While many who visit Greece tour the islands in the Aegean sea, the gorgeous Greek island beauty also lies on the other side in the Ionian sea. Zakynthos is one of my favourite Greek islands in the Ionian. How to get to Zakynthos Greece depends on where you’re coming from, who you’re travelling with, and whether you have a rental car. Here are the best ways to get to Zakynthos, Greece.
Flights to Zakynthos
If you’re wondering how to get to Zakynthos quickly, you’ll likely choose to fly. Zakynthos is very easily reachable from Athens with Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines. During the summer, some European cities offer direct flights to the island including London and Amsterdam. British Airways offers direct flights to Zante during the summer months. Also, Volotea airlines in Italy offers direct flights.
Ferry from the mainland
Getting to Zakynthos within mainland Greece means taking the ferry. Since we drove (more below) – and that alone was a memorable experience! – we took the ferry from Kyllini, Peloponnese. Getting to Zakynthos by ferry boat was breathtaking. The views of the island’s coastline, and of the downtown, are simply beautiful.
No matter how you arrive, as you approach Zakynthos, you’ll be impressed by the beautiful coastline. The Venetians called the island Zante, but the name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin. In Greek mythology, the island was said to be named after Zakynthos, the son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus.
Rent a car
If you’re able to drive, I would highly recommend renting a car so that you can tour Zakynthos on your own schedule. We opted to take our rental car with us from Athens to the island (stopping to visit Nafplio and the famous Epidaurus Theatre for a few days) so that we could explore Zakynthos leisurely. We drove from Tsilivi beach, where we stayed, all around the island. It’s only about an hour drive to get from one side of the island to the other.
The lovely Mediterranean climate and the plentiful rainfall means the island is full of dense vegetation. As you drive through the island, you’ll notice all of the olive trees. So many olive trees! You’ll find olive oil, currants, grapes and citrus fruit on the island.
At the Bay of Laganas, you’ll find the prime nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean. Every year at the beginning of June, the female turtles come to the southern beaches in order to bury their eggs in the sand.
Marathonissi islet (also known as “Turtle Island”) near Limni Keriou contains tropical vegetation, turquoise waters, beaches, and sea caves.
The most famous landmark of the island is the Navagio beach. It is a cove on the northwest shore, isolated by high cliffs and accessible only by boat.