Zakynthos: Greece's Hidden Gem Itinerary & Travel Guide
- by Ari Travels
When googling “Greece’s best beaches” you may stumble upon this insane-looking turquoise blue beach with a wooden shipwreck on pure white sand. This beach is located on the island of Zakynthos and let me tell you, this place is as beautiful as it looks in the photos.
Zakynthos is nestled on the western side of Greece in the Ionian Sea, causing it to be less traveled than its sibling islands on the Eastern Side. This island is full of remarkable beaches and of course the famous viewpoint of Shipwreck beach. Coming here instead of the islands on the eastern side in my opinion was 100% worth it. The prices here are much more reasonable as well because tourism has not taken over this side of Greece…yet ;) I would plan on visiting Zakynthos in addition to one of the more famous islands such as Santorini. I have linked my itinerary and travel guide here for Santorini in case you’re interested in reading it. Having been to Greece multiple times, I learned how to pick the right islands and budget my money in order to afford these bucket list destinations and you can too. Feel free to reach out to me for assistance in planning your dream trip to Greece.
Things to know about Zakynthos
Renting an ATV or a car here is the best way to see the entire island. Make sure you have an international driver's permit prior to renting. You can easily obtain one online.
In addition, you’re going to want to have data on your phone to access Google Maps. Using a paper map to attempt get around here is too complicated because there are many small roads you have to take to get from place to place. To get easy, affordable access to cellphone data, use the Airalo app. Airalo allows you to have affordable cell data plans all over the world without needing a physical Sim Card which is what makes using your phone without wifi extremely convenient. Use my code ARIAHN516 for $ off!
The use of both cash and card here is about 50/50, but some places only will take cash. To be prepared you’re going to want to get an ATM debit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees such as the Charles Schwab Debit Card. It doesn't have a start up or annual fee either! I have saved hundreds of dollars using it around the world.
When using a credit card, make sure your card doesn’t charge international fees. The Capitol One Venture travel card is my favorite.
Tap water is safe here to drink as long as there is no warning sign near the sink. Bring a reusable water bottle to save money constantly buying bottles and wasting plastic.
Make sure you have the proper travel adaptor for electronic use. You cannot use plugs in Greece without it.
How to Get to Zakynthos
Getting to Zakynthos Island was easier than ever. The Athens international airport offers affordable daily flights here. The flight duration is only about 45 minutes. You may need to plan on checking your bags because some of the planes are pretty small.
Once you land, you can easily call a taxi from the airport to take you to your accommodation. I paid around $20 for one way. It’s pricier, although they don’t have any bus routes from
The airport so a taxi is the only way there unless you rent a car.
Where to Stay on Zakynthos
I stayed in the area of Agrassi. Agrassi has plenty of restaurants & grocery stores along with ATMs and other important services you need. The prices here are very reasonable. There are many affordable options on booking.com. I have also linked some great places down below.
Alisaxni Studios $90/night
Chryssi Akti Hotel $90/night
Xenos Kamara Beach $150/night
Other affordable options in Zakynthos
Day 1: Cameo island, local beaches and ATV exploration
Most of the flights here arrive early in the morning, so check into your accommodation and get exploring!
On this day, you’re going to want to rent an ATV
Tip: BOOK IN ADVANCE! Everywhere else in Greece, you can easily get an ATV just by walking into a random rental company office, but here they were all sold out. I was lucky enough to get the last one after walking around for an hour to find availability. Just save yourself some stress and book ahead of time! There are many companies online, just make sure they are located near the town you are staying in.
You’re going to want to route your GPS to Cameo Island. You walk on a picturesque rope bridge and enjoy some swimming here. Make sure to have the Airalo app downloaded and data on your phone prior to your adventure.
If you want a bite to eat, there are also some great restaurants close by to Cameo. My favorite was Sabbia. They had fun music playing with beach views.
Head over to Porto Zorro to see some breathtaking rock formations in the water. There is also a beach club here and they have free seating. It’s a great way to hang out with some friends and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
Grab dinner at Apollo restaurant. I had the Chicken souvlaki platter and of course the baked feta and let me tell you…this had to have been the best-baked feta I have had in all of Greece (and I have tried a lot hahah).
If you have time, watch the sunset at the Bochali Viewpoint. Or if not, save it for another day.
Day 2: Trip to Kerri Caves & Turtle Island (click to book)
A trip to Zakynthos is not complete until you get to swim in the turquoise waters of the Kerri caves. You will board a glass bottom boat, look for sea turtles, then the boat takes you to the famous Kerri caves. You’ll swim there for a while and then end the day with some relaxation on a remote island.
This day trip is not only a highlight of your trip to Zakynthos, but it’s also affordable and a great way to see unique parts of the island because you can’t get to these by car or ATV.
Day 3: Rent a car and drive to Shipwreck Viewpoint
Arguably the most iconic beach viewpoint in all of Greece. Shipwreck viewpoint is located in the northwestern area of the island and is about an hour drive from the hustle and bustle of the towns down south. Make sure to rent a car for the day. Again, request to book this ahead of time.
NOTE: Unfortunately, driving ATVs all the way from Agrassi is not recommended by rental companies because to get to the viewpoint you drive up a mountain. It’s extremely dangerous and the ATVs simply do not have enough power to do this. If you want to go to the shipwreck viewpoint you must either rent a car, hire a taxi or take a tour.
You can also take an optional boat tour to the actual shipwreck beach, although be aware that boats do not go out every day due to wind. Unfortunately, during my trip here I was not able to get on a boat, but the viewpoint is 100x better in my opinion anyway.
I arrived here around 11 am and it was about an hour and a half wait in order to see the views from the platform, but it was worth it. You could arrive much earlier to beat the crowds, but It’s hard to tell if the sun would shine right onto the water below to give it that turquoise color. The viewing platform is free, just be respectful to other tourists and don’t take too long on the platform.
Disclaimer: You may see Instagram photos of the shipwreck beach viewpoint in a different area without any platform in the photos, but this is not the case anymore. There used to be an unofficial viewpoint, but the country has closed it down permanently due to erosion. I did not know this prior to my arrival and planned on hiking to this specific viewpoint and when I arrived the guard explained the situation to me. Let's just say I was pretty bummed at first. Be respectful and do not hike to this viewpoint, just go to the regulated one and wait your turn. It’s still worth it!
Photography Tip: This viewpoint can be trickier to capture because of the angle. Bring a tripod and have someone hold it up above you and put your phone on .5 zoom to capture the whole area. Download one of my preset packs to finish off your perfect photo.
After you see Shipwreck Viewpoint, drive another 30 minutes to Porto Liminnos beach. Parking is located above the actual beach. There are stairs to hike to the bottom as well as a restaurant in case you’re hungry. Of course, it would not be an Ari Travels blog without me mentioning that there is a cliff jumping zone here too! if you’re an adrenaline junkie like me, you’ll love this beach. Don’t forget snorkeling gear too because there are some cool caves to explore.
Now that I have created a whole itinerary that covers all the highlights and more from Zakynthos, Greece it’s time to get planning! Please feel free to comment or ask me any questions regarding your upcoming trip. For more information about traveling to Zakynthos or Greece in general, you can book a consultation call with me or request a custom itinerary by heading to this page. Happy traveling!
I want to go here!!!
ps: stunning photos