Of Sea Turtles and Smugglers

Appreciated as the sunniest island in the Mediterranean, Zakynthos has far more to offer than just sun, fun and relaxation. This Greek isle offers a slice of paradise to cave divers, families and animal lovers as well.

Zakynthos has a surface area of just 158 square miles. The island’s eponymous capital was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake and a blazing fire in 1953. A model of the island capital before this natural catastrophe is exhibited in the town’s art museum.

Quick facts Zakynthos

Flight time

2:05 h


1480 km

Time difference

+ 1 hour CET



A cup of cappuccino costs around

CHF 3.00

Culture, sports and family holidays

The town of Zakynthos has two other landmark museums: the new Byzantine Museum that displays important Byzantine art, and the Museum of D. Solomos and A. Kalvos which also houses the relics of these two national poets. ;;; ;;; But, clearly, the spots most favoured by Zakynthos visitors and locals are the island’s beautiful beaches, many of which are gently-shelving, and therefore particularly suitable for family holidays. Kalamaki, for instance, has fine, white sand beaches, dunes and cliffs on offer. Porto Zorro is another place known for cliff diving. Surfers are more likely to be drawn to the island’s northeast coast. Many of the beaches on the west coast can only be accessed by boat which means that even during the high season they are not overcrowded.

Animal welfare and shipwreck

Sun worshippers must generally avoid stretching out on one of the island’s protected beach sections. These belong to the National Marine Park, established to protect loggerhead sea turtles. ;;; ;;; Zakynthos is also a popular starting point for cruises and boat trips. The most sought-after destination is Navagio, also known as Smugglers Cove. Navagio is home to a boat that shipwrecked in 1980 with contraband cigarettes and alcohol on board. While Smugglers Cove can only be accessed by boat, there is a viewing platform on the cliffs above the cove which offers good vistas of the wreck and the beach. Those looking for a beach-cum-nightlife holiday will choose to stay in Laganas. By the way: holiday flats and villas are a popular alternative to hotels in every part the island. And –besides a sand beach that stretches for miles- Laganas is brimming with tavernas, clubs and bars. Well then, “Jamas“!

Travel recommendations

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