Cruise Port Atlas | Zakynthos, Greece Day Trips | Attractions

Zakynthos, Greece Day Trips | Attractions

Also spelled: Zakinthos, Zante

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Zakynthos: Windstar, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas

Key Attractions: Solomos Square, St. Nicholas Church, St. Dionysis Church, Byzantine Museum, Bochali Village, Venetian Fortress, Shipwreck Beach (Navagio), Gerakas Beach, Tsilivi Beach, Kalamaki Beach, Laganas Beach, Cape Skinari, Blue Caves, Kampi, Caretta Caretta Turtles, Mountain biking, hiking, scuba diving, Anafonitra Monastery, Volimes, St. Mavra Church,

Zakynthos Attractions

Port to St. Dionysios Church - 0.4 KM, 5 minute walk
Port to St. Dionysios Church - 1.5 KM, 5 minutes, 14 minute walk
Port to St. Dionysios Church - 2.5 KM, 6 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Zakynthos' attractions are centered around the town square, called Solomos Square. Two of the three buildings not destroyed in 1953 are found here - the National Bank and St. Nicolas Church. The impressive post-Byzantine museum preserves artifacts from the pre-earthquake time including many beautiful icons and ecclesiastic garments. At the other end of the city's promenade (near where the ship docks) is the city's most beautiful Church, St. Dionysios, named after the island's patron saint. The small city center is parallel to the promenade and is easily walkable and offers the typical Greek appeal, homey tavernas and lively shopping. To see the area from another perspective, go to Bochali Hill and the village high above the port. From the remains of the Venetian Fortress, the view of the city is awe inspiring.

              

   

Photo of port by Nana B Agyei, photo of town from above by Roddy McDougall

Zakynthos Beaches

Port to Tsivili Beach - 8 KM, 11 minutes
Port to Kalamaki and Laganas Beaches - 7 KM, 9 minutes
Port to Gerakas Beach - 15 KM, 17 minutes
Port to Shipwreck (Navagio) Beach - 34 KM, 44 minutes (boat access only)
Link to Full-Page Google Map

You might see the pictures of Shipwreck Beach and think that is where you want to go for sun and relaxation, but is it really more of a photo stop for those taking a boat tour. The island's most renowned beach is at Gerakas, on a spit of land at the far southeast of the island. No motorized water sports are allowed there (or at Kalamaki Beach either) to protect the endangered Caretta-Caretta (Loggerhead) turtles that nest there. However, there are tavernas and other services. Perhaps the most family friendly beach is at Tsilivi just north of Zakynthos Town, with shallow water and a soft sandy bottom. There are a number of other developed and not so developed beach areas, many with views of cliffs and rocky outcroppings. Don't just bring your swimsuit, bring your camera as well!

           

   

Photo of Laganas Resort Beach by AxG

Zakynthos Natural and Outdoor Attractions

Port to Cape Skinari / Blue Caves - 32 KM, 40 minutes
Port to Marathonisi - 7 KM, 9 minutes plus a boat transfer to the uninhabited island
Port to Kampi (Cliffs) - 27 KM, 40 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The most famous of the island’s natural attractions are the Blue Caves at the northern tip of the island (Cape Skinari). Accessible only by boat, these caves offer divers an opportunity to explore a stunning environ. Even if you don't get directly into the water, you can see the beauty of the caves, the shining blue water, and the white of the surrounding cliffs. There are some natural archways as well. Amazing! Second on the list of natural wonders are the endangered Caretta-Caretta Loggerhead turtles nest on the beaches on the south side of the island. A favorite spot for turtle watching is the small islet of Marathonisi which also features a local seal that frolics on these shores. The entire island is a sparsely populated green space with rocky mountains that create stunning landscapes.

              

   

Photo of Baby Caretta Caretta (public domain), photo of Blue Caves by Steffen Temp

Zakynthos Villages

Port to Maherado / St. Marva Church - 10 KM, 15 minutes
Port to Keri - 20 KM, 31 minutes
Port to Anafontitra / Monastery - 30 KM, 37 minutes
Port to Volimes - 31 KM, 37 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

For those who are not interested in the resorts and who would rather experience culture than nature, there are several nice small villages on Zakynthos. These offer the rustic atmosphere of the Ionian islands, authentic cuisine, and local crafts sold by those who crafted them. In the village Maherado you get all that plus the 14th century St. Mavra Church, with lovely icons and some valuable royal jewels. In the southwest corner of the island is Keri, perched atop a hill with amazing sea and cliff views. In the north of the island is the town of Anafonitra, named for a 15th century Monastery just outside to village. This was where the patron saint of the island, Agios (St.) Dionysius, lived the last years of his life and the beautiful and roughhewn setting has mystic icons and beautiful frescoes. Nearby Volimes is well-known for its local handicrafts.

           

   

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible