When visiting Greece, many tourists choose to explore the Greek islands in the Aegean sea. But it’s worth a visit to the other coast of beautiful Greece, and the islands of the Ionian sea – where one of my favourite Greek islands is situated. Zakynthos.
Zakynthos is a popular tourist destination, with an international airport served by many charter flights from northern Europe. The island’s nickname is To fioro tou Levante – The flower of the East, given by the Venetians.
It’s tough to narrow down all the amazing places and sites to see while visiting Zakynthos because there truly are many! But here are the top 5 Stunning Spots in Zakynthos Greece you must see:
Zakynthos attracts many beach lovers, with its most famous landmark being Navagio beach. Isolated by high cliffs and accessible only by boat, Navagio is a small cove on the northwest shore. It’s named after a shipwreck (MV Panagiotis) which sunk on the shore around 1980. The ridge area from Anafonitria has a small observation deck which overlooks the shipwreck. The beach and sea floor are made of white pebbles, and surrounded by turquoise waters.
Another must-visit attraction in Zakynthos is the natural “Blue Caves”, cut into cliffs around Cape Skinari, and accessible only by small boats. My family and I were supposed to tour the caves, but sadly the tour boat operator wasn’t forthcoming with the timing of the tour. Traveling with seniors and kids, a six-hour trip when we had anticipated a two-hour tour, wasn’t ideal in the evening hour. If you do plan a boat tour of the blue caves, make sure it’s early in the day, giving yourself plenty of time.
While the largest resort of Zakynthos is Laganas, we found it to be too touristy and busy. I also found the area to be tacky and obnoxious. I much preferred the quieter, family-friendly Tsivili beach. Tsivili is also closer to the downtown of the island, only a 5 minute drive. Since we had a car, we were able to tour the island freely. Tsivili main streets are lined with restaurants, souvenir shops and tour booths.
Bochali hill above the Zakynthos town contains a small Venetian castle and offers panoramic views of the town. Located next to Bochali, Strani hill is the place where Dionysios Solomos wrote the Greek national anthem. You have a gorgeous view of downtown and the boats.
The harbour city of Zakynthos is the capital and major hub, centered around waterfront Solomos Square. The houses, shops and buildings were rebuilt in Venetian Style after the destructive earthquake of 1953 that ruined the majority of the buildings. The architecture and style has been influenced in part by the Venetians, the French and the English who have all, at some time in history, occupied the island. There are lovely shops and restaurants to discover.