas is located on the most southern tip of the island of Zante. The beach here is one of our favourites on the island. It is a long and sandy bay, with spectacular jagged cliffs framing the horizon.
Gerakas is one of the most important beaches within the National Marine Park, where the Loggerhead turtles lay their eggs. While you are at Gerakas beach be sure to visit the Eco Centre, about 100 meters up from the beach on the right hand side of the road. The Eco Centre is one of the only natural Wildlife information Centres in Zakynthos. Volunteers at the Eco Centre will help you to become informed about the natural wildlife on the island.
Dafni beach is one of the most natural and untouched sandy beaches of the island. Dafni lies on the South Western coast of Zante, around the cliffs from Gerekas. The road to Dafni beach is clearly signposted before you enter the main village of Vasilkos. The beach here is protected for the turtles and there is very little development here, no hotels or water sports facilities, and just a few small family run tavernas and beach bars set back from the beach. Dafni is popular with Greeks and tourists who want to get away from all the tourist development for a really natural day at the beach.
South West Coast beaches Kalamaki Laganas Cameo beach Club Agios Sostis Porto Koukla Marithias Marathonisi Island Keri Main Zante Resorts Zante Beaches
The South west of Zante, from the tourist resort of Kalamaki round to the cape of Marathia, is filled with a mixture of busy tourist resorts, quieter villages and untouched stretches of coastline.
Geographically, the coastline moves from the long sandy beach at Kalamaki and Laganas, to more pebbly beaches the further along the coast you go. Keri and Marathia are pretty pebble beaches.
Zante resorts and places to visit in the South West are:
Kalamaki resort is one of the larger resorts on the island of Zante, with a few of the biggest hotels located here. Kalamaki is a fine sandy beach with rocky cliff at the far end of the beach consisting of gypsum which sparkles and glistens in the sun. Bear in mind that Kalamaki does become crowded during the peak tourist season.
Laganas beach is approximately 9 km in length - one of the longest beaches in Greece. In years gone by it was considered the most beautiful beach on Zante, but has been somewhat downgraded by the huge amount of tourist development along the beach front. Laganas is a great spot for youngsters who want a lively day at the beach, but not such a good choice for those who are looking for a perfectly tranquil spot to laze. Laganas is definitely the most commercial beach on the island.
Agios Sostis Port and the small island of Cameo lie just around the corner from Laganas beach. The port is a charming place to wander around as it retains a really authentic Greek Island feel with small fishing boats bobbing around in the harbour.
Cameo Island is connected to Agios Sostis with a rickety wooden bridge. This charming spot has unsurprisingly become on of the top wedding abroad spots in Greece, with couples renting out the entire island for their big day. Visitors can visit the island for a small fee and will definitely enjoy the beach bar and small pebble beach, both lying under billowing white muslin curtains that frame the beach.
Agios Sostis is one of the smaller resorts on the island of Zante. It has a small, narrow beach, perfect for families looking for a calm and relaxing holiday in the sun. There are a number of tavernas and restaurants here just enough for variety, without feeling too built up.
Next along the shore is the small village of Porto Koukla. The beach here is very narrow with rocky patches. Situated directly in the middle of the gulf of Laganas, the beach at Porto Koukla provides a wonderful panoramic view over to the island of Marathonisi lying opposite. The best place to enjoy Porto Koukla beach is from the Tropics bar at the Gloria Maris Hotel, situated right on the sea.
Marathonisi Island is a small island in the Gulf of Laganas. It is known as Turtle Island because its shape is remarkable similar to that of a sea turtle. The island has no habitants or buildings and is one of our favourite spots to enjoy a day at the beach. You can take a boat trip over to Marathonisi from most of the beaches on the South West coast. This is one of our highly recommended things to do in Zante.
The village of Keri, the furthest developed village on the South West coast, is a charming spot for lunch. The beach is pebbly and quite narrow, but really very pretty. The small harbour port at Keri provides a quaint setting, with little benches dotted around for relaxation.
Marathia Cape is a lovely region, the furthest point of the South West Coast, just over the hill from Keri. The region has amazing crystal water and a large pebble beach - rarely crowded even in the peak of August. This is a great place for total relaxation, if you feel you need to get away from it all. There are no beach bars or commercial development on these beaches, although the region has a few marvellous tavernas set up the hill from the beach.
East Coast Beaches Tsilivi Abracatabra beach Club Tragaki Amboula Amoudi PsarouBouka Alykanas Alykes Main Zante Resorts Zante Beaches
The Eastern coast of the island, starting with the long sandy beach of Tsilivi, is characterized by golden sand beaches and beautiful swimming waters. There a few tourist resorts along the east coast, they are largely family orientated resorts with a very relaxed ambience.
The main beaches and resorts along the east coast are:
Tsilivi beach is awarded Blue Flag status year after year for its cleanliness and safety. A favourite with families looking for fun in the sun, this is a charming resort with something for everyone.
Between the larger resorts of Tsilivi and Alykanas, there are a number of small beach areas where you can stay or spend the day. These coastal areas all maintain a real rustic Greek Island charm and do not have the mass tourism feel that you will experience in the larger resorts.
The beaches at Alykanas and Alykes, the resorts at the end of the east coast of the island, are really very pretty with fantastic safe swimming. The resorts here offer you all the amenities and facilities you will need during your holiday, but with far less hustle and bustle than the resorts of Laganas, Kalamaki, or even Tsilivi. Either of these beaches are nice to stop off at on your way to the far north. There are a number of beach bars and tavernas on the waterfront here where you can enjoy a drink or a light meal.
Far North beaches St Nicholas of the North Skinari Blue CavesXigiaMakris Gialos Main Zante Resorts Zante Beaches
We really recommend exploring the far north of Zante during your Greek Island holiday. This is one of the most naturally beautiful and striking regions of Zakynthos with dramatic seascape views, amazing sea caves, stunning blue waters and therapeutic sulphur beaches to bathe in.
If you are going to rent a car for just a day during your holiday in Zante, we would strongly recommend heading north.
Here are some of the sites you can expect to see and enjoy along the way:
The Sulphur Sea Spa at Xigia beach is well worth a visit during your holiday in Zakynthos. Sulphur spring waters flow down from the mountains into the sea caves at Xigia, making the water highly therapeutic and extremely relaxing.
The beach Mikro Gialos is just a few minutes up the road from Xigia. The green waters, reflecting the vegetation, contrast beautifully with the white pebbles here. This is another gorgeous place to stop as part of your day in the far north.
Just a little further along the northern coastal road is the charming village of Micro Nisi, a small fishing village, bathed in geraniums and urns, complete with traditional Greek charm. The Fish Restaurant at Micro Nisi provides a welcome retreat in the heat of the day, serving the best selection of fish in Zakynthos wholesome Zakynthian nutrition at its best.
The northern port of St Nicholas is the point from which the daily ferry departs for the neighbouring island of Kefalonia. This is the second largest port on the island and is a charming spot to stop and wander around.
The famous Blue Caves are found in the far north of Zante Island. They are among the most popular sites to see on the island due to their dramatic beauty and sapphire seas. There are a number of boat trips leaving for the blue caves, running throughout the day, from the northern region of Zante. You will see plenty of signs pointing to trips along the northern coastal road. We recommend taking the Potamitis Brothers trip from Skinari. As they are located right in the middle of the blue caves you get to spend more time on the boat exploring the caves and less time getting to them! Also they are able to offer really affordable prices and can be very flexible with departure times.
The quiet village of Skinari sits on the cliffs at the very northern tip of Zakynthos. There is a lot to see and do in this lovely area with two old flour windmills to admire, a charming lighthouse on the cliff, amazing views over the Blue Caves below, boat trips to Shipwreck Bay and the Blue Caves leaving throughout the day, as well as a taverna and snack bar open for meals and refreshments. You can swim from the terraces below the windmills and even spend an afternoon relaxing on the sun loungers here without a care in the world.
West Coast beachesLimnionas Porto Roxa Porto Vromi Shipwreck Bay beach Main Zante Resorts Zante Beaches
The Western region of Zante runs from the Northern tip of Skinari to the Southern Cape of Marathia. It is about 40 kilometres in distance, with steep, spectacular cliffs framing the coastline.
Many of the most naturally beautiful beaches, caves and coves in Zakynthos are on the West coast of Zakynthos Island, including the famous Shipwreck at Navagio Bay. The spectacular Keri Caves are also in the western region of Zante and can also only be reached by boat.
We love spending a day in the western region of Zante and have put together a few of our favourite things to do:
The spectacular beach at Navagio Bay, known as Shipwreck, is one of the most famous beaches in the Mediterranean, and definitely one of the most photographed. The beach is naturally spectacular, with huge cliffs surrounding the white sand bay, and turquoise waters rolling in. The shipwrecked boat lying in the middle of the beach adds to the sense of mystery and gravity at this magical beach. You can take a boat trip to the beach from Skinari, on the northern coat of the island, or from a Porto Vromi on the western coast. We recommend leaving from Skinari, from where you can take a combo trip to the Blue Caves at the same time.
Anafonitria Lookout Tower offers the chance to take the famous picture of Shipwreck from above. The Lookout Tower is just outside Anafonitria village on the west coast of Zante. If you are afraid of heights this might not be for you, but for those who dare this is one of the most spectacular sites in Greece and well worth the trip!
The village of Anafonitria is one of our favourite traditional Greek Island spots. With charming old houses, stone walls and local stalls selling tapestries and souvenirs, this is a lovely place to have a wander around while you are exploring the west coast.
Porto Vromi is one of the few beaches found on the west coast. It is a very pretty spot with a small beach and snack bar facilities. Private boat trips, pedaloes and canoes are all on hire here. As your boat leaves the bay at Porto Vromi, youll spot the stunning profile of the Sea God Poseidon carved into the cliff.
The neighbouring beaches of Limnionas and Porto Roxa are situated quite centrally on the western coast. Both of them provide magnificent fiord-like basins for swimming. We love having a dip at Limnionas the water is always cool and crystal clear. This is a great place to snorkel in the deeper seas.
The village of Louha lies inland in the west of Zante. This is one of the most traditional villages on the island, with almost no signs of tourism touching the area. There is a small cafe here, sitting underneath the grape vines, where you lookout over the picturesque valley at Louha. This is a family run establishment with just one main meal on the menu every day.
We always have the Riganada here a Greek dish of tomatoes, capers, and village cheese, on top of village bread, with plenty of olive oil drizzled over the top. Simply delicious! All of the ingredients used here are locallu sourced and produced from the cheese, to the bread, to the sea salt straight from the rocks. Louha offers a real taste of Greece that has us returning time after time!
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