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A Guide to the Very Best Beaches in Zakynthos

Caves, silky sands, and even a natural spa - these beaches have it all

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An bird's eye view of a boat in the water next to the sand at Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

A jewel in the crown of the idyllic Ionian islands, Zakynthos is famed for its selection of postcard-worthy beaches and pristine waters. Zante, as the island is also known, draws all kinds of visitors – - families, couples, solo travellers and those in search of a party - and has a beach selection to match. The choice is almost too good to be true: will you opt for waters ports at Banana Beach, the dramatic scenery of Navagio, or perhaps a day away from it all at Porto Vromi? That's your call, but we here at Plum Guide have whittled down the list to include only our favourites. You could probably even find time for all of them. So without further ado, get those bags packed as we bring you the very best beaches in Zakynthos.

  • Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach)
  • Banana Beach
  • Makris Gialos Beach
  • Porto Vromi Beach
  • Xigia Beach
  • Gerakas Beach

Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach)

The famous brown shipwreck in front of tall white cliffs by the sea at Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

The famous brown shipwreck in front of tall white cliffs by the sea at Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

If you’ve ever seen a postcard of Zakynthos, there’s a high chance you’ve had a glimpse of Navagio Beach. Also known as Shipwreck Beach or Smuggler’s Cove, the white cliff-backed bay gets its name from the freight liner, the Panagiotis. The vessel ran aground the area in 1980, and still lies abandoned on the beach in all its ruined beauty. Access to the dramatic beach, set on the northwestern coast of Zante, is only possible by water - hop on one of the regular boats from Porto Vromi, St Nicholas Port in Volimes, and Zakynthos Town. As a regular contender for the title of “most beautiful beach in Greece”, and among the country’s most photographed spots, visiting outside of the peak summer season is recommended. If you just want to take a peek at the beach from above, you can access the viewpoint platform by car.

Peloponnesian Dreams, Plum Guide home in Zakynthos, Greece

Peloponnesian Dreams, Plum Guide home in Zakynthos, Greece

Banana Beach

Rows of sun loungers and umbrellas on the sand at Banana Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

Rows of sun loungers and umbrellas on the sand at Banana Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

As the island’s longest beach, the soft white sands of Banana Beach are always sure to be mentioned among the best beaches in Zakynthos. Beyond the sands and crystal waters, here you’ll find everything you can think of for a day at the seaside: sun loungers, umbrellas, an array of bars and restaurants, changing rooms and showers - no wonder it's such a huge hit with families. If your idea of a holiday is a touch more active than lying back with a good book, paragliding, jet skiing, and banana boat rides are all on offer. Getting there is a cinch, with free buses offered from Laganas, Argassi, and Kalamaki.

Zakynthian Turtle, Plum Guide home in Zakynthos, Greece

Zakynthian Turtle, Plum Guide home in Zakynthos, Greece

Makris Gialos Beach

An aerial view of the blue sea and golden sand at Makris Gialos Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

An aerial view of the blue sea and golden sand at Makris Gialos Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

To experience the best snorkelling and scuba diving in Zakynthos, make a beeline for Makris Gialos Beach on the island’s northeast coast. The crystal-clear water gets deep quickly but stays calm, creating the perfect conditions for discovering the local marine life. Not sure where to begin? There’s a diving school on hand to guide you. This rather secluded bay of sand and pebbles is a good compromise for travellers wanting to get away from it all, without giving up the creature comforts that make a holiday that bit more relaxing. Here you’ll still find sun loungers and a few traditional tavernas - take the opportunity to sample some freshly caught fish.

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls, Plum Guide home in Zakynthos, Greece

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls, Plum Guide home in Zakynthos, Greece

Porto Vromi Beach

A bird's eye view of numerous small boats in the blue sea at Porto Vromi Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

A bird's eye view of numerous small boats in the blue sea at Porto Vromi Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

On an island as popular as Zakynthos, finding a truly secluded spot can feel like a challenge. Well, look no further than Porto Vromi - a pair of idyllic coves ("Porto Vromi Maries" and "Porto Vromi Anafonitria") set at the end of two picturesque fords. Once you’ve enjoyed swimming or sunbathing on the white sand and pebbles, hire a pedalo to get a glimpse of some of the surrounding natural wonders, including the 'Face of Poseidon' rock formation. Upon your return, refuel and refresh with snacks and a Greek beer (or two) from the beach bar. Porto Vromi is set on the island’s northwest coast, with boat trips regularly running to iconic Navagio Beach - this could be an opportunity to visit not one, but two of the best beaches in Zakynthos.

I'm Blue, Plum Guide home in Zakynthos, Greece

I'm Blue, Plum Guide home in Zakynthos, Greece

Xigia Beach

A view of the white sand and clear blue sea at the empty Xigia Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

A view of the white sand and clear blue sea at the empty Xigia Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

Why pay to go to the spa, when you can take advantage of the sulphur springs at Xigia Beach? As you make the walk down towards the near-radiant white pebbles of this petite bay, you may notice that the turquoise water is counterposed with ethereal clouds of white. This is the milk-like substance that enters into the sea from a crack in the surrounding rocks, and contains the sulphur goodness for which the beach in famous. Granted, the smell isn’t for everyone, but the health benefits and the breathtaking sights are more than worth holding your nose for - say goodbye to aches and pains, and hello to eternal youth.

Gerakas Beach

A view of parasols and sun loungers on the sand at Gerakas Beach from behind green plants, Zakynthos, Greece

A view of parasols and sun loungers on the sand at Gerakas Beach from behind green plants, Zakynthos, Greece

If your dream beach day involves being at one with nature, rather than bars or water sports, Gerakas could be the Zakynthos beach for you. This long swathe of golden sand on the southeastern peninsula forms part of the protected National Marine Park of Zakynthos - it's an important nesting ground for the Caretta Caretta (loggerhead sea turtles). There’s a fair chance of coming face to face with one of these majestic creatures while swimming in the water here, but remember that the beach is closed between sunset and sunrise to ensure the turtles’ safety. To find out more, be sure to visit the Zakynthos Sea Turtle Rescue & Information Centre on your way to or from the beach. Beyond the awe-inspiring wildlife, here you’ll find impressive white sandstone cliffs, as well as a couple of tempting tavernas just a short walk away.

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