Greek islands are a dream for beach lovers around the world. There’s something about them and each is unique. While Navagio Beach is alone a reason enough to visit this Ionian island, there are other beautiful beaches. So here there are 12 amazing Zakynthos beaches, all diverse, all unique, to soak some sun. And to see some turtles, while swimming close to the shore, it happened to me.
12 Amazing Zakynthos Beaches
Navagio Beach – The Shipwreck Beach
Navagio, or the shipwreck beach is the most photographed and instagrammed beach in Greece. And all the pictures looks perfect in here, you don”t need any filter and actually some edits in fact ruins the beauty of this place. Everywhere is the picture perfect angle so you cannot go wrong in here.
I am speaking as much about the pictures because I was actually shocked visiting Navagio beach: it is so much more beautiful than any pictures previously seen! Which is quite unique. The blue, the Navagio blue is perfect and just never seen before.
Navagio is placed in the north -vest part of Zakynthos. The experience of going here has two parts;
– The view: the top view, where you can reach with the car/minibus etc.
– Beach time: on the beach you can only reach with a boat. We arrived from Vromi Harbor, but there are other places you can embark for the trip. The thing is that you can actually spend only an hour in here, on the beach. Each boat has this limited time to prevent the beach being too crowded. We were lucky to stay 15 minutes pass our hour, yet you can return with another boat, like taking two tours if you feel the need. See more of my experience at Navagio here.
Laganas is the largest beach in Zakynthos and the sand is very very fine. Most of the beach is arranged, yet there are some restricted areas to protect the turtles nest. Laganas Bay is the place where 80% of the caretta-caretta turtles from all Mediterranean sea comes to nest – Ionian Sea is part of Mediterranean.
Right here, on Laganas beach, I saw for the first time a turtle, free. It was unbelievable: I was snorkeling close to the shore and I saw her just laying on the bottom. She was breathing and moving very slow, resting. I know that the turtles are very tired when arriving in here, they swam for thousands of miles to reach this place. It was 1 of July, so the perfect time to spot the turtels.
Some beaches provide free wifi, in return of a small fee of 3 euro and you have also a sunbed for the day. Sometimes you actually have even a drink included. There are lots of cheapjacks strolling the beach which is quite annoying as they kind of hassle you.
Cameo Island Beach
Cameo island and its beach is a fairy place. The beach itself is tiny and wonderful. Sometimes there are different events in here, we saw a wedding. You can reach the island from Laganas beach, crossing a romantic bridge. To enter the island is a fee of 4 euros and includes a drink to the island bar. Sometimes there are concerts of all kinds, parties. (If you do like beach parties, Makris Gialos beach is nice, as they have many in the summer nights).
Take the snorkeling equipment with you: between June-August there are many turtles i the area, so you may see a few, we saw many around this place in the Caretta-Caretta cruise.
Gerakas is a fabulous beach, dreamy. The fine sand attracts the turtles that lay eggs in the night and that’s why a part of the beach is restricted. Volunteers monitor the area and they won’t let you go close to the nests.
A campaign is made as to prevent tourists to infest the place with layovers, as it is very dangerous for the turtles. Of course you have to come prepared in here: snorkeling equipment and underwater camera. There are many turtles, yet they don’t like to be touched, it is very very stressful for them.
The beach is very serene and is part of the protected National Marine Park.
Kalamaki is a beautiful beach, very close to Laganas. Most of it is a protected area, as the turtles come here to nest. So, between sunset and dusk, you cannot enter the beach. Is a very quiet beach, suitable for families. Yet, some secluded areas attracted the nudists in the late years.
Marathonisi Island Beaches
There are several beaches in Marathonisi island, some with gravel, as Navaggio and Vromi beaches. Yet, the largest beach is with very fine sand and of course, the place being in the Laganas Bay, there are turtles in here, caretta-caretta. So you cannot visit this beach at any time and there are no bars on the beach. You are not allowed to come with a sun umbrella to stick in the beach, nothing that can break turtles eggs, as it happened massively till the measures to protect them were enforced. So here there are many restrictions, just check if you can approach the beach or not in your visit. Most probably, in September, October you can.
BUT: there is a beautiful beach you can visit at any time and many people do come here. The reason is that is a gravel beach so not of interest for the turtles. As the boat we came was quite big, we had to swim till the shore. It was nice and we even swam inside some amazing caves. The water is turquoise, the caves are mysterious. I loved this place!
Gerakas, Laganas, Kalamaki, Cameo, Marathonisi are in Laganas Bay. Here the majority of the water sports are prohibited. Only the passive ones are admitted. You can do snorkeling, scuba diving, swim. Some do break the rules and take boat strolls yet is very dangerous for turtles, many being killed in accidents and they are very stressed when some take them out of the water to show them to the tourists. Caretta-Caretta turtles are engendered so have to be protected: some 30 years ago the beaches were black in this time, as the turtles were nesting during day time as well. Now, only in the night and only a few.
You can enjoy the water sports in some other beaches, like Banana Beach, or Argassi.
Xigia or Ksigia beach
Xigia beach is small yet beautiful and unique: it is the SPA beach. Ksigia won its fame due to the underwater sulfur springs. As you probably know, or not, the sulphur is widely used in cosmetic industry, due to its properties. The sulfur makes wonders for the skin and for those suffering from arthritis.
Xigia beach is 20 kilometers away of Zante town, the islands capital city, in the north east of the island. Take at least 2,3 hours to stay in here. There are stairs to go down, the water is warm and pleasant and yes, the sulfur smell surrounds the area, yet is not unpleasant at all.
Vromi Harbor Beach
Tiny yet charming, as you have a beautiful harbor view. Vromi is a romantic beach, with a small rustic canteen, a bar and lovely colorful boats. This place is very suitable for snorkeling, yet you have to pay attention to the sea hedgehogs. An in many other places all over the Greece.
Agios Nikolaos Harbor Beach
In the north of Zakynthos island, St Nicholas is one of the harbors where you can embark for a cruise to see the Blue Caves.
The water is deep and a part of the beach is arranged. The, there are plenty of bars, restaurants, taverns. It is a great place to eat some fish or sea fruits. Also close by you can take a boat to go to Kefalonia island. Agios Nikolaos Harbor is a great place to take a break while exploring the island and to dine.
Argassi is a popular holliday spot that also has a large beach, with fine sand. It is a very quiet beach, very much loved by families. Some part are arranged. You can do water sports in here, of all kinds. The people are nice, the place very beautiful and sunny, the water is shallow at the shore, good for kids.
The second biggest holiday spots in Zakythos, after Laganas, Tsilivi is more authentic, more Greek. The beach in here is sandy and in demand for the water sports and for the nice Greek restaurants and taverns that border it. Being very close to Zante town, the capital of the island which has not a beach of its own, many come here to sunbath.
banana beach is very famous for the water sports. In Vasilliki peninsula, is THE place for adrenaline seekers.
Many hotels have private beaches you can enjoy as guests. The biggest I have been to is Zante Royal, Imperial and Palazzo din Zante beach. The water is very clean, the beach sandy and it is very quiet, as it is placed in a secluded bay. Loved this beach, yet the hotels not so much, so we moved the place, spend only a day in here.