Resorts on the island of Zakynthos

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The Greek island of Zakynthos is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. Young visitors are attracted by the great entertainment and lively nightlife, while couples and families with children come here especially for the beautiful nature, azure sea and fabulous beaches.

The most popular tourist areas on the island are the holiday resorts of Laganas Bay - Laganas, Kalamaki or Limni Keri, and of course the beautiful capital of Zakynthos, together with the surrounding seaside resorts of Argassi, Tsilivi or Alykes and Alykanas, which have very good tourist facilities.

Towns and villages on the island of Zakynthos

The largest city of Zakynthos is the capital city of Zakynthos, which has about 10 thousand inhabitants out of a total of 40 thousand. Other larger towns (villages) include Tsilivi, Laganas, Kalamaki, Argassi, Alykes and Alikanas. On the other side of the list is the village of Gyri, with a permanent population of less than thirty. Gyri is also one of the oldest and highest villages on the island.

The life of the inhabitants of Zakynthos and the appearance of its villages have been shaped by the great diversity of the island's long history. Several powers have laid claim to the island and Zakynthos has been ruled mainly by the Romans, the Byzantine Empire and the Venetians, whose influence is still evident on the island today, especially in architecture and art. The struggle for independence and the emergence of a free Greece were also important milestones in the island's history. Modern history was marred by tragedy in the form of the devastating earthquake of 1953, which affected the whole island and, most visibly, its capital. All the infrastructure in the capital Zante was damaged and more than 90% of the buildings were destroyed, yet three important buildings managed to withstand the tremors - St Dionysius Cathedral, the National Bank building and St Nicholas Church. The capital city had to be completely rebuilt after the devastating earthquake and continues to expand further inland. Today it is a lively tourist destination.

South coast of Zakynthos - Laganas Bay

The largest tourist area of Zakynthos is located in the south of the island, on the coast of Laganas Bay. The wide bay is bordered by a beautiful sandy beach, which reaches an incredible length of almost 10 km. The sandy coastline with a gentle entrance to the sea starts at the port of Agios Sostis, passes through the popular resorts of Laganas and Kalamaki and continues to the tip of the Vassilikos peninsula. The resorts in Laganas Bay are among the best tourist resorts on the island.

The bay of Laganas and its surroundings also have one major peculiarity - due to the presence of protected and endangered species of animals and plants, the whole area, including the nearby islets of Marathonisi, Kalonisi and Pelouso, has been placed under the management of the Zakynthos National Marine Park. This organisation is dedicated to the protection of the local nature and in particular the endangered species of the giant duck (Caretta caretta) and the monk seal (Monachus monachus), so you can also see these beautiful animals during your stay in the south of the island. However, there are certain visitor rules in the protection zone around the south coast of the island.

Popular resorts on the south coast of Zakynthos, ordered from west to east:

Limni Keri (or Keri Lake) - The small and quiet seaside resort of Limni Keri with its harbour and several tavernas, supermarkets and shops attracts mainly couples and families who prefer more peace and relaxation.The resort is situated in the middle of a national park in a mountainous landscape, the sea is beautifully clear and calm in Laganas Bay and the water at Limni Keri is shallow.

Porto Koukla Resort - The pleasant and peaceful seaside resort of Porto Koukla is set in the surrounding green countryside, with shrubs and small bushes lining the local sand and shingle beach.There are several restaurants and tavernas in the resort, offering traditional Greek and seafood dishes.

Agios Sostis Resort - Agios Sostis is the ideal place for a romantic and peaceful holiday, with beautiful views of the small island of Cameo and with olive groves and pine forests at its back.The beach of Agios Sostis is smaller, sandy and with a gradual entrance to the sea.The resort has the advantage of its beautiful surroundings, tranquillity, but at the same time proximity to the liveliest holiday resort of Laganas, which can be reached on foot along the beach and by road.

Laganas Resort - Laganas resort is known as the centre of the island's nightlife and is especially popular with younger generations. There are a large number of hotels, a number of shops, entertainment centres and nightclubs open until late into the night near the main street, and pleasant tavernas where you can spend the evening listening to live traditional Greek music. The adjacent Laganas beach is a beautiful and expansive sandy beach, as busy during the day as the resort itself, with a wide range of beach restaurants and water sports on offer. In the evening, the entertainment moves to the resort centre to protect the sea turtles.

Kalamaki Resort - The popular resort of Kalamaki has grown up along the main street, which is full of restaurants, tavernas, shops, as well as hotels, car rentals, etc. The sea at Kalamaki is beautifully clear and calm and the sandy beach of Kalamaki is one of the cleanest on the island. Visitors to the beach, however, have to be mindful of hatching turtles and the nightlife is limited to the resort itself. The main town of Zakynthos is only about 5 km away and Zakynthos International Airport is even closer, so you can get a good view of planes taking off from the area.

East coast of Zakynthos

The east coast of Zakynthos is more diverse in terms of holiday resorts and tourism. The southern and central part of the eastern coast is dominated by resorts that are relatively busy and well equipped for tourism, with many hotels and other accommodation facilities, excellent restaurants and taverns, as well as various shops, car rental companies, etc. Resorts are often lined with sandy beaches with beach service. In this area lies the capital of Zakynthos, a bustling resort with all the tourist facilities, which will also delight visitors with historical monuments and museums. To the south are the popular holiday resorts of Argassi and Vassilikos, while to the north of the capital lie the popular resorts of Tsilivi, Amoudi and Alykanas and Alykes.

However, the larger holiday resorts end with Alykanas and Alykes, and the northern part of the east coast is dominated by smaller and very quiet villages, whose inhabitants are not so much involved in tourism, but rather in agriculture and the traditional handmade production of various items and foodstuffs. The coastline in the northern part of the island is mostly pebbly and rocky and is better known for the village of Agios Nikolaos with its harbour, from which boats and ships sail daily to the neighbouring island of Kefalonia.

Popular resorts on the east coast of Zakynthos, ordered from south to north:

Vassilikos Resort - The area of Vassilikos is especially popular for its beautiful nature, clean beaches and azure sea. The resort is surrounded by green pine groves, pine trees and olive trees. Visitors to Vassilikos will also enjoy the typical Greek restaurants that offer excellent Greek wine, traditional Greek dishes, salads and fish specialties. This is a very peaceful and picturesque part of the east coast, where some of the most beautiful beaches of the whole island are located.

Argassi Resort - Argassi is a livelier seaside resort with many tavernas, tavernas and shops selling a variety of products including souvenirs and local produce. Argassi has several beautiful hotels right on the beach, the remains of the famous Venetian Argassi Bridge stand on the smaller sandy Argassi beach and other beautiful beaches are located nearby, to the south on the Vasilikos peninsula. The resort is often popular with younger tourists due to its lively nightlife and proximity to the capital Zante.

The capital of Zakynthos (Chora) - The town of Zakynthos is the capital of Zakynthos and is definitely worth getting to know better and exploring, at least as part of an excursion during your stay on the island. The capital is a very lively and modern place, its streets are full of shops, restaurants, bars and as the evening begins to come alive the promenade and the main street of Alexander Rom. The town of Zante also attracts tourists to its important historical monuments, the Orthodox Church of St. Dionysius, the largest on the island and with a stunning interior, stands on the seafront, St. Mark's Square or Solomos Square are also beautiful, among others. Zakynthos town is home to the main port and the island's main bus station.

Tsilivi Resort - Tsilivi Resort is located just a few kilometers north of the capital of Zakynthos and is one of the most popular tourist spots on the island of Zakynthos. On the main street there are numerous bars, tavernas, shops and entertainment such as a bowling alley. Tsilivi beach, a beautiful sandy beach with shallow water and a wide range of water sports, also provides visitors with great tourist facilities. Couples, families with children and young tourists choose Tsilivi for their holidays.

Alykanas and Alykes - The neighbouring tourist resorts of Alykanas and Alykes are already practically connected into one resort, which offers tourists a variety of accommodation options, a number of bars, taverns and other services such as car rentals, wellness services, etc. The resorts of Alykanas and Alykes with the adjacent sandy and well-equipped beaches of Alykanas and Alykes are ideal for a more peaceful and relaxing holiday.

West coast and inland of Zakynthos

The interior of Zakynthos, including the villages near the rocky west coast, is still little affected by tourism compared to the bustling seaside resorts, and despite the aftermath of the 1953 earthquake that destroyed buildings all over the island, traditional architecture and lifestyle can be found in these villages.

In particular, the mountain villages in the north of the island, such as Volimes, Maries and Anafonitria, but also other smaller villages scattered variously in the interior, such as Louha, Gyri, Exo Chora or Macherado, are beautiful traditional Greek farmhouses where the true Zakynthos way of life can still be seen. The inhabitants of these villages work mainly in agriculture, producing wine, olive oil and even home-made cheese or honey. Many of the inhabitants also maintain a tradition of handmade products such as ceramics, carpets and lace.

Volimes village - The villages of Kato Volimes ("down"), Ano Volimes ("up") and Messo Volimes ("in the middle") together form one of the largest villages on the island. The village of Volimes is unique in producing beautiful and high quality lace, which is famous throughout Greece. And not only lace, the locals also produce handmade carpets, embroidery, ceramics, wine, honey and cheese.

Maries Village - The mountain village of Maries dazzles with its magnificent views of sunsets and the green surrounding countryside. In the village, visitors will find several shops selling local produce and there is also the famous 15th century three-aisled church dedicated to Mary Magdalene.

Anafonitria Village - The small village in the north of the island takes its name from the nearby Anafonitria Monastery, which was built around the 14th to mid-15th century and is the oldest monastery on the island. Interestingly, St. Dionysios, the patron saint of Zakynthos, spent the last few years of his life in this monastery. The village is most often reached by tourists on their way to the viewpoint above the famous Navagio Bay.

Gyri Village - The very quiet village of Gyri stuns with its beautiful mountain scenery and is also rich in wildlife, with the Hagioti Caves and the Black Cave nearby. Gyri is one of the highest and oldest villages on the island of Zakynthos.

Exo Chora Village - A small mountain village near the west coast of the island, it was one of the few spared from the devastating earthquake of 1953, so we can see truly authentic traditional Zakynthos architecture. The village is said to have the oldest (thousand-year-old) olive tree on the island.

Macherado Village - The village of Macherado is located in the interior of the island, west of the capital Zante, surrounded by green nature and the intoxicating scent of pine trees. Macherado is a larger village with the beautiful church of Agia Mavra, which dates back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest churches on the island. The church also has a Venetian bell tower with sound-painting bells.

Map of Zakynthos Island - Tourist Resorts

The various tourist resorts of Zakynthos - the most popular and busiest holiday resorts, quiet seaside resorts with Greek tavernas and small, traditional Greek villages - are clearly marked on the map of Zakynthos.