9 of Zante's most alluring beaches

Sara Darling

Sara Darling

Ticking the box for sun worshippers and party people, Zante*, aka Zakynthos, in Greece's Ionian Islands* has universal appeal. Boasting biscuit-coloured sand, natural lagoons and, arguably, the best sunsets in the Adriatic, it's no wonder holidaymakers keep coming back.

Iconic Navagio Beach, Zante
Iconic Navagio Beach, Zante © Elina Manninen - Adobe Stock Image

Beaches have long been the main draw and Zante has them in buckets (and spades). From quiet, secluded coves studded with olive trees and wide open sands with beach bars to those with fine dining restaurants overlooking the shore, we've handpicked the top spots for you.

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Keri Cliffs

Keri Cliffs on the southwest end of the island is all about the views and boasts one of the best sunset spots on the island due to its uninterrupted vista.

Check the season for turtle spotting (late July to early October) and head out on a boat tour, which also takes in Keri Caves. Alternatively, if you're driving, there's plenty of parking, and you can visit the town of Keri and the nearby lighthouse.

The coast surrounding the quiet village of Keri is home to at least a dozen dive sites, ranging from vertiginous wall dives plastered in marine life to deep caves where giant shrimps, octopus and slipper lobsters lurk in dark crevices.

Cave diving into the blue
Cave diving into the blue © Andi K - Adobe Stock Image

Marathonisi, an islet just off the southern coast of Zante, offers crystal-clear waters that make it another great spot for both diving and snorkelling.

Gerakas Beach

Pronounced 'yer-ak-as', this beautiful stretch of sand in the far southeast of the island at the tip of the Vassilikos* peninsula is the perfect place to get away from the crowds and find a relaxing spot for the afternoon.

With dark sand and reddish cliffs, Gerakas Beach is a handsome one where the water is crystal clear, which is great for snorkelling.

It's also where endangered loggerhead turtles (also known as caretta caretta) come to lay their eggs during the breeding season (May to October).

What's more, it's part of a national marine park covering the Bay of Laganas and stretching out to the Strofades, two small islands 50 nautical miles south of Zante. As well as turtles, visitors also have the chance to spot rare Mediterranean monk seals here too.

Porto Limnionas

On to Porto Limnionas, a deep natural harbour surrounded by multicoloured cliffs and some of the clearest water you'll see. It may look green but you can see right through it like an aquarium.

The clear waters of Porto Limnionas Bay
The clear waters of Porto Limnionas Bay © Jarrod - Adobe Stock Image

Top tip: the Limnionas Taverna, which serves snacks and cold beer, also has sunbeds to rent in an unrivalled position directly overlooking the ocean.

Porto Azzurro Beach

Close to the capital, you'll find Porto Azzurro Beach with its dramatic stones that jut out of the clear Ionian water which make it ideal for snorkelling.

The golden sands of Banana Beach
The golden sands of Banana Beach © Patryk Kosmider - Adobe Stock Image

It's a popular place for wedding pictures, so don't be surprised if you spot a happy couple of two while you're enjoying a drink at the Porto Azzuro Beach Bar. Just a few hundred metres south of Porto Azzurro is Banana Beach, which is much less crowded.

Agios Sostis

Even more laid back are the beaches at Agios Sostis. Just a quarter of an hour's drive from the capital, you can expect a powder-soft sandy beach with authentic tavernas where you won't have to tussle for space on the sand.


In contrast, if you're feeling sociable and hoping for happy hour cocktails to the soundtrack of all-day-long dance music, head to Laganas*.

Here, the long stretch of sand comes with plenty of bars, restaurants and activities such as watersports options. It's also sandwiched between upmarket Kalamaki* and Agios Sostis on the other.

Blue Caves

The most photographed attractions on the island are the mysterious Blue Caves, which start at Agios Nikolaos and continue to Skinari Cape, which were all created naturally by erosion featuring a succession of limestone arches.

The striking Blue Caves
The striking Blue Caves © Galyna Andrushko - Adobe Stock Image

These fascinating rock formations can be reached on foot as long as you don't mind the hundred-step descent to the rocky beach. However, many people prefer to come by boat, which departs from the little harbour of Agios Nikolaos, only 10 minutes away, or Porto Vromi on the west coast.

The bonus of a boat tour is that it can glide you through the largest cave, where you can admire stalactites hanging like chandeliers from the top of the cave.

Navagio Beach

Close by is the infamous Navagio Beach (also known by its English translation, Shipwreck Beach), a picture-perfect arc of beautiful sand framed by towering limestone cliffs.

This instantly recognisable bay is said to be where a ship smuggling cigarettes was intercepted by the Greek Navy during a great storm.

When trying to escape, the only way for the smugglers to avoid capture was to abandon ship, which then washed up on the beach in 1983 and its skeleton was subsequently completely surrounded by sand. Today, it's one of the most photographed sights in all of Greece*.

Please note: in March 2023, the Greek Tourism Ministry announced that it would close Navagio Beach for the summer season due to safety concerns.

Beaches of Xigia

You'll have to drive to reach the famous Xigia beaches, but they are popular for their sulphurous springs, which flow into the sea from nearby karst marine caves.

Many believe that these waters offer anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, muscle relaxant and antioxidant properties.

Dazzling Xigia Beach
Dazzling Xigia Beach © Darios - Adobe Stock Image

The main beach is located a few hundred metres north of the others and has two karst marine caves located at the base of the cliff. The middle Xigia beach is the most difficult to reach due to the rugged access path.

There is less sulphur in the water, sometimes making the "milky" effect not as noticeable. There are neither umbrellas nor deck chairs here, but the cliffs do provide some shelter during the heat of the day.

Meanwhile, the smallest Xigia sees hardly any sulphur and is home to local geese who regularly roam the shoreline.

Weather in Zante

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

The above guide shows the weather in Zante Town. Find out more about conditions across the island in our complete guide to the weather in Zante and, for even more climate information, our guide to the weather in Greece.

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Sara Darling

Sara Darling

Posted on Tuesday 25th April 2023 in: Beach Europe Summer TUI

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