While Zakynthos features incredible sandy beaches, perhaps even more stunning are the island's limestone cliffs, formed by ongoing volcanic activity. The island covers only 150 square miles of territory, and can be easily circumnavigated in an afternoon by car. For a more leisurely pace, consider renting an ATV, participating in an island tour by boat, or even renting your own boat.
On our second day on the island, we rented a small boat from a beach vendor. An 8-hour rental cost only $100, including gas. The boat was fairly new and spacious, and was more than enough for the three of us. With the boat, we were able to spend the day exploring various sea caves and hidden beaches, none of which would have been accessible from the main island. A few local companies offer group tours to these caves and beaches, but the excursions are only a few hours and generally cost $50 per person. If you feel comfortable captaining a small boat on the Mediterranean, boat rental can be a much better option.
Wanting to get out and explore the island, the three of us rented a car on the third day. We considered the ATV option, but wanted to be able to more readily explore the more island. ATV's were much cheaper, but only seat two people, meaning we'd have to rent two. The car was easier, and conveniently included air conditioning, phone chargers and a Bluetooth stereo.
The entire island is gorgeous, but biggest highlight is Shipwreck Cove, pictured above. This Instagram-ready clifftop looks down on Navagio Beach, where in 1980 the smuggling ship MV Panagiotis ran aground.
We're Cooler on Instagram
Sharing Is Caring
From above, the crystal clear Mediterranean shines in a gorgeous electric blue color. Numerous boat tours take visitors to the beach below, leading to a crowded beach and harbor. Though most people would prefer to get a photo with fewer tourists below, the lighting is best in the middle of the day, reflecting off the bright limestone and blue water. Tours to the island cost about $40 per person, and can make for a nice day trip. But I sincerely believe the best way to experience the beauty of Shipwreck Cove is to see it from the cliffs above, and the photos you'll get will surely make all your Instagram followers envious.
When most tourists think of a Greek Island vacation, they think Mykonos, Santorini, or any other island in the Aegean Sea. Less well-known, but equally impressive, Zakynthos dazzled me from the first moment I arrived on the island. For anyone visiting Europe and looking for a Mediterranean retreat, Zakynthos Island must be seriously considered.