With a rental car you can see more!
Zakynthos is a small and fairly unspoilt island that, like Corfu and Kefalonia, belongs to the Ionian Islands. A rental car is an absolute must if you want to discover all the gems. The climate is already cooperating and is very pleasant. The many beaches and bays that appeal to the imagination do the rest. . . Although Zakynthos is a real Greek island, you also notice a lot of Italian influences. The former influence of Venice has everything to do with this. Those who love Pasta and pizza will certainly get their money's worth here, but of course I have an even better tip.:-)
With a Sunny Cars rental car, your journey starts right away!
The name Zakynthos comes from the son of Dardanus who was called "Zakynthos". Dardanus was the king of Troy and according to myth he built the first city on the island. Others claim that the name is derived from the flower "Yakinthos" which is common on the island. I think Zakynthos is just a flower from an island, let's stick to that. 🙂
1. The Shipwreck of ZakynthosNavagio Beach is the most famous and most photographed beach in Zakynthos. It is also called Shipwreck Beach. Very logical because that is the literal translation from Greek and there is indeed a shipwreck on the beach. The smuggling ship, the Panagiotis, got into serious trouble in 1980 due to a storm. The crew was able to leave the boat on time but the ship was on the cliffs and sank with all its smuggled goods on board. The locals were at their wits' end and took the illegal cigarettes and whisky out of the water in fishing boats. A lucrative activity because cigarette sales on the island plummeted seriously the following year.
The hotspot of Greece
The Greeks just left the wreckage washed ashore. Not only out of carelessness and laziness, but also financially it became a difficult issue because nobody wanted to pay for it. All in all a good thing because the wreck quickly turned out to be a favourite photograph of a lot of tourists. The beach is very beautiful with its azure water and high rocks. Really a picture to photograph and never to forget. Be careful because the last few years there have been a lot of small earthquakes in Zakynthos and some people really play with their lives for the perfect picture. The road to the wreck is great too, you drive through a beautiful landscape that reminded me of Tuscany every now and then. The ride from the capital takes about an hour. The high viewpoint is between Anafonitria and Volimes and is well signposted. Be sure to stop along one of the track cafes. Chances are they don't understand English but the reception is touchingly warm.
2. There is love in the air just above Zakynthos: BohaliBohali, is a district of Zakynthos city. The terraces and bars are cozy and have a beautiful view over the city. You can visit the Venetian castle or discover the local perfumes in the Perfumers Razi Paroman. But it is above all the beautiful view of Zakynthos that has made Bouali popular and famous. In the shade of a parasol or a stately tree, you'll find yourself in one of the most beautiful spots on the Ionian island.
TIP: The Diethnes café is the hippest in the area. (especially with the trendy locals). I find it much nicer here in Bouali than in the hustle and bustle of the city. In my opinion, the Ionian island at its best.
3. Wuthering Heights in AgalasAgalas is a village near the southwest coast of Zakynthos, spread over hills overlooking the Ionian Sea. You will find the Damianos caves and the Venetian sources of Antronios. But it is above all the unspoilt nature, the white limestone cliffs that plunge steeply into the azure sea and the breathtaking view of the Ionian Sea that have stolen my heart. So you should definitely descend to the coast of Plakaki. Please note that the roads are very winding and very steep. People with a lot of vertigo are better off handing over the steering wheel to their partner.
The Greek Orthodox Church is soberly represented on the island but small details confirm their importance in Greek society. Red does not always stand for danger but invites you to philosophise about the beauty of life.
All colours in harmony
4.Laid Back on Porta Roxa BeachIf you have some time left, be sure to drive to Porta Roxa beach. To Porto Roxa drive you best from the center of the mountain village of Agios Leon along a narrow but paved road to right on the beach. This beautiful drive of about five kilometers is slightly less spectacular than to Plakaki but certainly worth it. You can also park there for free and safely. The few restaurants and beach bars are all very much laid back and you don't have to pay for the nice swing beds. This location on a large rock by the sea is also very popular with locals. They know that you have to climb and clamber to get into the water so swimming shoes and goggles are not superfluous accessories. For small children it may not be the perfect location but for the rest of the population this is really a top location.
5.The Kamaes of Keri where blue becomes bluerKeri itself is the southernmost village on the island and is situated in a beautiful, green environment with many pine and olive trees, 21 kilometres southwest of the capital. Keri is a traditional village with stone houses, stone paved alleys and a stone paved village square. Definitely worth a visit, provided you leave the car at the side for a while and explore the wonderful world along the coastline by boat. Departure from the popular beach of Laganas with a skipper and who knows you might spot a turtle. The best season to spot turtles at Zakynthos is from mid-May to mid-October. Then the turtles mate, lay eggs and hatch. In that period the chance is greatest to see a cup passing by. From September to mid-October, the laid eggs hatch and the turtle island of Zakynthos crawls full of these small ukkepukken that fight for their survival. So watching is allowed....arriving or not disturbing!
We stayed with Corendon in the five star hotel The Lesante. The hotel is within walking distance of the long sandy beach of Tsilivi and 6km north of Zakynthos city.
Tip: Choose a room with hot tub