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Zakynthos island with kids

· A Family Guide to Zante ·

Date
Jun, 15, 2019

Zakynthos -also called Zante – has a special place in our hearts. Part of our Greek family lives there and this is the reason that we often visit. Zakynthos has some of the best blue bays in Greece and is world-famous for its shipwreck beach. Here are the reasons why you should visit Zakynthos island with kids!

Why you should visit Zakynthos island with kids

Navagio Beach or Shipwreck Beach

Having been many times, I can say that the Greek island of Zakynthos island is great for a family vacation. Zakynthos’ landscape with its massive cliffs, green flat areas with pine tree forests and olive groves, caves, and bays offer all sorts of beaches on all sides of the island.

Zakynthos is not very big and it is recommendable to hire a car (click here for renting a car in Greece tips) and drive around.

Best Beaches in Zakynthos

The most famous beach of Zakynthos is on the west coast. Shipwreck Beach or ‘Navagio’, the most photographed beach in Greece.

However, the east side of the island is more suitable for a family beach day. On this side of the island you will find sandy beaches and shallow calm sea. I recommend the beaches at Tsilivi (good for windsurfing too), Alykes, Vassilikos, and Ambala.

The south of Zakynthos hosts busy international resorts with accommodation for all budgets. Many of the (all- inclusive) hotels and airbnb’s here are located directly on the beach. These beaches are organized and sandy. The sea is mostly shallow and good for very young children.

Laganas and Kalamaki are the most popular resorts to foreign visitors arriving with charters and in groups. These busy but organized beaches offer much for a family holiday: toilet facilities, beach bars, water sports, and restaurants.

Gerakas is considered the most beautiful and peaceful beach in the south. The shallow waters are warm and the water is very calm for young swimmers. You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas here and the beach is stroller accessible via a ramp.

Gerakas beach

Older children will love the cliffs and beaches at Porto Limnionas (some climbing is necessary to reach the beach), Porta Roxa and Porta Vromi. 

Family Hotels in Zakynthos

Porto Zante Villa & Spas

Five-star luxury private villa resort Porto Zante is a Small Luxury Hotels of the World resort located on its private sandy beach. The luxury spa and boutique hotel boast exceptional panoramic views of the nearby island of Kefalonia, the Peloponnese peninsula and the endless crystal blue Ionian Sea. Families will love the spacious family villa’s, the beautiful outdoor playground, the Kids Club and the babysitting services. The resorts organises kid-friendly activities such as pool games, horse-back riding, mini-golf etc.

Click here for more information and booking Porto Zante Villas & Spa

The Peligoni Club

The Peligoni Club is a family-run beach club in the secluded north of Zakynthos, an island in Greece. It’s a members-only retreat for a fun-loving crowd. Small and personal with a focus on quality over quantity, the club will mould itself around your idea of the perfect Greek island holiday. Open from May Half Term until September every summer. The resort is great for families with young kids as well as teens. They can take part in watersports classes – windsurfing, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, sailing while parents relax at the infinity pool.

Things to do in Zakynthos island with kids

Visit the Old Town

Besides beautiful beaches, there is a lot more to see and do with children in Zakynthos. The island has a rich history and much of it is still to admire in and around its picturesque Old Town. The large central square and some of its streets are car-free. My kids love cycling here. We love just strolling around the beautiful buildings or sit down for a Greek meal in one of the taverns.

The Venetian Kastro on the green Strani hill is an impressive landmark that everyone in the family will enjoy. This well-maintained castle offers a beautiful view of Zakynthos city.

Zakynthos Keri Caves

The coastline of Zakynthos is rocky in many places and there are large caves. Kerì Caves, accessible only by sea with private boats or tourist excursions, develop along the promontory of Marathia Cape, in the South-West area of the island. 

Zakynthos Blue Caves

The best-known caves are the ‘Blue Caves’. The Blue Caves are one of the most popular and advertised attractions of the island; you can visit them with your own boat or with one of the many organized tours.
The Blue Caves consist of particular geologic formations giving life to a succession of caves along the North-West coast of the island; they start soon after Agios Nikolaos to end near Skinari Cape.

Visit Marathonissi

Marathonissi is a small private island in the turtles’ bay close to Limni Kerì’s beach. Until the second world war the island was lived, today it has neither inhabitants nor buildings. It is now one of the areas where the CARETTA CARETTA turtles go to breed. You can visit the island by private boat or by organized tourists’ visits by caique and for the stronger ones there is the possibility to go by canoes and maybe meeting the turtles.

Beach of Marathonissi

Pay attention that as the island is inside the Marine Park the anchorages it is not legal.
There are two beautiful beaches: one of pebbles, reachable by swimming from a huge cave, the other one is a large sand area smoothly gliding towards the sea.

Caretta Caretta turtle

Zakynthos island is famous for its turtles. In fact, the Loggerhead Turtles or ‘Caretta Caretta’ are the most famous residents of the island. These amazing creatures have been nesting on Zante’s beaches for thousands of years but sadly, they are now endangered. Several tour companies organize turtle spotting tours. They usually start by sailing to Marathonisi (Turtle Island). One of its beaches is a favourite turtle-nesting spot. Besides turtles, you may also see dolphins in the waters of Zakynthos.

Family friendly boat trip

If you and your family decide to visit the turtles in an organized setting, I can recommend the Boat Trip to Keri Caves and Loggerhead Turtle Watching tourThis excursion is accompanied by an English-speaking guide and includes a family-friendly boat trip from Zakynthos (Zante) to the Natural Marine Park of Zakynthos, the Keri Caves and the place where they lay their eggs on Golden Beach in Marathonisi. 

Click here for more information and booking the family-friendly Boat Trip to the Keri Caves and Loggerhead Turtle Watching Tour

Boat tour to Navagio Beach 

Zakynthos with kids cannot exclude its major attraction: the Zakynthos Shipwreck Beach or Navagio Beach. This ship stranded in the Northwest in 1982 and is now one of Greece’s most photographed sites. You will encounter it on many postcards and calendars. Some years ago, there was a cliff-slide causing a temporarily ban on visiting Navagio beach. But now you can visit the Navagio Beach by organized boat tours again.

Most Incredible Navagio Beach or Shipwreck Beach. Zakynthos, Greece.

Click here for boat tours to the Navagio Beach

If you want to see the Navagio shipwreck from close, I recommend the Navagio Shipwreck Beach and Blue Caves Full-Day Tour. This tour is suitable for families with older children and includes a hotel pick up by an English-speaking guide and an 8-hour tour by small speedboat to the Blue Caves, the shipwreck and the  rusty shipwreck.  

Click here for more information and booking the Navagio Shipwreck Beach and Blue Caves Full-Day Tour

For families with young kids, I recommend a 3-hour visit to the Navagio such as the from St.Nikolaos: Boat Cruise to Navagio Beach & Blue Caves Tour on a glass-bottom boat. This smaller boat offers a more intimate experience. 

Click here to book your From St.Nikolaos: Boat Cruise to Navagio Beach & Blue Caves Tour

Insider tip: If you want to see this famous beach from land, you can go from Agios Nikolaos to the top of the cliff for a panoramic view about 250 meters above the turquoise blue water and the shipwreck. 

Water parks in Zakynthos

If you want a break from the beaches, head over to the water parks. There are two in Zakynthos island; Tsilivi Water Park located on the sea-side has with slides, many swimming pools, restaurants and playgrounds. Zante Water Village is smaller and very suitable for young kids and is located in the mainland.

Discover Traditional Zakynthos villages

Zakynthos island with kids becomes all the more joyful if you rented a car to explore the island. Giri on the west coast is the highest village of Zakynthos and has beautiful old windmills. Kambi is a small village in the mountains on the west coast where you can enjoy the best sunset of the island. Keri village is famous for its original style. It is the southernmost village in Zakynthos and is a traditional mountain village. I love driving around in Zakynthos, things are relatively close and there are some beautiful farms and views to explore.

The Zakynthos Island Tour and Olive Factory Visit

If you choose not to drive yourself but sit back and relax during a family friendly guided tour, I recommend the Zakynthos: Island Tour and Olive Factory Visit. This 6 hour tour includes a tour of the beautiful landscape of the island, idyllic mountain villages, a visit to a traditional olive factory and spectacular views over the caves and the old town. Kids will love learning more about the famous Greek olives and see how the fruits of the most common tree in Greece is turned into oil. 

Click here for more information and booking the Zakynthos Island Tour and Olive Factory visit

Zakynthos island with kids: Self Guided Tours

If you are looking to be by yourself but listen to exciting stories about the shipwreck or the history of the island, check Self Guided Audio Tours for Families by Clio Muse. Navagio Beach tour is a walking tour about the shipwreck and Zakynthos: the dancing island is about the history of the island. Here we explain why we love audio tours: Self Guided Audio Tours for Families.

Click here for a discount on Clio Muse Audio Tours

Have you been to Zakynthos island and what is your favourite place on the island? Let me know in the comments!

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Celeste

Celeste is the founder of Family Experiences Blog. A blog created by parents for parents full of invaluable tips and ideas. Whether you and your family live in Greece or are visiting, this blog will show you the very best ways in which to celebrate family life here.

13 Comments

  1. Reply

    Emily

    September 17, 2018

    A very nice blog for a very nice place. I would very much like also to go here! I just want to ask, how much sun it gets morning vs afternoon?

    • Reply

      Celeste

      September 18, 2018

      Thank you for your kind words and feedback Emily! How much sun it gets depends of the time of the year. Generally speaking, 13 hours of sun in the summer is average. Have a look at this link being more specific about sunrise, sunset and weather in Zakynthos island: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/greece/zakynthos. I hope this helped!

  2. Reply

    Oliver

    October 11, 2018

    Hello – thanks for the info. We were just searching for the restaurant Milanos – do you know if it has a website? I’m not getting any search results for it so a location/contact would be most appreciated. Thank you!

    • Reply

      Celeste

      October 11, 2018

      Hello! I will ask my family who lives on the island. Do you remember in what part of the island this restaurant is located?

  3. Reply

    Codi

    October 29, 2018

    Hi, I am also a travel blogger and have been searching for a while to find a cool itinerary for my 3-week honeymoon in Greece! We are going to Zakynthos for approximately 5 days and when I stumbled upon your itinerary, it couldn’t be more perfect! It includes a little bit of everything! Will definitely be using this as a guide to exploring the island. Thanks so much! ❤

    • Reply

      Celeste

      November 2, 2018

      Thanks so much for your feedback, that is really great to hear!

  4. Reply

    Jaweriya

    November 13, 2018

    Thats a gorgeous place, i’ll have to put that on my bucket list of places I would love to see and photography. Thanks for sharing this experience.

    • Reply

      Celeste

      November 13, 2018

      Thank you for your feedback! It is indeed beautiful

  5. Reply

    Summer

    November 19, 2018

    After seeing your photos, I am in love with this place, I have to go there
    Thanks for sharing it

  6. Reply

    Ed

    February 10, 2020

    Hello, Celeste, and thank you for this highly informative blog. We are considering traveling to Zakynthos from 25 April – 2 May, but are unsure whether it will be warm enough to swim in the sea at that time. Also, are the resort pools and restaurants on a seasonal schedule which does not support this kind of spring vacation? We are really hoping to get a lot of warm weather, sunshine and water activities (as well as great food!). Any thoughts or suggestions would really help. Thanks again!

    • Reply

      Celeste

      February 10, 2020

      Thanks so much for your kinds words! I have been to Zakynthos during that time of the year. I found the sea a bit cold but my kids did not mind to play in the water at the time. They were very young and did not swim but sat at the waterfront. The water is cold. I believe that it is just the beginning of the season, therefore I would definitely check with the hotel that you are planning to book if they will open all their facilities. You could consider a hotel with an indoor pool just to be sure. The bigger hotels in Laganas and the resort hotels have indoor pools as well as water sports. It is really unpredictable what the weather will be like but you will definitely see sun and have wonderful days. The Ionian islands generally are a bit cooler than the other islands in Greece as they are more north. Having said that, it all depends, and sometimes the weather can be really warm even at the beginning of May. Luckily there is a lot to see and to do in Zakynthos and the food in the Old Town is amazing. Sailing is also great in this part of Greece. What are you interested in most?

  7. Reply

    Helen

    May 10, 2020

    I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly loved every little bit
    of it. I have you book-marked to look at new things you post…

    • Reply

      Celeste

      May 11, 2020

      Thanks so much for your kind feedback! Glad you enjoyed the information

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MY STORY

Family Experiences Blog

Hi, Welcome to my blog! I am Celeste, mom of two girls, who loves to travel. I have spent over 25 years exploring beautiful Greece.

When my kids were born, it became my passion to find quality family destinations. Since then, we have been travelling full-time to find kid-friendly spots.

If you need inspiration for planning your family vacation in Greece, I am here to help! As a passionate insider parent, I review hotels, places to visit and activities for kids.

Join me as I explore Greece and life with my family, one tiny adventure at the time!

Click here to read more here.

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