For a small island, Zante has its fair share of beaches! Once you venture off the beaten track you’ll find some exceptional – and sometimes fairly remote – beaches. So whether you’re after some good surf spots, snorkelling opportunities or pure relaxation, here’s the very best of what Zante has to offer.
This beach stretches for 5km and is pure golden sands. The southern part of the beach belongs to the National Marine Park of Zakynthos because it is home to some rather special visitors – sea turtles! The Caretta Caretta turtles are endangered and they come to these sands to lay their eggs. You can take a boat trip out to see the turtles in their natural habitat and they are truly magnificent to see gliding through the crystal clear water.
Makris Gialos Beach
Located in the north of Zante, Makris Gialos is a mix of sand and pebbles. The waters here are crystal clear and this is definitely a beach for snorkelling enthusiasts. The beach is surrounded by small caves and little inlets which children and adults alike can safely explore. The rock pools are full of fantastic marine life. There are a few amenities nearby which makes lunches a bit easier and at night the beach sometimes hosts a party or two!
Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Bay)
Probably Zante’s biggest beach attraction, a trip to this beach is well worth it. The beach is nicknamed shipwreck bay on account of an incident that occurred in 1983: an illegal boat that was carrying cigarettes washed onto these shores and was slowly swallowed by the sands leaving only parts of the ship exposed. Today is makes for a pretty photo, the combination of the ship, white sands and rugged cliffs above. Because of its star attraction, Navagio beach can get busy so coming in the morning is advised. You can also only access the beach via taxi boat.
This is easily one of Zante’s most beautiful beaches. The views from the shore are simply stunning and you can see all the way to Pelouzo, which is a tiny island. Dafni is another beach associated to National Marine Park because of the different wildlife that comes here, including turtles and rays.
Kalamaki beach is approximately 3km long and is postcard perfect in every way. The golden sands stretch as far as the eye can see and slowly merge with fellow beaches, Laganas and Agios Sostis. There are plenty of amenities here but also a lot of areas where you’ll find areas of pure relaxation. The opening hours are a little different here, though, as visitors are not allowed on the beach before sunrise or after sundown. This is because the Caretta Caretta turtles often come here to lay their eggs.