If you’re thinking about making your way to this beautiful little piece of paradise, I can only encourage you to do so. Not only will you have everything your vacation deprived soul could crave but you will also meet some of the most welcoming and friendly people along the way.
Here are some of the most useful tips to help you plan your trip:
1. Rent a car
Now I know how in some places a rental car can be more of a hazard than of use. This is DEFINITELY NOT the case here on Zakynthos. There are some buses that will take you to places but they take forever and you will most definitely miss all of the good spots. Make sure to book the rental car before you arrive and just pick it up right after you land. Rental cars in Greece are super cheap and if you don’t necessarily come in the middle of their high season, you’ll only pay around 15€ per day. Driving on the island is easy as well. Although I had the feeling that some drivers really didn’t know what they were doing, they were at least very polite and everybody precautiously stopped to check who can drive first.
2. Where to stay
Now this one obviously depends on what you’re looking for on your trip. If you want it to be the absolute party vacation, definitely stay in Lagunas. This place feels like Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand or Lloret de Mar in Spain (if you haven’t been there, imagine a city full of crazy 18-21-year-olds that want to get blind drunk and party every night) and you will find endless amounts of bars, clubs or restaurants in every street. If you’re looking for something quieter but not dead, give Argassi a go. This is still a pretty touristic place with about two or three bars that can sometimes be busy, but you can easily get some quiet and relaxing time here. It is also very close to the airport and well located so that it will not take you more than an hour to get to most places. If you fancy a very quiet vacation, check out some of the nicer hotels (4 or 5 stars) because they are usually located in more remote areas that usually offer you amazing views of the island.
Also, check out TripValet because they have amazing(and I don’t use that word lightly when it comes to paying for hotels because I usually always stay in hostels) deals for hotels. I actually got to stay in this super nice 5* hotel for a fifth of the regular price (in case math is not your strong suit, I paid 100 Euros per night instead of 500€).
No matter where you decide to stay, a rental car is soooo important in this place sooo please, don’t miss out on it.
3. Best time to visit
Like everywhere in Europe, Zakynthos will be super busy and a lot more expensive during the high season (July-September). If there is any way for you to come either before or after then, you will be rewarded with amazing weather, cheaper prices, and almost deserted beaches. I would almost go so far as to recommend avoiding any popular cities or destinations throughout Europe during those months because not only will you most likely get annoyed by the crowds but many of these places also lose their charm. Opt for small weekend getaways instead if your job doesn’t allow you to leave during the other months or if you’re somehow unable to leave for a one or two-week trip.
Now we’re finally getting to the good stuff. Sunsets on this island are absolutely perfect. They’re honestly so perfect that it’s almost ridiculous because they will set the bar so high for all the other sunsets in your life. You will obviously have to drive to one of the villages/places on the west side of the island to enjoy these miracles of nature. One of my favorite spots was the lighthouse in Keri. Make sure to come a bit early (around 6:30/7 pm)since there is an absolute amazing viewpoint that looks a lot better with more sunlight. There is a small kiosk as well that sells ice cream and drinks. The sun sets usually around 9 pm which will give you plenty of time to check out the viewpoint and find the perfect spot to watch before the crowds come in.
Another amazing sunset spot is obviously Shipwreck beach.
You will find Tavernas pretty much all over the islands, but I prefer the ones in small villages because not only do they feel more authentic but the food is soo, soo good there as well. I like to go to them around 5:30 pm because that way, I’ll eat dinner before watching the sunset (which means there’s not a chance to get hangry and wanting the sun to set quicker so that you can finally eat :D).