Zakynthos

Zakynthos

About Zakynthos

Zakynthos is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. Zakynthos is a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and its only municipality. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin. In Greek mythology the island was said to be named after Zakynthos, the son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. The harbor city of Zakynthos is the capital and major hub, centred around waterfront Solomos Square. Popular beaches like Agios Nikolaos, Alykanas and Tsilivi offer swimming and water sports. Accessed by boat, Navagio beach is the site of a famed 1980 shipwreck resting in a sandy cove framed by cliffs.

Zakynthos is a tourist destination, with an international airport served by many charter flights from northern Europe.

Area: 157.4 mi²

Island group: Ionian Islands

Population: 40,759 (2011)

Climate

Zakynthos has a great climate with cool sea breezes and some of the highest number of sunshine hours I the Mediterranean. The month of your visit will have a huge influence on the weather.

March to Mid-June is a beautiful time with spring flowers and lovely clear temperatures. The tourist season starts in May and this is when everything starts to open and the temperature warms up for comfortable swimming in the sea.

From Mid-June to the end of August the weather can be very hot with balmy summer nights. This is a lovely time of year to enjoy the sun and the sea, but prepare yourself for the heat with cool clothing, hats and sunscreen.

September is the month of wine-making in the island of Zante. The weather starts to become crisp and clear again and the intense heat of August starts to reside. September is still great time for swimming and sunbathing.

Olive harvesting in the Greek island of Zakynthos begins in October, and carries on through the winter. The rain can come a little more often but generally this is still a lovely summer month. If you are interested in hiking and cyclin around the island, this is probably the month for you as the heat is a lot less intense during the days.

Safety

Zakynthos enjoys a very low crime rate, but precautions should still be taken, especially in heavy tourist areas. Regrettably, a lot of petty crime is down to the tourists. The tap water in Zakynthos is considered safe for basic routines like brushing your teeth and showering etc, but the tap water in Zante is generally NOT SAFE to drink. Bottled drinking water can be bought cheaply in all of the mini market stores.

Getting Around

There are buses that go between the most crowded areas of the island. Ask around and there will be no pain in finding the bus stops. However, bus services on the island are rather infrequent and sometimes unreliable. Taxis, however, are not too expensive.

Tickets are very cheap and you can buy one either at the bus station or in the bus. From the capital of island you can reach by bus many locations such as: Argasi, Vasilikos, Porto-Roma, Lake Candle, Alykes, Volimes, Saint Nikolaos, Laganas, Tsilivi, Alikanas, Kipseli and many others.

By Taxi: It is easy to find a taxi in Zakynthos because there are enough stations and a service of radio-taxi. For the most popular tourist destinations the charge is predetermined. For any other destination there is a meter that begins from a minimal charge.

By motorbike/scooters: Rental agencies abound. However, scooters may be somewhat painful to ride around the island, because it is very hilly, so get something with a little bit more power. Always carry your driving licence with you and use your seat bealts and never drive while you have drank.

By Boat: There is the possibility of boat transportation. You can rent a boat or use the taxi-boats, in order to visit beautiful steep regions of the island, such as the beach in the Shipwreck, the Caves or Marathonisi. It is a very pleasant way TO visit regions which are not accessible by other means of transport. At the central port of the island you can find taxi-boat or you can rent one from a company.

Popular car rental: Sixt, Europcar, Zakynthos car rental.

Activities

Booking

Sea Kayaking

Tsilivi Waterpark

(Hotelcombined)

Water Village

Agoda

Bowl’m Over

Booking

Eurodivers

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Fantasy Mini Golf

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Laganas Go-Karts

Accommodation

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Hotels

Venere

(Hotelcombined)

Expedia

Agoda

Hotels.com

Top Beaches

Banana Beach

Banana is one of the longest and biggest beaches in Zante. You can find it at Vasilikos (right before Ammos beach). Banana beach has plenty of space for you and your family to swim, find privacy (if you’d rather avoid the crowds). Here, you can also find a few quieter beach bars to enjoy drinking and eating by the beach.

Agios nikolaos beach

Right next to Banana beach at Vasilikos, you’ll find Agios Nikolaos beach (Ammos). This is one of the best beaches in Zante – with perfect fine golden sand, shallow water, a number of beach bars with WiFi, umbrellas and other facilities to enjoy drinks and food by the beach.

Porto Vromi beach

A small picturesque bay with thick sand, pebbles and deep waters in the North-West of the island is linked to the mountainous villages of Maries,  Anafonitria and Orthonies. The cove is full of little caves and scenic views of the surrounding rocks and cliffs. From here, you can catch a boat to the famous Navagio (Shipwreck) beach. Apart from the odd canteen or beach bar there are not many facilities around so remember to come prepared.

Porto Roma beach

A small and peaceful sand-and-pebble beach next to Gerakas peninsula. Often by-passed in favour of the more well-known Gerakas, Porto Roma has maintained a quiet and picturesque quality which is favoured by families and couples. There are a few local amenities around like tavernas, beach bars and small shops for your convenience. A small jetty and fishing port are also available.

Alikanas Beach

Extending beyond Alykes and devided in two parts by Cape Agia Kyriaki, Alikanas offers white sandy beaches with dunes, a fishing port and local amenities. There is also a picturesque ‘mini wreck’ of a sunken boat in the sea (reminiscent of the famous Navagio on the island). Alykanas’ shallow, warm waters make it ideal for young children and families.

Porto Roxa beach

As with Limnionas, this small cove is a secluded resort tucked away from the busy commercialized tourist areas on the island. The deep azure waters are a refreshing break form the heat at the peak of the summer, however come organised as there are not many facilities nearby. For experienced swimmers there is a spring board for you to dive straight into the water. Alternatively, you can follow the steep path down to the water edge.

Porto Koukla beach

This small sandy beach is a few kilometers away from busy Laganas with many local amenities. Porto Koukla is a favourite destination with families and groups as there are plenty of waterfront fish tavernas to choose from after a refreshing swim.

Dafni beach

One of the most beautiful beaches on the island with mesmerizing views of Pelouzo in the distance (a protected islet not accessible to visitors), Dafni is part of the National Marine Park therefore visiting restrictions apply.

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