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Blick auf die Laganas Bucht, Bild: martinffff / shutterstock

Kalamaki in Zakynthos

Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is a small island of the Ionian archipelago in Greece with green mountains and blue beaches. The island is only about 40 km long and 20 km wide, so you don’t need many days to explore every corner of the island. What distinguishes the island of Zakynthos from the other Ionian Islands is the presence of sea turtles, which can grow up to 1.5 m long and have chosen the sandy beaches of this island as an ideal place to nest. It is quite easy to see them while snorkeling, but you have to be aware that they are a protected species. Zakynthos is also a real insider tip and convinces with beautiful bays, picturesque sunsets, hospitality and pure relaxation.

Best time to visit Zakynthos

In general, all Greek Islands has a very good climate all year round, but to really enjoy the main attractions of the island, namely the scenery and the sea turtles, you should visit the island when it is warm enough to swim in the sea, i.e. from April to October. The busiest months are from June to August, when the island receives the most tourists, especially English, and when more activities are offered (including nightclubs and pubs whose atmosphere is a bit reminiscent of Magaluf in Mallorca ). The bad thing about this time of year is that prices go up and everything is crowded.

Kalamaki

Kalamaki is located in the southern part of Zakynthos and is known for its huge sandy beach with warm, crystal clear shallow waters, which is part of the Laganas Bay. Kalamaki beach is also protected by Greek legislation, as it is one of the places where the endangered loggerhead turtle lays its eggs. For this reason, Kalamaki beach is a part of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos. Kalamaki is ideal for family or romantic holidays as it is quite close to Zakynthos town, but at the same time it is a quiet resort with all amenities.

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In Kalamaki, you can walk on the main street, where most of the shops and taverns are located, or you can rent a bike and explore the varied resort. Near the main road of Kalamaki, there is a mini-golf course for everyone, while the more adventurous will find a go-kart track on the main road from Kalamaki to Laganas. Those who like horseback riding can ride in a fenced area or on Kalamaki beach.

Unforgettable experiences near Kalamaki

Although Zakynthos is still one of the Greek islands with little tourist development and is very small, it offers breathtaking beaches and landscapes:

The Blue Caves, the largest natural spectacle in Zakynthos

From Agios Nikolaos, boats depart for the Blue Caves and the shipwreck beach. It is advisable to do the tour before 15:00, as the Blue Grottoes need direct sunlight to see the effect of the blue water, similar to the Grotta Azzurra on Capri. Another way to visit the caves is to take a kayak tour, which is perhaps the best option and certainly the most fun.

Potamitis Windmill

Between Agios Nikolaos and Cape Skinari is a small, beautiful mill called Potamitis, which you can drive to by car on your own. There is also a viewpoint there and you have the opportunity to walk down a few steps to a very beautiful stretch of coast of the island.

Navagio beach in Zante (shipwreck beach)

Zakynthos, Navagio Bay, Ionian Islands
The famous Navagio Bay on Zakynthos, Image: StockBrunet / shutterstock

Of all the attractions on Zakynthos, the most famous and visited place on the island is Navagio beach (the so-called “shipwreck beach”). This beach is surrounded by steep walls, with white sand and the bluest water you can imagine (considering it’s the Mediterranean). And if that’s not enough adventure for you, there are also the remains of a shipwreck in the sand, the Panagiotis. One of the stories that is told about the Panagiotis is that it was a smuggling ship that left Turkey in 1980 with smuggled cigarettes for the Italian mafia. The Greek navy pursued them and due to a thunderstorm, the ship ran aground in a shallow bay off the west coast of Zakynthos (north of Porto Vromi). The crew abandoned the ship to avoid persecution by the navy, and today the wreck still lies on this beach, which is called “Navagio” (shipwreck).

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Xigia beach, the natural spa in Zakynthos

Xigia Beach is a small, picturesque beach with parking, umbrellas, sun loungers and a canteen. It has a very distinct sulphur smell that comes from the nearby caves. The sulphur content in the water makes the blue colour of the water lighter, less intense and somewhat whitish. The beach is so unique that you forget the unpleasant smell of rotten eggs.

Porto Limnionas Beach

This is a natural swimming pool that is not yet very well known by tourists. It is a beach without sand, with rocks, ideal for jumping, swimming, snorkeling in the turquoise. If you prefer to be in the water rather than the sand, then this beach is for you.