Zakynthos Travel Guide for 2024

Written by James
 Last updated: February 11, 2024

Zante, or Zakynthos as it is officially known, is the third largest of the Ionian Islands, located west of mainland Greece.

The island is widely celebrated for its heavenly azure waters and off-the-beaten-track feel.

From its undulating olive groves and picturesque bays to its quaint harbour villages, traditional monasteries and Mediterranean hospitality, Zante always enchants visitors.

The culture, food and language pay homage to the stretches of history, with whitewashed chapels, monasteries and many archaeological sites.

With excellent weather, delicious food and a laid-back atmosphere, Zante has something to offer everyone looking for a Greek Island-style vacation.

Where to go

Shipwreck Beach: Located in the northwestern part of the island and one of the most photographed places in Zante, Shipwreck Beach is a sight to behold. The shallow, calm cove, usually surrounded by cliffs and three ships, is perfect for swimming or exploring the beach with spectacular snorkelling.

Byzantine Museum: Housed near the Church of Saint Denis, the Byzantine Museum is filled with many Byzantine artefacts dating back to the 12th and 19th centuries.

Helmi Natural History Museum: The largest private museum in Greece, the Helmi Museum houses more than 400 specimens of birds and mammals and more than 20,000 shells.

Kampi Beach: If a sun-soaked beach is what you are looking for, then you should head to Kampi Beach. It's golden sand and sparkling waters are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the stunning sea views.

What to do

Explore the island on a boat trip: Take a boat trip to enjoy its full beauty, passing its marvellous caves and stunning scenery.

Scuba diving: An underwater paradise awaits scuba divers with its blue waters and crystal-clear visibility.

Horseriding: Take a relaxing horse ride through Zante's vibrant landscape while admiring the stunning blue waters from atop a horse.

Hiking: Hike through the lush, forest-covered interior and along the rugged coast for magnificent views.

Visit a turtle sanctuary: A visit to the Caretta-Caretta Turtle Sanctuary is essential for animal lovers. Enjoy feeding the turtles and learning all about marine life.

Local foods to try

Saganaki: The most popular snack on Zante, saganaki consists of fried cheese while also served with lemon and oregano.

Rizogalo: Rice pudding flavoured with cinnamon and served cold is a typical dessert.

Fried octopus: A delectable snack is available throughout the island; fried octopus is served with various spices and sauces.

Souvlaki: Grilled and marinated pork cubes, served in a pita wrap with onions, tomatoes, tzatziki sauce and fries.

Hortopita: A pie made with eggs, spinach, cheese, onion and parsley, Hortopita may be served either hot or cold.

Souvenirs to buy

Wicker crafts: Delightful crafts, such as hand-woven baskets, bird cages and figurines, are great to take back home as a reminder of the island.

Ceramics: Bright and cheerful, you should buy traditional ceramics for your trip to Zante.

T-shirts: T-shirts with a picture of Shipwreck Beach are the best items to take home and cherish the island's memory.

Honey: Zante is renowned for its local organic honey, made from bee-friendly flowers grown on the island.

Olive oil: Zante is a significant producer of olive oil, and you can buy some of the most unique blends from local stores.

Is Zante expensive?

For the most part, yes. Prices have been increasing recently, and the island is no longer the budget-friendly option it once was. However, costs still remain affordable compared to other Greek Islands. When it comes to food and accommodation, prices are relatively inexpensive, and there are a few budget options that can be found by doing some research.

Flights to Zakynthos

Where to stay

The resorts in Zante are mainly situated on the east and south coasts. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can choose from exclusive hotel resorts to holiday villas, affordable apartments and Airbnb.

Helpful recommendations

Take some time to explore the island's hinterlands: Several trails offer beautiful views and many archaeological sites.

Visit the Church of Agios Nikolaos and drive around the Boatyards of Regos: The Church of Agios Nikolaos Molos is said to be one of the oldest standing Christian Church in the world. Afterwards, stop at the boatyards to admire the painstakingly crafted yachts and boats.

Don't forget to tour the Venetian Castle of Zante: It is the perfect place to admire Zante from a different perspective.

Take some time to explore the traditional villages dotted around the island: These picture-perfect villages are the best way to explore the genuine Zakynthian culture.

Zante Weather

Zakynthos boasts a Mediterranean climate with warm, sunny summers and mild winters. The sunniest months are June, July, and August, with virtually no rainfall. The sea is warmest for swimming from July to September. Rain is most likely from November to January.

JAN

13.7°C / 56.7°F

7 days rain

FEB

14.2°C / 57.6°F

6 days rain

MAR

15.3°C / 59.5°F

6 days rain

APR

18.1°C / 64.6°F

5 days rain

MAY

22.5°C / 72.5°F

3 days rain

JUN

27.0°C / 80.6°F

1 days rain

JUL

29.4°C / 84.9°F

0 days rain

AUG

30.3°C / 86.5°F

0 days rain

SEP

27.1°C / 80.8°F

2 days rain

OCT

22.8°C / 73.0°F

5 days rain

NOV

18.6°C / 65.5°F

6 days rain

DEC

15.6°C / 60.1°F

6 days rain

Best time to visit Zante

The best time to visit Zakynthos is from June to September when the weather is warm, the sun is shining, and the sea is perfect for swimming. However, if you prefer a quieter vacation, consider visiting in May or October when the weather is still pleasant, and the island is less crowded.

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