Discover the Best Tours & Things to Do in Zakynthos

Ionian Islands, Zakynthos
Woman tourist in Zakynthos, Greece admiring the Navagio beach

Welcome to Zakynthos, a stunning island in the Ionian Sea, where beauty and adventure await at every corner. From breathtaking beaches to intriguing historical sites, Zakynthos has something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, exploration, or a bit of both, our guide highlights the best tours and activities to make your visit unforgettable.

Boat Trip to Keri Caves and Loggerhead Turtle Watching

Boat Trip to Keri Caves and Loggerhead Turtle Watching

Kick off your Zakynthos adventure with a boat trip to the enchanting Keri Caves. These ancient limestone formations, located in the island's south, are best visited early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday sun.

Exploring Keri Caves

As you approach the Keri Caves, you'll be mesmerized by the crystal-clear turquoise waters that reveal a stunning underwater world. The caves themselves are a natural wonder, formed over millennia by the relentless waves. Inside, you can marvel at the intricate stalactites and stalagmites, with some formations resembling delicate sculptures. Keep an eye out for the ancient paintings on the cave walls, believed to be created by monks from a nearby monastery, adding a touch of mystique and history to your visit.

Turtle Watching Experience

This tour isn't just about the caves. It also offers the unique opportunity to spot the endangered loggerhead turtles, also known as Caretta caretta, in their natural habitat. These magnificent creatures frequent the warm waters around Zakynthos, especially in the protected marine park area near Laganas Bay. Your experienced guide will help you identify these gentle giants as they swim gracefully around your boat. Watching the turtles glide through the water is a magical experience and a highlight for many visitors.

Additional Highlights

The boat trip also includes several stops for swimming and snorkeling in secluded coves, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the Ionian Sea. The waters here are teeming with marine life, offering an underwater spectacle that’s perfect for snorkelers of all levels. If you're lucky, you might even spot some dolphins playing in the waves.

Practical Information

To make the most of your boat trip, here are a few tips:

  • Timing: Early morning or late afternoon trips are recommended to avoid the heat and crowds.
  • What to Bring: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a hat, swimwear, and a camera to capture the stunning scenery and wildlife.
  • Booking: Tours can be booked in advance online or through local tour operators on the island.

Whether you're an adventure seeker or a nature lover, the boat trip to Keri Caves and loggerhead turtle watching is an unforgettable experience that showcases the natural beauty and rich heritage of Zakynthos. Make sure to add it to your itinerary for an incredible island getaway.

Tsilivi Waterpark

For a day of fun and excitement, head to Tsilivi Waterpark, one of Greece's most popular water parks. Nestled in the charming resort village of Tsilivi, this waterpark offers a fantastic mix of attractions, ensuring a memorable day for visitors of all ages.

Thrilling Water Slides

The heart-pounding excitement begins with the park's array of thrilling water slides. Test your courage on the Kamikaze, a high-speed slide that will have you plummeting down at exhilarating speeds. For a twisty adventure, try the Black Hole, where you'll twist and turn in complete darkness before splashing into the pool below. The Multislide is perfect for racing friends or family members to the finish line, and the Free Fall offers a near-vertical drop for the ultimate adrenaline rush.

Relaxing Pools and Lazy River

If you prefer a more relaxed experience, Tsilivi Waterpark has plenty to offer. The lazy river is a serene ride through the park, where you can float along on an inflatable ring, soaking up the sun and scenery. The wave pool simulates the gentle swells of the ocean, providing fun for all ages. For younger children, the park features a dedicated kids' pool with mini slides and water games, ensuring they have a safe and enjoyable time.

Whirlpools and Relaxation Areas

Take a break from the action and unwind in one of the park's whirlpools. These bubbling pools offer a relaxing respite, allowing you to soothe your muscles and enjoy a moment of tranquility. The park also has shaded areas with sun loungers, perfect for those who want to relax with a good book or take a nap in the cool shade.

Dining Options

After splashing around, you'll likely work up an appetite. Tsilivi Waterpark boasts a variety of dining options to refuel and recharge. From casual snack bars offering burgers, hot dogs, and fries to sit-down restaurants serving delicious Mediterranean cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Enjoy an ice-cold drink or a refreshing ice cream cone to beat the heat before diving back into the water.

Additional Amenities

The park is equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable visit. Locker rentals are available to keep your belongings safe, and there are plenty of changing rooms and showers for your convenience. Lifeguards are stationed throughout the park to ensure everyone’s safety, making it a secure environment for families.

Practical Information

  • Opening Hours: Tsilivi Waterpark typically operates from late morning until early evening. Check the official website for specific hours and any seasonal variations.
  • Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online. Look out for family packages or group discounts to save on admission.
  • What to Bring: Essentials include swimwear, towels, sunscreen, and water shoes. Don’t forget a waterproof camera to capture all the fun moments!

Tsilivi Waterpark promises a day filled with laughter, adventure, and relaxation. Whether you’re seeking thrilling rides or a peaceful float down the lazy river, this waterpark has it all. Make it a part of your Zakynthos itinerary for a refreshing escape from the island’s beautiful beaches and historic sites.

Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach)

navagio beach with the famous wrecked ship in Zante, Greece

No trip to Zakynthos is complete without visiting Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Beach. This iconic spot is home to the rusted remains of the MV Panagiotis, a shipwreck that ran aground in 1983, creating a dramatic and picturesque scene. With its white sands, towering cliffs, and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Navagio Beach is a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and photography.

The Shipwreck

The centerpiece of Navagio Beach is undoubtedly the shipwreck itself. The MV Panagiotis, believed to have been a smuggler's ship, ran aground during stormy weather. Over the years, it has become embedded in the beach's white sands, creating a stark and striking contrast against the vibrant blue sea and the imposing cliffs. The rusting hull and decaying structure add an air of mystery and intrigue, making it one of the most photographed landmarks in Greece. Despite numerous legends surrounding the wreck, including tales of smuggling and pirate treasure, the true story of the ship remains shrouded in mystery, adding to the allure of this must-see destination.

Getting to Navagio Beach

Navagio Beach is accessible only by boat, which adds to its secluded charm. Several boat tours depart daily from various parts of the island, including Zakynthos Town, Porto Vromi, and the nearby village of Agios Nikolaos. These tours often include stops at other beautiful spots along the coast, such as the Blue Caves and Xigia Beach, making for a full day of exploration and adventure. For a more private experience, you can also rent a boat or hire a private charter.

The Beach Experience

Upon arriving at Navagio Beach, you'll be greeted by a breathtaking vista of pristine white sands and shimmering turquoise waters. The beach is framed by towering limestone cliffs, which provide a dramatic backdrop and shelter from the wind. The clear, warm waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, offering a chance to explore the vibrant marine life that inhabits the area. While the beach itself is relatively small, its beauty and unique features make it an unforgettable destination.

Photography Opportunities

Navagio Beach is a photographer's paradise, offering countless opportunities to capture stunning images. The shipwreck, with its rusting metal and decaying structure, makes for a fascinating subject, especially against the backdrop of the vivid blue sea and stark white cliffs. For the best panoramic views, consider hiking to the viewpoint above the beach. The trail is moderately challenging but rewards hikers with breathtaking aerial views of the entire cove, providing a perfect vantage point for capturing the beauty of Navagio Beach from above.

Practical Information

  • Best Time to Visit: To avoid the crowds, visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The beach is especially beautiful during these times, with softer lighting and fewer visitors.
  • What to Bring: Essentials include swimwear, sunscreen, a hat, water, and snacks. If you're planning to hike to the viewpoint, wear sturdy shoes and bring a camera.
  • Safety Tips: While the waters are generally calm, be mindful of strong currents and avoid climbing on the shipwreck, as it can be dangerous. Always follow local guidelines and respect the natural environment.

Navagio Beach, with its enchanting shipwreck and stunning natural beauty, is a highlight of any visit to Zakynthos. Whether you're exploring the beach, swimming in its clear waters, or capturing the perfect photograph, this iconic spot promises a memorable and magical experience.

Porto Limnionas Beach

Venture to Porto Limnionas Beach, located on Zakynthos's southern coast, for a serene escape. Voted one of the top 5 beaches in Europe by The Guardian, this stunning spot offers crystal-clear waters and a tranquil atmosphere, making it the perfect place to relax, swim, and enjoy the natural beauty of the island.

Natural Beauty

Porto Limnionas Beach is a hidden gem nestled between dramatic cliffs and lush greenery. Unlike the typical sandy beaches, Porto Limnionas features a rocky coastline with flat platforms perfect for sunbathing and exploring. The rugged landscape, combined with the vivid turquoise waters, creates a breathtaking scene that feels like a slice of paradise.

Crystal-Clear Waters

The waters at Porto Limnionas are incredibly clear, revealing a mesmerizing underwater world teeming with marine life. The calm and sheltered bay is ideal for swimming and snorkeling, offering excellent visibility. Explore the underwater caves and rock formations, home to a variety of fish and sea creatures. Snorkeling gear is highly recommended to fully appreciate the beauty beneath the surface.

Tranquil Atmosphere

One of the main attractions of Porto Limnionas Beach is its tranquil atmosphere. Unlike the more popular and crowded beaches on the island, Porto Limnionas offers a peaceful retreat where you can unwind and enjoy the sound of the waves. The secluded nature of the beach ensures a more intimate and relaxed experience, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

Facilities and Amenities

Despite its remote feel, Porto Limnionas Beach is equipped with several amenities to enhance your visit. There is a charming taverna perched on the cliffs overlooking the bay, where you can enjoy delicious Greek cuisine and refreshing drinks while taking in the stunning views. Sunbeds and umbrellas are available for rent, providing comfort and shade as you soak up the sun.

Practical Information

  • Getting There: Porto Limnionas Beach is accessible by car, with a well-maintained road leading to the beach from the village of Agios Leon. The drive offers scenic views of the island's interior, adding to the adventure. There is a parking area near the beach, but it can fill up quickly during peak times.
  • Best Time to Visit: To enjoy the beach at its most serene, visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon. The midday sun can be intense, so these times also offer more comfortable temperatures for exploring and relaxing.
  • What to Bring: Essentials include swimwear, sunscreen, a hat, snorkeling gear, and water shoes, as the rocky terrain can be challenging to navigate barefoot. A camera is a must to capture the stunning scenery.

Safety Tips

While Porto Limnionas Beach is generally safe, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Swimming: Always be cautious when swimming near the rocky areas, as the water can be deep, and currents may be strong.
  • Rocky Terrain: Wear appropriate footwear to protect your feet from sharp rocks and to ensure a secure grip when exploring the cliffs and platforms.
  • Sun Protection: The lack of natural shade makes sun protection essential. Use high-SPF sunscreen, wear a hat, and take breaks in the shade provided by umbrellas or the taverna.

Porto Limnionas Beach offers a unique and tranquil escape on the beautiful island of Zakynthos. Whether you're swimming in the crystal-clear waters, exploring the rugged coastline, or simply relaxing and enjoying the serene atmosphere, this beach promises an unforgettable experience. Make sure to add it to your itinerary for a truly memorable visit to Zakynthos.

History War Museum

For history enthusiasts, the History War Museum in Zakynthos is a treasure trove of World War II artifacts. Opened in 2003, the museum pays homage to those who fought for their country’s freedom and offers a profound insight into the island's role during the war. With its extensive collection and well-curated exhibits, this museum is a must-visit for any history buff.

Exhibits and Artifacts

The History War Museum boasts a wide array of exhibits that transport visitors back to the turbulent times of World War II. Among the collection, you will find:

  • Uniforms: The museum features an impressive display of military uniforms worn by soldiers from different factions. These include authentic pieces from Greek, Italian, German, and British forces, providing a comprehensive view of the varied military presence on the island.
  • Weapons: A fascinating assortment of weaponry is showcased, including rifles, pistols, machine guns, and grenades. Each item is accompanied by detailed descriptions, offering context about their use and significance during the war.
  • Personal Items: The museum also displays personal items belonging to soldiers and civilians, such as letters, photographs, medals, and dog tags. These artifacts offer a poignant glimpse into the lives of individuals affected by the war.
  • Maps and Documents: Detailed maps, battle plans, and official documents are part of the collection, illustrating the strategic importance of Zakynthos and the broader geopolitical landscape of the time.

Interactive Displays

The museum incorporates several interactive displays that enhance the visitor experience:

  • Multimedia Presentations: Engage with multimedia presentations that depict key events and battles involving Zakynthos. These presentations provide a vivid and immersive understanding of the island’s wartime history.
  • Reconstructed Scenes: Step into meticulously reconstructed scenes that depict life during the war. From a soldier’s bunker to a civilian home under occupation, these setups offer a tangible connection to the past.
  • Guided Tours: Knowledgeable guides are available to offer in-depth tours, sharing fascinating stories and insights that bring the exhibits to life. These tours are highly recommended for a more enriched understanding of the museum’s collection.

Educational Programs

The History War Museum is dedicated to education and regularly hosts programs and workshops for visitors of all ages. These programs include:

  • School Visits: Tailored educational tours and activities for school groups, designed to engage students with history in an interactive and meaningful way.
  • Lectures and Seminars: Regularly scheduled lectures and seminars by historians and experts cover various aspects of World War II and its impact on Zakynthos and Greece.
  • Temporary Exhibitions: The museum frequently hosts temporary exhibitions focusing on different themes or periods, providing fresh perspectives and new learning opportunities.

Visiting Information

  • Location: The History War Museum is conveniently located in the town of Laganas, making it easily accessible from other parts of the island.
  • Opening Hours: The museum is open daily, with extended hours during the peak tourist season. It’s advisable to check the museum’s website or contact them directly for current hours of operation.
  • Admission: There is a modest admission fee, with discounts available for students, seniors, and groups. Children under a certain age may enter for free.
  • Accessibility: The museum is equipped with facilities to accommodate visitors with disabilities, ensuring an inclusive experience for all.

Practical Tips

  • What to Bring: Bring a notepad and pen if you’re keen on taking notes or sketching details from the exhibits. A camera is also recommended, although flash photography might be restricted in certain areas.
  • Souvenirs: The museum has a small gift shop offering books, replica artifacts, and other memorabilia related to World War II and the island’s history.
  • Nearby Attractions: Combine your visit with nearby historical sites and attractions for a full day of exploration and learning about Zakynthos's rich heritage.

The History War Museum in Zakynthos offers a deep dive into the island’s past, showcasing its significant role during World War II. Whether you’re a dedicated history enthusiast or a curious traveler, this museum provides a meaningful and educational experience, honoring the sacrifices of those who fought for freedom and preserving the memory of a pivotal time in history.

Grampsas Winery

Grampsas Winery in Zakynthos

Indulge in the flavors of Zakynthos at Grampsas Winery, a hidden gem nestled amidst the island’s picturesque landscape. Known for producing exceptional wines, this family-owned winery offers visitors a delightful dining experience that highlights fresh, local ingredients. Whether you're a wine enthusiast or simply looking for a serene escape, Grampsas Winery promises an unforgettable visit.

Winery Tour

Begin your visit with a guided tour of the winery, where you'll learn about the winemaking process from grape to bottle. The tour includes:

  • Vineyards: Stroll through the lush vineyards, where you can see the various grape varieties grown on the estate. The knowledgeable guides will explain the unique terroir of Zakynthos and how it influences the flavor profiles of the wines.
  • Production Facilities: Gain insight into the modern and traditional methods used in wine production. The tour covers the fermentation tanks, aging barrels, and bottling lines, providing a comprehensive overview of the winemaking process.
  • Cellars: Explore the cool, atmospheric cellars where the wines are aged to perfection. The sight of rows upon rows of oak barrels filled with aging wine is a treat for any wine lover.

Wine Tasting

No visit to Grampsas Winery would be complete without sampling their exquisite wines. The tasting sessions include:

  • Signature Wines: Taste a selection of the winery's signature wines, including robust reds, crisp whites, and aromatic rosés. Each wine is carefully crafted to reflect the unique characteristics of the Zakynthos terroir.
  • Limited Editions: Discover limited edition and reserve wines that showcase the winemaker’s artistry. These special wines are often produced in small batches and offer a rare tasting experience.
  • Expert Guidance: The tasting is conducted by experienced sommeliers who provide detailed descriptions of each wine, including tasting notes, pairing suggestions, and the history behind each label.

Dining Experience

Complement your wine tasting with a delightful dining experience that emphasizes fresh, local ingredients. The winery's restaurant offers:

  • Seasonal Menu: The menu changes with the seasons to ensure the freshest ingredients are used. Expect a variety of dishes that highlight the rich culinary traditions of Zakynthos.
  • Farm-to-Table: Many of the ingredients are sourced from the winery’s own gardens and local farms, ensuring high quality and sustainability.
  • Wine Pairings: Each dish is expertly paired with wines from the estate, enhancing the flavors and providing a harmonious dining experience.

Serene Ambiance

Grampsas Winery is more than just a place to taste wine; it’s a destination where you can relax and soak in the serene ambiance. Highlights include:

  • Scenic Views: The winery is situated in a stunning location, offering panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards and rolling hills. It’s the perfect backdrop for a leisurely afternoon.
  • Tranquil Setting: The peaceful environment makes it an ideal spot for unwinding and enjoying the natural beauty of Zakynthos. Whether you’re sitting on the terrace or wandering through the vineyards, the tranquility is palpable.
  • Events and Celebrations: The winery also hosts special events, including live music nights, wine festivals, and private celebrations. These events provide a lively and enjoyable way to experience the winery’s offerings.

Practical Information

  • Getting There: Grampsas Winery is easily accessible by car, with ample parking available. It’s located a short drive from Zakynthos Town, making it a convenient day trip.
  • Opening Hours: The winery is open year-round, with extended hours during the summer season. It’s advisable to check their website or call ahead to confirm current hours and book tours or tastings.
  • Booking: While walk-ins are welcome, it’s recommended to book tours and tastings in advance, especially during peak tourist season, to ensure availability.

Tips for Visitors

  • What to Bring: Bring a hat and sunscreen if you plan to spend time outdoors in the vineyards. A camera is also a must to capture the beautiful scenery.
  • Purchases: The winery has a shop where you can purchase bottles of your favorite wines, as well as other local products and souvenirs. Consider buying a few bottles to take home and extend the experience.
  • Gift Options: Grampsas Winery also offers gift baskets and wine club memberships, making it easy to share the experience with friends and family.

Grampsas Winery offers a rich and immersive experience, combining exceptional wines, delicious food, and a tranquil setting. Whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or simply looking for a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the flavors of Zakynthos, this winery is a must-visit destination.

Agios Dionisios Church

A visit to Zakynthos wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Agios Dionisios Church. Built in 1460, this Orthodox church is a stunning example of Byzantine and Gothic architectural influences, making it one of the most significant religious and historical landmarks on the island. Located in the heart of Zakynthos Town, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the island's religious history and stunning views of the surrounding area.

Architectural Marvel

The Agios Dionisios Church is a blend of Byzantine and Gothic architectural styles, creating a unique and captivating structure. Key architectural features include:

  • Exterior: The church's exterior is marked by its tall bell tower, which is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Zakynthos Town. The tower, added in the 18th century, provides a striking contrast to the more traditional Byzantine elements of the building.
  • Facade: The facade is adorned with intricate carvings and frescoes, showcasing the skill and artistry of the craftsmen who built it. The arched windows and ornate decorations add to its Gothic charm.
  • Interior: Inside, the church is equally impressive. The high ceilings and large, open nave are characteristic of Byzantine design, while the detailed frescoes and icons reflect the rich religious heritage of the Orthodox faith. The walls and ceilings are covered with vibrant paintings depicting scenes from the Bible and the lives of saints.

Historical Significance

Agios Dionisios Church is not only an architectural gem but also a site of great historical importance. Key historical aspects include:

  • Patron Saint: The church is dedicated to Agios Dionisios, the patron saint of Zakynthos, who is revered for his miracles and piety. Born on the island in 1547, he became a monk and later an archbishop, known for his compassion and spiritual guidance. His relics are housed in the church, making it a significant pilgrimage site.
  • Relic Preservation: The relics of Agios Dionisios are preserved in a silver casket, which is displayed prominently within the church. Pilgrims and visitors come to venerate the relics, seeking blessings and spiritual solace.
  • Survival and Restoration: The church has endured several earthquakes over the centuries, including the devastating earthquake of 1953 that destroyed much of Zakynthos Town. Remarkably, Agios Dionisios Church was one of the few buildings that survived, and it has been meticulously restored to maintain its historical integrity.

Cultural and Religious Events

The church plays a central role in the religious and cultural life of Zakynthos. Key events and celebrations include:

  • Feast Day: The feast day of Agios Dionisios is celebrated on August 24th and December 17th, drawing large crowds of locals and visitors. The celebrations include a solemn procession of the saint’s relics through the streets of Zakynthos Town, accompanied by prayers, hymns, and traditional music.
  • Orthodox Services: Regular Orthodox services are held at the church, including the Divine Liturgy, Vespers, and special services during major religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas. Visitors are welcome to attend these services and experience the rich liturgical traditions of the Orthodox faith.

Visiting Information

  • Location: Agios Dionisios Church is conveniently located in the heart of Zakynthos Town, making it easily accessible for visitors exploring the island’s capital.
  • Opening Hours: The church is open to visitors throughout the year, with extended hours during major religious celebrations. It’s advisable to check the church’s schedule in advance, especially if you wish to attend a service or special event.
  • Admission: There is no admission fee to enter the church, but donations are appreciated to support its upkeep and preservation.
  • Guided Tours: For a deeper understanding of the church’s history and significance, consider taking a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides provide detailed insights into the architecture, artwork, and religious importance of Agios Dionisios.

Practical Tips

  • Dress Code: As with most religious sites, modest dress is required. Ensure your shoulders and knees are covered out of respect for the sacred space.
  • Photography: Photography is generally allowed, but avoid using flash, especially during services, to maintain a respectful atmosphere.
  • Accessibility: The church is wheelchair accessible, ensuring that all visitors can enjoy its beauty and history.

Agios Dionisios Church offers a profound connection to the religious and cultural heritage of Zakynthos. Whether you are admiring its architectural splendor, exploring its rich history, or participating in a religious service, a visit to this church is a deeply enriching experience that adds a meaningful dimension to your exploration of Zakynthos.

Kalamaki Beach

Escape to the secluded Kalamaki Beach on the northwest side of Zakynthos, a peaceful haven that offers a perfect retreat from the busier tourist spots. This tranquil beach is a favorite among locals seeking a serene escape, providing a relaxing atmosphere ideal for picnics, leisurely strolls, and soaking in the natural beauty of the island.

Tranquil Atmosphere

Kalamaki Beach is renowned for its peaceful and laid-back ambiance. Unlike the more crowded beaches on Zakynthos, Kalamaki offers a sense of seclusion and calm, making it an ideal spot for those looking to unwind and enjoy the quiet beauty of nature.

Scenic Views

The beach is framed by gentle hills and lush greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for your visit. The clear, shallow waters are perfect for wading and offer stunning reflections of the surrounding landscape. Whether you're relaxing on the sand or sitting on one of the beach's many benches, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea and the distant horizon.

Leisurely Activities

Kalamaki Beach is perfect for a variety of leisurely activities:

  • Picnics: Pack a picnic basket and enjoy a meal with a view. The beach's quiet atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for a relaxing lunch or a romantic evening picnic. Many visitors bring blankets and find a comfortable spot on the sand to enjoy their food amidst the natural beauty.
  • Strolling: Take a leisurely stroll along the shore, feeling the soft sand beneath your feet and listening to the gentle lapping of the waves. The beach is long and wide, providing plenty of space for a peaceful walk.
  • Benches: Scattered along the beach, the benches offer ideal resting spots where you can sit and take in the beautiful scenery. These benches are strategically placed to provide panoramic views of the coastline and the sea, making them perfect for quiet contemplation or simply enjoying the moment.

Practical Information

  • Accessibility: Kalamaki Beach is easily accessible by car, with a well-maintained road leading directly to the beach. There is ample parking available nearby.
  • Best Time to Visit: To experience the beach at its most tranquil, visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon. These times offer cooler temperatures and fewer visitors, allowing you to fully appreciate the serene environment.
  • Facilities: While Kalamaki Beach is relatively undeveloped compared to other beaches on the island, basic amenities such as restrooms and trash bins are available to ensure a comfortable visit. It’s a good idea to bring your own supplies, including water and snacks, as there are limited food and drink options nearby.

Nature and Wildlife

Kalamaki Beach is also known for its natural beauty and wildlife. The area is part of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, established to protect the nesting grounds of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). While the beach itself is not a primary nesting site, the surrounding area is crucial for these turtles.

  • Turtle Watching: During the nesting season (May to October), you might be lucky enough to spot loggerhead turtles in the waters off Kalamaki Beach. If you do see a turtle, remember to keep a respectful distance to avoid disturbing them.

Tips for a Pleasant Visit

  • Sun Protection: The beach offers limited natural shade, so be sure to bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. An umbrella or beach tent can also provide much-needed shade.
  • Comfortable Footwear: The sandy and sometimes pebbly shore can be uneven, so wearing comfortable footwear will make it easier to explore the beach and its surroundings.
  • Respect Nature: As part of a protected area, it’s important to respect the natural environment. Avoid leaving any trash behind and be mindful of the local wildlife.

Kalamaki Beach is a hidden gem on Zakynthos, offering a serene and scenic escape from the busier tourist spots. Whether you're enjoying a peaceful picnic, taking a leisurely stroll along the shore, or simply relaxing on a bench with a view, this tranquil beach promises a rejuvenating experience amidst the natural beauty of the island.

Aristeon Ecological Olive Press

Discover the traditional art of olive oil production at the Aristeon Ecological Olive Press, a family-run business nestled in the beautiful countryside of Zakynthos. For over 60 years, Aristeon has been dedicated to producing high-quality, extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil, using sustainable farming practices that respect the environment and preserve the island's rich agricultural heritage.

History and Heritage

The story of Aristeon Olive Press is deeply rooted in the history and culture of Zakynthos. Founded over six decades ago, this family enterprise has passed down knowledge and expertise through generations, blending traditional methods with modern innovations to produce some of the finest olive oil in Greece.

Sustainable Farming Practices

At Aristeon, sustainability is at the heart of their operation. The olive groves are cultivated using eco-friendly practices that promote biodiversity and soil health. Key sustainable practices include:

  • Organic Farming: The olives are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, ensuring that the oil is free from harmful chemicals and rich in natural nutrients.
  • Water Conservation: Advanced irrigation techniques are used to minimize water usage, reflecting the company’s commitment to conserving this precious resource.
  • Waste Management: The by-products of olive oil production, such as olive pits and leaves, are repurposed for various uses, including natural fertilizers and bioenergy, reducing waste and enhancing sustainability.

The Olive Oil Production Process

Visitors to the Aristeon Ecological Olive Press can take a guided tour to learn about the entire production process, from the olive tree to the bottle. The tour includes:

  • Harvesting: Learn about the careful harvesting techniques used to pick the olives at their peak ripeness, ensuring the best quality oil. The harvest usually takes place in the autumn, and visitors during this time can witness the process firsthand.
  • Pressing: Discover the cold-press method, which preserves the olives’ natural flavors and nutritional properties. This method involves grinding the olives into a paste and slowly pressing them to extract the oil without the use of heat or chemicals.
  • Filtration and Bottling: The freshly pressed oil is then filtered to remove any impurities and bottled on-site, maintaining its freshness and quality. Each step is carried out with meticulous care to ensure the highest standards.

Tasting Experience

One of the highlights of visiting Aristeon is the opportunity to taste the exceptional olive oil. The tasting session includes:

  • Variety of Oils: Sample different varieties of olive oil, each with its unique flavor profile, from robust and peppery to mild and fruity. The tasting is guided by knowledgeable staff who explain the characteristics of each oil and how to appreciate its nuances.
  • Olive Oil Pairings: Enjoy olive oil paired with fresh, local bread and other traditional Zakynthian delicacies. These pairings enhance the tasting experience and highlight the versatility of olive oil in culinary uses.
  • Health Benefits: Learn about the numerous health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil, which is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. The staff provides insights into how incorporating olive oil into your diet can promote overall well-being.

Educational and Interactive Exhibits

The Aristeon Ecological Olive Press also features educational exhibits that delve deeper into the history and science of olive oil production. Highlights include:

  • Historical Displays: Explore exhibits showcasing antique olive presses and tools, offering a glimpse into the traditional methods used by past generations.
  • Interactive Stations: Engage with interactive displays that illustrate the journey of the olive from tree to table. These stations are particularly popular with children and provide a fun, hands-on learning experience.
  • Multimedia Presentations: Watch multimedia presentations that provide an overview of the ecological practices and innovative techniques employed by Aristeon.

Practical Information

  • Location: Aristeon Ecological Olive Press is located in the picturesque village of Lithakia, a short drive from the main tourist areas of Zakynthos. The beautiful countryside setting enhances the experience, offering stunning views of olive groves and rolling hills.
  • Opening Hours: The olive press is open to visitors year-round, with extended hours during the peak tourist season. It’s recommended to check their website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on tours and tastings.
  • Admission: There is a small admission fee for the guided tour and tasting session, which is well worth the educational and sensory experience provided.
  • Gift Shop: Before leaving, visit the on-site gift shop to purchase bottles of their exquisite olive oil, as well as other locally produced goods such as olives, honey, and traditional Zakynthian crafts. These make perfect souvenirs or gifts for friends and family.

Tips for Visitors

  • What to Bring: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat and sunscreen if you plan to explore the outdoor areas of the olive groves.
  • Booking: While walk-ins are welcome, it’s advisable to book tours in advance, especially during the busy summer months, to ensure availability.
  • Cultural Etiquette: Respect the local customs and traditions by dressing modestly and being courteous to the staff and other visitors.

A visit to the Aristeon Ecological Olive Press offers a rich and immersive experience, combining the best of Zakynthian culture, history, and gastronomy. Whether you're a seasoned foodie, a history buff, or simply looking for a unique and enjoyable outing, Aristeon provides a fascinating insight into the world of olive oil production and the sustainable practices that support it.

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