If you’re looking for beautiful beaches on the Greek island of Zakynthos (also known as Zante), you’ll be spoilt for choice, but I’m only going to share with you my personal top three. Even at the end of the season when it may not be hot enough to swim, it’s great to walk along them and feel the sun on your face and the sand between your toes.
Bear in mind that I normally visit the island in low season and this October I practically had the beaches to myself. If you’re there in July and August you’ll get a different experience, as all the beaches are busy, but some are more packed than others.
At the south-east tip of the island, this beach is part of the Marine park of Zakynthos and is known for the Carretta Carretta turtles that nest there. No building is allowed above the beach and sun-loungers are kept well away from the nesting sites. If you’re lucky you may see turtles while swimming from the beach. There’s a nice taverna nearby and an information centre for the turtles next door, run by the Earth, Sea and Sky conservation network.
The steep and winding dirt road down to Dafni beach is not for the faint-hearted and personally I’d not risk it on a moped. Because of the difficult access and the fact that it is also protected for the turtles, this is likely to be the least crowded, even in high season. It’s a wide and long beach and there are just two or three beach bars where you can sip your cool drink in the shade while gazing out to sea.
Porto Zoro beach
This is a smaller beach with easy road access near Vassilikos but I like the fact that it is not too developed, with just a couple of beach bars. The large rocks at one end are great for swimming and snorkeling around.
Because I’m visiting my sister in Argassi, all these beaches are at the south-east end of the island, but there are plenty more lovely ones along the north-east coast. The best way to explore them is with a hire car, although there are also public buses that run to most of them a few times each day.