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Zakynthos and the wreck beach

What to see in Zakynthos in a weekend among turtles, blue caves, sunset over the sea and the wreck beach, avoiding the tourist areas and enjoying the hidden paradises.

Zakynthos - or as Ugo Foscolo called it, Zakynthos - is different from other Greek islands. At first glance it seems too touristy with villages full of neon, colorful billboards and restaurants for novice tourists; however there are corners of incredible beauty that are worth the whole holiday. Here it is easy with the language, you are surrounded by Italian tourists and in all the clubs they speak a little bit of Italian.

A brief hint of history

"Né più mai toccherò le sacre sponde

Ove il mio corpo fanciulletto giacque,

Zacinto mia, che te specchi nell’onde

Del greco mar, da cui vergine nacque"

who does not remember reading this poem at school? Fabio maybe hahaha XD

In Zakynthos city, in via Foskolou 61, the famous Italian poet Ugo Foscolo was born in 1778. At the time, the island had been under Venetian rule for over 3 centuries and Italian influence had given it the name of Florence of Greece for its beauty. In 1797, however, the island passed under French domination and Foscolo and his family were forced to flee like the numerous Italians; nostalgia and exile gave the poet the impetus to create his masterpiece.

With a leap in time we arrive at the postwar period, in 1953, when the island suffered a terrible earthquake that destroyed all the buildings apart from a very few such as the Church of San Nicola di Molos (on the port in Solomos square).

Zakynthis villages

Zante, Bohali, Tsilivi, Argassi, Laganas, Agios Nikolaos

As we wrote above, the villages south of Zakynthos will not impress you with their uniqueness and beauty. Tsilivi, Argassi, Kalamaki and Laganas are 80s Riccione-style tourist areas where restaurants, pubs, mini golf, amusement parks are concentrated on one street: Tsilivi is the largest and most well-kept one, while Laganas is for the night-life. They are all very close, we slept in Argassi because it was close to the airport and convenient for getting around by scooter.

Zakynthos city is a small town overlooking the harbor, where luxury yachts and large yellow ferries that go back and forth every day dock. The bell towers are in typical Venetian style and in the evening when they are illuminated, they increase their charm. Here you can spend a few hours in the afternoon or evening to take a walk among the small shops in the center (almost all with Italian brands), have dinner or have a drink. Above the town is the beautiful panorama of Bohali, with the castle and restaurants with a view.

To the north in a small bay is Agios Nikolaos, a more characteristic village than the others, where the road divides the sea from the houses and hosts the tables of the taverns; here the sea water is crystal clear even in the marina where the boats are waiting stationary.

Near Capo Skinari we stopped to see a small group of houses near RENI'S PLACE Hand made gifts, former school and among the few buildings that survived the earthquake where a couple opened a souvenir shop and furnished the house in a fantastic way and magical. Nearby there is a large and beautiful decorated tree and in front of the other houses you will find stalls with excellent local products.

The South of the Island

Gerakas e Dafni, the turtles beach, Cameo Island

From Argassi begins a mountainous promontory where you can stop at many beaches. The sea in the south of the island is not comparable to the colors found in the north, but there are many services and wider beaches. They are all equipped with sun loungers and a bar-restaurant; the majority are small, divided between a part on the grass and one on the sand and sometimes rocks to enter the water. On the external side: Kaminia beach, Porto Zorro, Porto Azzurro (more chic), Porto Roma (with a beautiful luxury hotel by the sea) and Banana beach for water sports.

On the side of the lagoon there are the famous beaches of Gerakas and Dafni, where the turtles lay their eggs. In fact, in these there are guards who signal the presence of the nests and protect them from tourists to allow the little ones to be born after 8-10 weeks. In Gerakas, a large part of the beach is bounded to protect the nests, although there is always some phenomenon that does not respect the ropes (strange but the worst we saw were the Germans). Gerakas is very scenic in terms of colors and for the cut of the cliff (Jason's Bite). In both there is the possibility to take a cot or to spread the towel. Avoid eating at Taverna Dafni, terrible.

In Dafni, however, we found the place of our dreams and which we talk about at the end of the post :)

The beaches of Argassi, Kalamaki and Laganas are long and touristy. In Laganas there is also Cameo Island, very istangram-like, where you can walk on the wooden bridge and drink from 9 in the morning until 19.

The best sunset on the sea

In Keri, close to the lighthouse to see the Myzithres and blue water

On the opposite side of the lagoon is Keri, another beautiful natural area with beaches, caves and the most beautiful view of the whole island. The best scenic spots are:

  1. a private piece of cliff where a family offers through a track coffee, drinks, snacks. You can sit and watch the most beautiful sunset over the sea on the whole island. On the left you can see the Myzithres stack and on the right there is a view of the caves and the blue and azure sea. To get there you have to get to the Keri Lighthouse restaurant and continue for two curves, the road ends in their parking lot.

  2. Keri Lighthouse Restaurant, for those who want a more sophisticated version, is located at the first corner and next to it is the largest Greek flag in the world.

  3. Sunset tavern to dine with great food, admiring the sunset over the sea

The North part of the island

Navagio, Cape Skinari, Blu Caves e boat trip

We had bought an organized boat ride to get to the wreck beach and see the blue caves, but we got the meeting point wrong and we missed the boat .. after the initial shock, we found a way to fix it and in the end it is went better than the tour booked. Indeed we do not recommend spending 30-40 euros for the trip, you can see the same by spending less and enjoying the places more calmly.

The Wreck and the path to the best view from the top

Navagio beach is the most famous beach in Zakynthos and one of the most photographed in Greece.

Here the water is a beautiful pastel blue thanks to the numerous sulphurous caves that surround the beach and which release large quantities of sulfur when the sea rises.

The wreck was called Panagiotis, a ship used by smugglers with a cargo of cigarettes destined for the black market. Not having the papers in order, one evening in October 1980 the crew decided to stop near the cove, in the hope that the sheltered area and the night darkness could protect the freighter. The following morning the ship ran aground in a shoal and in a short time the undertow created by the wreck, accumulating sandy material, created a very white beach (cit. Wikipedia).

The view from the top is magnificent, you can get there by following google maps. In front of the parking lot there is a balcony suspended in the void from which you can see and photograph the wreck.

To really enjoy the view, however, you have to follow another path. To the left of the balcony begins a dirt path that must be followed to the end. We followed a first deviation of the path but the view was reduced and the path very dangerous. If, on the other hand, you continue the gravel path, it will seem to move away but then you will find that the path returns back. Descending between the rocks and shrubs (safely) you can get right above the wreck for an incredible view! Consider that in the morning the wreck is in the shade, while in the central hours of the day it is very hot and the trail is all under the scorching sun.

To the right of the balcony, on the other hand, there is another path that proceeds along the ridge and gives an enlarged overview of the whole cove; unfortunately when we went it was barred and a guardian did not allow us to access it.

Our boat trip would have allowed us to go down to the beach, but we found that in rough seas it is not always possible and only some allow you to swim to the beach. Without the organized tour, you can take a taxi-boat offered by local boats from Porto Vrom, Aghios Nikolaos or from Potamitis which is located right at the Blue Caves (10 € per person for the blue caves and 15 € for the wreck)

Visits to the Navagio are usually in the morning because in the afternoon the sea tends to swell and causes problems for the return.

Blu Caves, lighthouse of Skinari and dips

From Navagio we took the road towards Capo Skinari and we had the opportunity to see Volimes, frozen in time with its rustic beauty, together with huge and centuries-old olive trees.

The lighthouse was closed, so we went to the small street below from Potamitis to inform us by boat for the Blu Caves - the boats are available every 10-15 minutes and there is a very nice lady who makes the tickets (cash or card 10 € each ). The tour lasts about twenty minutes but it is worth it, the whole cave area has unique colored water and you can dive from the boat to swim and see the fish.

Thanks to the tour we discovered a magnificent place for diving (Fabio's passion): you have to get to the Potamitis Windmill and go down the stairs to the sea, for those who want you can also take a deckchair on the panoramic terraces otherwise you can stay for free. to make the dives from the 2 trampolines they have installed.

From Capo Skinari to Xigia beach, it is dotted with the most beautiful beaches on the island. Xigia beach is famous for being sulphurous (and you can smell it) but it is very small and full of people.

Unforgettable experience

Dionysos Own Heaven in Dafni Beach

Dionysos was the icing on the cake to end our weekend. We discovered it on google maps by accident and it turned out to be one of the best places we tried. Dionysos is a gentleman who runs the beach like his father and grandfather before him. He explains that these were once the beaches, where families enjoyed the sea for weeks in harmony and relaxation. On his handkerchief of rocks and sand, Dionysos gave vent to creativity with a dozen beds covered with a roof of trunks and foliage, colorful tables, drapes and memorabilia. Here you can stay during the day and if you want to sleep also at night, a little hippie and a little wild.

Dionysos and his assistant Georgeus kept us company, prepared a mojito to drink at sunset and let us choose the fresh fish of the day to grill for dinner. After the last bath, around the time of sunset, the table was ready and Dionysos came to make us the Greek bruschetta with the products of his farm and bring us the Greek salad, our beloved aubergines on the grill, the octopus and two big grilled white fish..a lord's dinner, with our feet on the sand as we watched the sunset and the rising moon.

When the stars arrived, we spent an hour drinking wine and wobbling over the songs played on the guitar by Dionysos; then we stayed until after midnight to enjoy the sound of the sea in the hammock, look at the stars and hope to see the arrival of the turtles. Unfortunately the next day we had to leave, but with others who have known this place, we will return to spend the whole night sleeping.

Do not go to Dionysos just to take pictures, it is an experience that must be lived and Dionysos is keen to be part of it. He also gave me a beautiful shell for my birthday. To get to him you have to take the road from Porto Zorro and put Dionysos own paradise on google maps (do not enter Dafni beach otherwise you will be taken to other establishments with parking lots and being relatives of Dionysos, he will not want to do them a wrong but will welcome you the same for a good drink) pagina facebook

Helpful Tips:

Where to sleep

We stayed at the Elea Hotel Apartments in Argassi, which you can also find on booking at € 39 per night. The apartment was simple, but with all the comforts including a well-stocked kitchenette and a large terrace overlooking the garden. There is also a restaurant bar and a nice and clean swimming pool. No cost for air conditioning and wifi, which is not to be taken for granted in Zakynthos.

Where to eat and drink

There are tons of beautiful scenic tavernas and restaurants all over the island. As we have already said we recommend the Sunset Taverna for porchetta and mussaka and the Keri area in general. Other beautiful are the sophisticated seaside restaurants with a splendid view Sunday, Anadalis, Kavo together with the Garden Bar in Argassi; Lithies Taverna near Gerakas; El Greco and Hamsa in Laganas.


We found a super last-minute offer on Volotea with a flight for 2 for only 69 €. To this must be added the hotel (156 € 4 nights), the dinners, the scooter (80 € 4 days) and the boat excursion (80 € which you can save thanks to our advice) .. in total we spent about 600 euro in two.


  • Scooter rental from the airport: Manos replies to emails and Teo brings the vehicles; nice, helpful, good service and fair prices

  • Boat excursion to the wreck and Blu Caves directly from Cape Skinari if you have hired a moped, so you will have time to take the boat ride in the morning and see the wreck from above in the afternoon.

  • For more information, there is this site of Italians who live in Zakynthos and who are available to help new visitors

Must places:

Sunset at the lighthouse of Keri, Blue Caves, Ship wreck, Dyonisos own paradise


Click here to see the map or use it on your trip



Do you want some advice?

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