This 7-day itinerary is designed for those who, for whatever reason (personal, financial or for lack of a license) cannot rent a car, scooter or quad in Zakynthos.
If you have a vehicle for getting around the island, you can refer to “Visit Zakynthos: 7-day itinerary“.
Visiting Zakynthos by public transportation (called KTEL) can be a difficult task. Local public buses do not serve the entire island; therefore, getting around without renting a scooter, quad or car can present some difficulties. An alternative to reach places not connected by public transportation is using a shuttle service or a taxi, renting a bike or booking a bus with driver. At the bottom of this page, you will find information on these alternatives.
HOW TO EXPLORE ZAKYNTHOS IN 7 DAYS BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Most famous areas in Zakynthos can be reached by excursion, shuttle or KTEL buses, with the exception of Dafni, one of the beaches located in zone A of the Marine Park, and Porto Limnionas, a narrow cove with crystal clear water. The bus station is located in the town of Zakynthos, the departing point for all the routes to the most famous places on the island. When planning where to stay in Zakynthos, make sure to read the article “Bus in Zakynthos: routes and fees“. Here’s how to organize your itinerary if you want to visit Zakynthos in 7 days without having to rent a vehicle:
Arrival in Zakynthos: time to relax at the closest beach to your accommodation. After dinner, visit ZANTE TOWN and BOXALI (pronounced Bochali), the viewpoint located on the Strani hill behind the city. Find out how to reach Bochali in this article “Bochali, the village with a breathtaking view over Zante town“.
Day 2 can be spent visiting some of the most beautiful beaches on the southern coast of the island. Visit the Marine Park by excursion or by renting that does not require a boating license or one with skipper. On this excursion, you can stop at Cameo Island, Marathonisi Island and Keri Caves and have the opportunity to observe Loggerhead (Caretta-Caretta) turtles swimming in striking blue waters. To learn more read: “Excursion to the Marine Park of Zakynthos“.
If you have booked your holiday through a tour operator, keep in mind that upon your arrival, they will most likely try to sell you excursions at a price almost double what a local agency would charge.
Once you are back from your excursion, you can relax at nearby LAGANAS Beach or at the quieter KALAMAKI Beach. The transfer to the departure port may require payment of a small fee per person. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Laganas and walk to the port.
Visit the beaches in Vasilikos (PORTO AZZURRO, BANANA BEACH, SAN NIKOLAOS BEACH, and GERAKAS).
Gerakas is part of Zone A, the most strictly protected area of the Marine Park, which is home to numerous turtle nests and where, you can swim undisturbed thanks to the absence of boats. Banana Beach and San Nicholaos are the best equipped beaches on the island and famous for watersports. Among their amenities they offer a free shuttle service. Shuttle timetables and stops can be found on: “Watersports in Zakynthos: shuttle timetables and stops”. The free shuttles are easily recognizable by the respective logos on the side of each bus.
To reach all the Vasilikos area beaches you can use the KTEL public buses (cost 1.80 €).
The only Vasilikos beach that cannot be visited by public transportation is DAFNI. To reach this beautiful beach located in the Marine Park, you have to travel along a dirt road for several kilometers and therefore, your only option is taking a taxi or a bus with driver.
Visit SHIPWRECK BEACH and the BLUE CAVES (do not leave it for the last day of your vacation: sometimes these excursions are canceled due to adverse sea conditions).
Beware that if you book your Zakynthos holiday through a tour operator, once you arrive on the island, they will most likely try to sell you excursions at almost double the regular price. The price should not exceed 20 €.
To reach Shipwreck Beach and the Blue Caves, you have 4 options:
1) A fast boat (up to 50 passengers) choosing the West Coast Tour or North Coast Tour. The only way to reach the port is by taxi or by hiring a coach with driver.
2) A tour of the island: it lasts 7 hours, departing from the port in the town of Zakynthos (capacity 350 passengers). It is a very popular excursion although – perhaps – less exciting.Nevertheless it is the most booked excursion by those who cannot reach the port independently.
3) A Jeep Safari with meeting directly at your accommodation. It offers a different experience, with t the convenience of being picked up directly at your hotel or residence, and the opportunity to visit inland areas and some lovely coves on the western coast of Zakynthos Island.
4) Minivan tour with meeting directly at your accommodation. Ideal combination for visiting the main attractions of the north-western area of the island. Including Xigia, Shipwreck viewpoint and Bochali. More info on: “Minivan Tour“.
We recommend booking excursions 1 and 4 in advance: small boats quickly run out of spots during high season.
Read more about this excursion on “Excursion to the Shipwreck Beach“.
Visit KERI and MARATHIA beaches.
These 2 beaches are quite close to each other, only about 10 minutes. Keri is a mix of sand and pebbles overlooking Marathonisi Island. It can be reached by public transportation from the bus station located in the town of Zante. Marathia is a white pebble beach, which can be reached from Keri by taxi or bicycle. Both places can be reached by renting a boat that does not require a boating license or one with skipper. The cost is affordable and would allow you to easily move between the two beaches and to also visit the beautiful coves in the Marine Park. More info: boat rental in Zakynthos.
Visit two of the most beautiful coves on the western coast of Zakynthos Island: PORTO ROXA and PORTO LIMNIONAS. These 2 beautiful rocky coves with crystal clear water are the most difficult to reach, but definitely worth the trek. The only way to reach them is by taxi or by booking a bus with driver, but be prepared because it will be expensive. There are no public buses or tours leading to these two coves and reaching them by bicycle is not feasible.
The last day of your holiday in Zakynthos can be spent at the north eastern coast on the island, including TSILIVI, ALYKES, MACRI GIALOS and XIGIA.
Tsilivi and Alykes are sandy. well equipped that are easily accessible by public buses departing from the main station in the town of Zakynthos.
Unfortunately, both Xigia and Macri Gialos cannot be reached by public transportation and the only way to get there is by taxi or by booking a coach with driver. If you are in good physical shape, you could possibly reach them by bicycle.
Clubs and parties in Zakynthos
All that is left to plan for your holiday in Zakynthos is what to do in the evening and how to reach the best events or resorts. Public transportation runs until 9pm, so if you want to stay out longer, you will have to take a taxi or use one of the available shuttle services. In recent years, the nightlife has moved from chaotic and transgressive Laganas to the city of Zakynthos and to the nearby Barrage nightclub, which twice a week organizes the most popular summer events on the island.
The town of Zakynthos comes alive at sunset: the streets begin to crowd with tourists strolling through Corso Alexandre Roma and the bars and taverns in the city center and along the promenade fill up with patrons. Those who love panoramic views can walk or take a taxi to the village of Bochali, located on the hill overlooking the city, from where you can enjoy an enchanting view of the city lights.
In the late evening, the nightlife moves to the Barrage nightclub, which is only 2 km from the city. Here, theme nights are held twice a week, specifically the Elegant Party and White Tuesday. The club, which offers 2 separate spaces (one indoor and one outdoor, in the garden), is suitable for tourists of all ages. There is a shuttle service from Laganas and Kalamaki but it must be booked in advance.
An alternative to public transportation is using one of the available shuttle services. There are free shuttles to San Nicholas Beach and Banana Beach every day; the trip there is free but to take advantage of the return, you must show the receipt for a drink at one of the bars or for one of the services provided at the beach, so do not throw your receipt away! For its main event, the Barrage offers a shuttle service from Laganas and Kalamaki for a cost of a few euros; the first shuttle leaves around 12.00 am from Laganas and the last shuttle returns at around 5 am.
Booking a Coach with driver
Booking a coach with driver can be an excellent solution for groups of at least 10 people. With an affordable price of about 30 € per person per day (final cost to be estimated based on the number of hours), you can be reach beaches or places that cannot be accessed by public transportation.
Renting a Bicycle
The flat area that goes from Argassi to Laganas (Argassi, the town of Zante, Kalamaki and Laganas), which extends for less than 13 Km, can be is easily traveled by bicycle, but beware of the summer heat: temperatures can reach 35 °! There are also no bike lanes paths, so you will always have to pay close attention to traffic.
Taxi fares are affordable for short distances but getting to Gerakas, Porto Limnionas and the port of San Nikolas can be quite expensive. Furthermore, taxis might refuse to drive to Dafni Beach altogether given its location on the only unpaved road in Zakynthos. See “Taxis in Zakynthos: numbers and rates“.