If you’re looking to Greece to find your beach paradise, look no further than Zakynthos, a typically stunning Greek island in the glittering azure waters of the Ionian Sea.
Dubbed “The Flower of the Levant” by the Venetians during their three-century rule, Zakynthos is an island famous mostly for its gorgeous beaches.
But this island offers a surprisingly versatile holidaying experience, and where you stay on Zakynthos can drastically change the feel of your vacation.
So where should you choose? We’ve compiled a guide on where to stay in Zakynthos by looking at the best neighborhoods, accommodations, and attractions.
Best Places To Stay in Zakynthos
Just need to know the best accommodations in Zakynthos? Here are our top picks for the best places to stay!
The 8 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Zakynthos
1. Zakynthos Town
A Charming Introduction to the Island
Zakynthos Town, or Zante, as the island and town are known, is the largest settlement on Zakynthos.
It is both the island’s main port and commercial hub – making Zante a good choice for first-time visitors. Situated on the east coast, just 10 minutes from the Dionysios Solomos Airport, the town is easily accessible and makes an excellent base to explore the rest of the island.
You won’t struggle to find hotels and restaurants here. Thanks to its status as Zakynthos’ largest town, Zante has the most choice on the island in that respect and is certainly your best bet if you plan to rely on public transport.
As for the town itself, it is a unique blend of modern streets, and classic Venetian architecture awaits you.
Spend your days wandering through the cobbled streets, and enjoy the traditional cafes, craft shops, and local bakeries tucked away on every corner.
While in Zante, explore the colorful squares of Solomos and St Markos. Platia Solomos is the location of the fascinating Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos and one of the few surviving structures of the earthquake; the picturesque stone church of Agios Nikolaos of Molos.
After a stroll down the main shopping street of Alexander Roma, visit the pretty Platia Markos and stop by the Solomos Museum, which houses the tombs of national poets Dionysios Solomos and Andreas Kalvos.
From the significant Church of St Dionysios to the ruins of a Venetian castle overlooking the town, you can feel the culture and history running through every corner of Zante. The castle was itself built upon the ruins of an ancient acropolis.
Zakynthos Town is perfect for newcomers, with plenty of things to do and excellent connections to the rest of the island.
Zakynthos Town Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay in for First-Time Visitors
- Best Hotels – Villa Moore • Avalon Palace Hotel • Lofos Strani
- Best Apartments – Laura Suites • Varres Hotel 1 Bedroom Apartment
- Where To Eat – Spartakos Taverna ($$), Paradosiako Restaurant ($$), Yard of Taste ($$)
- Where To Drink – Thirty-Four, Ammos Taverna, Bitters Cocktail & Wine Bar
- Top Attractions – Port of Zakynthos, Agios Dionisios Church, Solomos Square
Perfect for Families
Just a little north of Zakynthos Town is Tsilivi, a charming beach-side resort particularly popular with families, especially those looking for a little adventure!
The town is a bit of an all-rounder, with a lovely blue flag beach, an array of shops and restaurants, and plenty of activities to try with the kids. Mini-golf, bowling, and an entertainment center have all been added in recent years to add to Tsilivi’s already stellar facilities.
Tsilivi isn’t part of the National Maritime Park, meaning that water sports are allowed and common in the area. So lay back and relax on the sand, or jump on a jet ski now that you finally have the chance!
Another popular attraction is the Tsilivi water park, which is sure to keep the kids entertained for a day.
As for food, in true Tsilivi fashion, there is something to cater to everyone. A mix of Greek and international restaurants is dotted around the resort.
The nightlife isn’t as intense in Tsilivi as in some of the other resorts, but it still exists. Go dance in one of the clubs, sit in for a quiz night at one of the bars, or join in on a traditional dance as lively music spills out of the tavernas in the evening.
Tsilivi Mini Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay in for Families
- Best Hotels – Olea All-Suite Hotel • Al Mare Hotel • Hotel Emilia
- Best Apartments – Kondarini’s Studio Apartments • Bella Vacanza Studio Apartment
- Where To Eat – Avli Taverna ($$), Yum Yum Traditional Greek Restaurant ($$), Micro Acropoli ($$)
- Where To Drink – Magdalena’s Cocktail Bar, Ark Bar Tsilivi, Paradise Cocktail Bar
- Top Attractions – Tsilivi Waterpark, Tsilivi Beach, Venetian Watchtower
A Peaceful Retreat for Hikers
Agalas is a mountain village to the southwest of the island, about 25 minutes by car from Zakynthos Town.
Nestled between pine forests and mountains, this rural village is a splash of color among the greenery, with pretty stone houses and a myriad of blues and pastel yellows.
It’s very small and traditional – less a resort and more an actual village. You’ll have to be fairly self-sufficient here, but that’s part of the charm. You can sit in one of Agalas’ cafes and feel miles away from any other civilization, just another one of the locals living a simple life in a paradise on Earth.
The village is tiny but still has many attractions for visitors. The old bell tower of Agalas Church, an art gallery featuring the work of local artists, and the spectacular two-story Damiano’s Cave.
Several hikes begin and end in Agalas, including a 4.5km circular walk to the 15th Century Adronios Wells. Plakaki Beach isn’t far and gives you the chance to meander through fields of wildflowers, olive trees, and vineyards as you take in the charming countryside and sea views.
Damiano’s Cave is a local restaurant with dreamy views over the horizon – book a table at sunset for a truly special experience.
Agalas Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay in for a Traditional Greek Village
For the Best Nightlife
One of the party capitals of Europe, Laganas is famous for its wild nightlife and raucous atmosphere.
If you’re looking to join the fun, you should probably start at ‘The Strip‘, a long stretch of over 100 bars and clubs.
Superclubs like Rescue and Zero help Laganas draw in thousands of revelers annually. The crowd skews a little young – mainly 18-30-year-olds, but a few also represent the older generations, all taking advantage of the cheap alcohol and decadent nights.
If it wasn’t clear, this isn’t a resort for those looking for a quiet and relaxing getaway.
After the silent winter months, Laganas bursts into life in summer, thrumming with clear and effervescent energy. Events run through the season, from boat parties to the night of the year: the white party.
Laganas is a thumping introduction to the island for newcomers. Other than the superclubs, there’s an endless choice of bars, themed or otherwise. And whatever your classic 3 am hangover cure is, Laganas has it. The town offers everything from traditional Greek cuisine to Chinese takeaways.
For the day after the night before, there is no better place for recovery than along Laganas’ 9km long stretch of beach. No water sports are allowed though, as the area is a nesting ground for loggerhead turtles and part of the National Maritime Park of Zakynthos.
Laganas Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay in for Nightlife
- Best Hotels – Mediterranean Beach Resort • Borsalino Studios & Apartments • Jenny Hotel
- Best Apartments – Pink Panther 1 Bedroom Apartment • Roussa Beach Studio Apartments
- Where To Eat – Panos Greek Restaurant ($$), Filoxenia Restaurant ($$), Achilles Restaurant ($$)
- Where To Drink –The Summertime, Cubaneros Beach Bar, Hawaiian Club Bar
- Top Attractions – Laganas Beach, History War Museum, Infinity Beach Club
Best for Those on a Budget
A short ride from Zakynthos Town, Laganas, and the Vasilikos peninsula, Argassi is ideally located to explore some of the island’s most popular resorts.
It is less attractive than the towns mentioned above, but it is more affordable. Argassi has everything you need on vacation easy access to shops, a mixture of traditional tavernas, and high-end restaurants; unlike Zante, it has its own beach.
While not as scenic as some other resorts, Argassi still has some memorable sightseeing spots of its own.
The ruins of a picturesque Venetian bridge crumbling into the sea are just off the shore – an immediate hint at the elements of history and culture dotted throughout an otherwise fairly commercialized village.
One of the Argassi’s premier attractions looms over it; Mount Skopos.
If you are willing to make the slightly treacherous hike, you can visit the 15th-century church of Panagia Skopiotissa, a classically Greek-looking building with tall stone walls and a domed roof.
Like many places in Greece, the site echoes a much older history — it was once the site of an ancient monastery and a temple of Artemis before that.
It is worth the trek just for the views alone. The panoramas over the bay are breathtaking. If you time it right for sunset, it’s a sight that will stick with you for a lifetime.
Argassi Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay in on a Budget
- Best Hotels – Diana Palace Hotel • Iniohos Hotel Zante • Stella Studios
- Best Apartments – Costas Studio Apartments • Sofita 2 Bedroom Apartment
- Where To Eat – Zorbas ($$), Peppermint Fresh Kitchen ($$), Come To The Grill ($)
- Where To Drink – Skyfall Pool Beach Bar, Magik Cocktail Bar
- Top Attractions – Monastery of Panagia Skopiotissa, Argassi Bridge, Argassi Beach
6. Agios Nikolaos
Quiet luxury, Well-Suited to Couples
Not to be confused with its namesake beach on the Vasilikos peninsula, Agios Nikolaos is a quaint working harbor north of Zakynthos, on Cape Skinari.
A world away from the bustle of Zante and the wild parties of Laganas, Agios Nikolaos is an escape from the rush of the well-trodden tourist hotspots of the south. For those looking for a more authentic Greek vacation, the remote wilderness of the island’s northern tip is perfect.
While the fishing village is very much a working port, it is steadily moving towards gentrification, and the backdrop of forest and mountains is overflowing with luxurious villas and high-end accommodations.
The mesmerizing Blue Caves are just around the corner, and if you’re feeling confident, you could take a sailboat to the water and journey there yourself. If not, regular boat trips to the caves leave from the port.
However you arrive, the Blue Caves are essential viewing on Zakynthos, as the white limestone of the overhanging caves turns the gentle waves an unforgettable ethereal blue.
The port also runs trips to the famous Shipwreck Beach and transfers to the nearby island of Kefalonia.
The village is perfect for couples, with a relaxed and romantic atmosphere. If looking for things to do, you can easily hike to the Old Windmill for sweeping views of the landscape.
Further inland, Agios Nikolaos is close to Askos Stone Park. The park features ancient stone structures alongside native plants and wildlife.
A sheltered bay surrounded by the forests and white cliffs typical of Zakynthos, Agios Nikolaos is a quiet and peaceful slice of luxury in the most rugged corner of the island.
Agios Nikolaos Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay in for a Quiet Greek Holiday
- Best Hotels – Nobelos Seaside Lodge • Armyra Villas
- Best Apartments – Olivo Studio Apartment • Avra 2 Bedroom Apartment
- Where To Eat – Madrakia ($), Orizontes Restaurant ($$), To Nisi Restaurant ($$)
- Where To Drink – Art Cafe Mahogani, Tony’s Bar, Zanzzi -Bar
- Top Attractions – Agios Nikolaos Beach, Askos Stone Park
7. Vasilikos Peninsula
For Beach and Nature Lovers
While the whole island is famous for gorgeous expanses of white sand and turquoise waters, the Vasilikos peninsula is especially idyllic.
If beaches are your priority on holiday, you will truly be spoiled for choice on this peninsula. There’s no higher concentration of them anywhere on the island, and these are some of the best.
Banana Beach boasts miles of soft golden sands and gentle waters, while Porto Zorro Beach has a lively atmosphere and pretty scenery.
Agios Nikolaos Beach is the busiest, with the facilities to match. A small series of scenic beaches framed by tall pine trees and tavernas, bars, and souvenir shops help make this beach a full day out.
Porto Roma doesn’t stand out too much for the beach alone but is worth a visit for Nikos Beach Bar, which serves some of the best food on the island – a refined menu championing only the freshest of local produce.
Gerekas, or Turtle Beach, is famous for – you guessed it – turtles. It’s where the endangered Caretta-Caretta loggerhead turtles lay their eggs. Because of its importance, Gerekas has the most actively enforced protections on the island.
A popular day trip for families is the Zakynthos Sea Turtle Rescue & Information Centre, a short walk from the beach.
There are also eco-friendly boat excursions to Turtle Island, often including trips to Keri Caves and the chance to swim and snorkel among the brightly colored fish.
Besides the beaches, Vasilikos is a rather sleepy and peaceful peninsula with abundant olive groves and vineyards to explore. Any fans of the great outdoors will surely find their ideal vacation in this corner of Zakynthos.
Vasilikos Peninsula Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay in for Beaches and Natural Attractions
- Best Hotels – Deep Blue Villas • Porto Roma Studios
- Best Apartments – Areti Orfeas Studio Apartment • Alkimini 2-Bedroom Apartment
- Where To Eat – Ionion Beach Bar & Restaurant ($$), Bel Mare Tavern ($$), Babis Taverna ($$)
- Where To Drink – Nikos Beach Bar, Banana Baya Beach Bar, Amigo Pool Beach Bar
- Top Attractions – Banana Beach, Zakynthos Turtle Rescue Centre, Gerakas Beach
Off the Beaten Track, Close to Views of Shipwreck Beach
For those looking to step off the beaten track, Anafonitria is a traditional Greek village similar to Agalas, in the shadow of Volimes to the north of the island.
The finest view in all of Greece is only a 45-minute walk away. Navagio, Shipwreck Beach, or Smuggler’s Cove. All names for the same spectacular scene – it’s no exaggeration to say people come from all over the world to glimpse this beach.
White cliffs plunging into the sea, a rusted shipwreck tilted on the sand and the blue waters of the Ionian Sea. The view is best at the lookout point, where you can see everything simultaneously.
As for Anafonitria, the village is classically Greek, with whitewashed walls and a rustic, local feel. Anafonitria only has a few shops and restaurants, but you will be dining alongside the locals, experiencing Greece as it is for the everyday man.
Enjoy a taste of Greek culture by trying homemade souvlaki, and learn to distinguish between the usual tourist fare and recipes passed down for generations.
The 15th Century Anafonitria Monastery is perhaps the most beautiful in Zakynthos and the standout attraction to the area.
This village doesn’t exist purely on the whim of the passing tourist. You can feel the history entrenched in every narrow street. Surrounded by olive trees, mountain views, and rich countryside, you will soon be swept into a gentle, simpler way of life.
Anafonitria Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay in for Experiencing Traditional Greek Culture
- Best Hotels – Zante Sunny Mountain • Villa Margarita
- Best Apartments – Bossanovolima Studio Apartment • Villa Drosia 2-Bedroom Apartment
- Where To Eat – Margarita Tavern ($), Anastasia Taverna ($), Galaxy Restaurant ($$)
- Where To Drink – Athina Taverna Ristorante, Taverna Agoros
- Top Attractions – Anafonitria Monastery, Shipwreck Boast Panagiotis, Heart Cave
FAQs About Where to Stay in Zakynthos
What are the best places to stay in Zakynthos for tourists?
While each area is better suited for different types of travelers, Zakynthos Town is the best overall area for tourists looking to get a sample of everything the island offers. The town's tourism infrastructure provides plenty of comfort, restaurants, and attractions. Meanwhile, its central location allows for a more thorough exploration of surrounding villages.
What hotels in Zakynthos are best for families?
Where are the best beaches in Zakynthos, Greece?
When it comes to a variety of beautiful white-sanded shorelines, the Vasilikos Peninsula has the best beaches in Zakynthos. However, breathtaking beaches can be found throughout the island's coasts, with some of the best being Laganas Beach along the southern shores and Navagio Beach along the northern reaches of the island.
What are the best hotels in Zakynthos, Greece?
So, Where Should You Stay in Zakynthos?
- Zakynthos Town — The largest settlement in Zakynthos, this area is ideal for first-time visitors, given its abundance of attractions, food, and amenities.
- Tsilivi — This area is ideal for families, with many attractions that will please the young ones. This area also offers more open beaches than other areas where the beaches are protected due to wildlife.
- Agalas — A small mountain village, Agalas is the best place to stay for those who enjoy hiking and nature. While the area may not have as many attractions and amenities, the hiking trails will leave an impression on the more active traveler.
- Laganas — If you are coming to Greece with the primary goal of partying with locals and tourists alike, Laganas is the area you will want to stay in.
- Argassi — Slightly more remote from major attractions, Argassi is a great home base for those traveling on a budget. Just be prepared to head to other areas to experience the best of Zakynthos.
- Agios Nikolaos — Further away from the busier tourist spots, Agios Nikolaos offers serenity and beauty well suited for couples who want to spend time together relaxing and taking in the sights.
- Vasilikos Peninsula — If spending time on the beach is your number one priority, Vasilikos Peninsula will have you spoiled for choice. Ideal for a more laid-back stay in Zakynthos.
- Anafonitria — This area may not be best for first-time visitors, given it is a bit off the beaten track, but there is a certain atmosphere here that is unique to anywhere else in Zakynthos. Even if you don’t stay here, you may want to plan a trip to see Smuggler’s Cove.
From Homer’s Odyssey to the 21st Century, Zakynthos has had millennia to establish itself as one of Greece’s most beautiful islands. From Laganas to Agios Nikolaos, there’s an area for everyone, no matter what your perfect Greek vacation looks like.