Things to do and see in Zakynthos
#1. Stroll around the capital town
Many of Zakynthos’ Town Neoclassical buildings were demolished in the devastating 1953 earthquake. However, the paved streets and squares, filled with bakeries, cafés, boutiques, and stores, are still a joy to explore on foot.
The town’s biggest church, Agios Dionysios, houses the remains of the island’s patron saint. The church dates from 1708 and was reconstructed in 1954.
On the town’s main square, you can find a lovely Byzantine Museum. Here, you can admire the religious icons, frescoes, and sculptures from the island’s churches and monasteries, dating all the way back to the 12th century. You can also check out a scale model of the town from around 1950 and get an idea of how it looked before the 1953 earthquake.
If you’re looking for spectacular views over the town and the port, go up to the village of Bohali and its ruined Venetian castle, set in a park with pine trees. This fortress was also largely damaged by the earthquake, but you can still admire its main gate (bearing the Lion of St. Mark, the symbol of Venice) and its outer walls and battlements.
#2. Swim at the famous Navagio Beach
This could very well be the most photographed beach in Greece. It features in most Greek National Tourism Organization advertisements. Navagio or Shipwreck Beach lies in the ominous Smuggler’s Cove on the island’s west coast. Made up of fine white pebbles backed by sheer limestone cliffs, the beach takes its name from the wreck of a rusty ship that was smuggling cigarettes and was washed up here in 1980. This fantastic beach can only be accessed from the sea.
Zakynthos possesses many astounding beaches, its southern shore being more tourist-friendly, while its western and northern shores are not so easily accessible, but bear an incredible natural beauty.
Gerakas is considered one of the Zakynthos’ most attractive beaches, featuring turquoise waters and unique, unspoiled scenery. Being a shelter for the endangered Caretta-Caretta (loggerhead) sea turtle, this is a large cove with crystalline waters and golden sand. Rock formations scattered around the seashore offer a feeling of protection and isolation.
Porto Zoro offers its visitors a unique swimming experience at a peaceful environment away from noisy crowds. This beach boasts beautiful crystalline waters and lush green surroundings that impress every visitor. This is one of the finest displays of the island’s natural beauty.
Banana is the island’s largest beach. Famous for its exotic waters, shining under the sun’s relentless light, Banana stands out for its rocky landscape and its soft golden sand. Access to the beach is easy, and there is plenty of parking space. This is truly a spectacular beach, among the most beautiful in the island.