Zakynthos (Zante) Travel Guide

by Kelly

Zante has a lot to offer but it can be a little confusing when trying to work out what to do and where to stay. Our Zakynthos travel guide will help sort your trip out for you!

How to get to Zakynthos

We took the ferry from Kefalonia to Zakynthos. The Kefalonia ferry leaves from Pesada which is a small port at the bottom of the island. We took a taxi to the ferry from our accommodation which cost us 25 euro. The ferry took one hour and cost 25 euro each. You can see their running times here and buy tickets at any of the tour agencies in town on Kefalonia. This boat will take you to Porto Nikolas on Zakynthos. It is a very small port in the north of the island.

You can also take a ferry to other areas of Zakynthos depending upon your departure point on Kefalonia and you can also fly in to Zakynthos.

How to get around on Zakynthos?

Hiring car or a powerful ATV/scooter is almost a necessity on Zante (see my previous blog on hiring vehicles in Greece). You can get a taxi to pick you up from the port and take you to your accommodation but it will be a minimum of around 50 euros. Pre booking your hire vehicle is a must also, particularly in high season (July – August). We booked our car through Kamara Car Hire and they were excellent. They dropped the car off and picked it up. It was 45 euro for a Hyundai i10 in excellent condition. I heard that they also pick up from the airport which is helpful too.

Car hire Zakynthos

How to get from Porto Nikolas to Alykes or the rest of Zakynthos?

This is the tricky bit. Porto Nikolas is a pretty fishing village and would be a peaceful stay but it is far from everywhere else. A quick look around town is enough if not staying there. We tried to hire a car to be dropped there and but this was also an extra cost of 50 euro. The car hires were very scarce as this was not a planned part of our trip and it ended up being high season making it difficult to get a car.

We ended up with a 50cc ATV and were told it was fine for two people to get from Port Nikolas to Alykes where we were staying. Sadly this was not the case.
Half way up the first hill the quad stopped. I had to jump off and walk up the hill. We tried on the next and the same thing happened. Essentially in the 9km we had to go I walked approximately 5km, in the 40 degree heat, straight up hill. We were not happy. Mike even had to get off at one stage and push the ATV up a hill.
We tried to return it as we hadn’t been advised that it wouldn’t get from even the port to the town. At the start they were unwilling to budge. Then the owner took Mike for a drive and realised we were telling the truth. Eventually we were able to negotiate a deal, keep it for the day and pay for that day only, driving to flat areas and they returned our payment for the second day.
We found a car for 45 euro for the second day and went to explore. We could take the quad to Zante town and Lagunas.

What to do on Zakynthos?

There are many more things to do in Zante but we only had really half a day to do extras and then the following day was all about the shipwreck. We lost a lot of time in trying to get back our money for the second day of the ATV hire and getting from the port to our accommodation (I was walking most of it) . I will update this list when we get back there to see more!

Zakynthos Shipwreck Beach

The beaches

There are some beautiful beaches to explore on Zante. The more popular and party beaches to the more remote and chilled out.

Our favourite beach was Navagio Beach, while it is busy the water is stunning and the shipwreck is there for interest.

Zakynthos Shipwreck

Lagunas is one of the most popular beaches but honestly it’s not that great. The water isn’t anything special and the sand is grey. It seems that it is the go for people who want to party. Not our kind of place but if you’re looking for that then it’s the go.

We also went to Xigia Sulfur Beach which was nice but did smell of sulfur of course. This was a cool little beach to hang at and the sulfur water did make our skin feel nice. The have some chairs you can hire at the bottom and there is a cafe at the top of the hill. You can order food on the beach and it comes down to you in a basket using a pulley system.

Shipwreck Beach (Navagio Beach)

You can take a boat tour to the beach and see the ship up close. It is a great way to spend half a day. You can read all about our trip there and the best way to do it here.

Face of Poseidon

We saw the Face of Poseidon on the boat tour from the beach back to the marina. They will take you to sea caves and give you some more opportunity to swim in the most beautiful water. The Face of Poseidon is included in this part of the boat trip and really does look like a face! It is a cave which has naturally eroded and turned into the face of Poseidon, the god of sea.

Check out our vlog on visiting Shipwreck Beach!

Navagio Viewpoint

Seeing the shipwreck from above has been one of the best ways to take it in…until recently. I was so excited to get a pic of the shipwreck from above. I had read so much about the cliffs along the side away from the view point and how they gave the best views. However before we left I started reading about how they had been closed off due to the danger of people falling.

I was really hoping it wasn’t true but sadly it is. When we arrived at the viewpoint I looked along the side where the cliffs are and there is a big metal fence that has been erected and you can’t get through. The little platform that is there as the viewpoint is disappointing as it is tiny and you can’t actually see the boat well from there. We sent up our drone which is the best way to get pics here now but honestly I was really just sad that I couldn’t walk out where I was hoping to go. Apparently some people are bush bashing through the scrub to the cliff areas but it isn’t really allowed and the police are trying to stop them.

Turtle beach tour

This is an excellent tour to Turtle island, it is an awesome way to see such a beautiful area! The tour includes a 3 hour private boat trip to:

  • Spot Turtle Caretta Caretta – In its natural environment
  • Admire Mizithres Rocks – A breathtaking natural point with turquoise waters
  • Discover Turtle Island – Its shape looks like turtle Caretta-Caretta
  • Dive and Snorkel Keri caves

Zante Town

Zante town is also worth a visit to wander around and look at the shops and architecture. There are some pretty spots and a few churches to check out. We spent a couple of hours here which was nice.

Zante Town

Where to stay on Zakynthos?

There are accommodation options everywhere in Zante. The following are a summary of what the main areas offer.


This is where we chose to stay, we figured it was halfway between the port we would arrive at and the port we were leaving from. It is a really sweet little village and has some great atmosphere in the evenings with lots of dining options. Sadly our accommodation was not great (last minute in high season is never a great time to book!) so I wouldn’t recommend it. The staff were lovely but that was the only good thing about it. There are some beautiful properties in Alykes and it is a great place to base yourself, just try to book early particularly if travelling in high season. This is my first choice of place to stay in Zante. A great option we saw but booked out before we could get it was Shades of Zante 3.

Alykes Zante


This is the destination for you if you are looking to party or if you are travelling with family. I have no idea how these two types of travellers go together but apparently it is so. We did end up going here and the beach didn’t look like it was anything special. Mike slipped in for a quick dip and said it was ok but nothing special. There is a big long beach and the water is pretty calm so good for all types of beach people. I would check out Spiros Family Apts.

Zante Town

This is the major arrival and departure point for most people and many choose to stay here, It has the biggest offering of shopping and dining options and there are multiple tours you can take from there. If you are hiring a car you can go anywhere on the island anyway so staying here is fine and there are some great hotels in the area. Alektor Luxury Apartments has excellent budget rooms that are really lovely.


Tsilivi is another great option for people who like the quiet life and families. The beach here is fine for kids and it is a peaceful stay. Check out Coco Palm Beach Villas

Check out the map below of accommodation, we usually book with them!

How to get to Zante Town from Alykes?

We had to get a taxi to Zante Central bus station which cost us 25 euro. Zante does have a fare limit which you can mention when booking however the driver will possibly ask for a tip.
We had planned to take the local bus but it is not regular and particularly not in school holidays. We were waiting at the bust stop outside Hotel Austoria and a lady came out to tell us that they will just turn up if they want to. But probably not.
The lady from Hotel Austoria called us a taxi and explained we were running late to catch a bus. He did arrive quickly but drove like a mad man and got us there with 10 min to spare. He asked us for a tip and we just gave what we had on us which sadly wasn’t much.

How to get from Zante Town to Athens?

You can fly from Zante to Athens but we couldn’t find any good prices so we took the bus which we booked online. Unfortunately we couldn’t print the ticket out. It did have an option for a digital ticket but they didn’t really like this at the depot. Our seat ended up being double sold and we had to argue that we had the ticket as it was on our phone, not printed.

We did eventually get another seat It was 28 euro each but doesn’t include the 12 euro ferry ticket you have to buy at the port. You take the bus from Zante Central Bus Station and then it drives you to the port. Everyone gets off the bus and boards the ferry. However if you haven’t already bought your ferry ticket you will have to run across the road from the ferry and buy one. Both the ferry and the ticket booth are in the company colours of yellow and black with the name Levant ferries being very visible.

If you are in Zante Town I would buy the tickets the day before to save this hassle. The bus trip was fine, it wasn’t too long and there is a rest stop halfway which is good to get out and stretch your legs. You will arrive back in the Athens depot.

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