Zakynthos Town was our first stop on our three weeks trip around Zakynthos island. It is the main city of the island with quite a large port. However, Zakynthos Town (or Zante) is not really the first choice for tourists, since there aren’t many beautiful beaches around it. By the way, if you wonder what is right, Zakynthos Town or Zante Town, both names are equally correct.
For those who have just a week of vacation in Zakynthos island, I wouldn’t recommend staying in Zakynthos Town for more than a day. But if you have time and want to explore the island at a leisurely pace, then a few days in Zante Town would do nicely.
Zakynthos Town is located just 5 km from the airport and the most convenient way to get there is by taxi. The taxi ride will cost you €13.
We spent our four days in Diana hotel. It is located 3 minutes in from the city beach and has a nice top roof pool. We stayed in a Standard room which cost $60 per night. And although the location of this hotel is great, the service is good, and the room in general was nice, I must warn you that the beds were too hard and during our four nights we slept very poorly. You can read my full review of Diana hotel here.
Zakynthos Town has many great tavernas to try, so anything you choose will be pretty much the same. However I want to recommend two of the places that we ate at and just loved.
Grandma’s Pot is a cute small place that serves traditional Greek food. And although every dish they have is quite good (at least every dish I’ve tried), I would recommend you try their rabbit (tender meat and full of flavorful sauce).
Yard Of Taste is one of the most authentic restaurants in Zakynthos Town. It is located just a few minutes from the main square, away from the crowds and noise. The food here always looks delicious, smells delicious, and tastes delicious. The staff is very friendly and always happy to give you advice or help with anything you need.
Zakynthos island was once under the influence of Venetian kingdom. The impact of those times can be seen everywhere on Zakynthos island, especially in their capital city.
Zakynthos Town still has some nicely preserved architecture like clock towers, churches, and many buildings made in the Venetian style. You can visit some of the old churches and have a nice walk on narrow streets admiring the architecture.
While you are staying in Zakynthos Town don’t forget to visit Solomos Square with a statue of Dionysios Solomos, (the famous Greek poet) in the center of it.
Another place you need to check is Alexandrou Roma street that leads to Agiou Markou square. A.Roma street is the main shopping street in the town. Every door on this street leads to a store, restaurant, cafe, or a bar.
Zakynthos Town is a great place to do your souvenir shopping. I’ve just mentioned Alexandrou Roma street, and that’s where you need to go.
The main shopping street in the city is full of things you might want to bring back home as souvenirs for yourself or your friends. Another great thing about this, is that the prices are decent and things are rarely overpriced. For example we bought a beautiful long white Greek style dress for €25, a gold plated ankle bracelet with glass mati (evil eyes) was €19, sunglasses €3, magnets – not more than €1. There are also many other things that you might be interested in and that will cost more in other places on Zakynthos island.
Before we arrived in Zante Town, I’d read that there is no place for swimming here. And I must tell you that it is not true. There might not be long sandy beaches with fancy cafes like in Mykonos, but there is still a cute, although small, city beach with crystal clear water and a decent cafe.
Zante beach is called Plaza EOT and it is located up north the coast of the city. The EOT beach has two parts: the pebble part, and a platform part where you can rent a sunbed and an umbrella. The set of two sunbeds and an umbrella costs €7 for the day.
There is also a shower on the beach to wash salt out of yourself, changing rooms, and pretty clean bathrooms.
The beach cafe serves drinks and food. The prices are the same everywhere. A half a liter beer is €4, Gyros plate is €8 (huge portion), a plate of fried sardines is €9.
The beach itself is nice and clean. And the more I spent time here, the more I liked it. Although I must mention that you do need water shoes. As almost everywhere in Greece, EOT beach is very rocky.
Bochali area or Bochali town as some locals call it (although it is part of the capital city), is located on the mountain right behind Zante town and overlooks the harbor.
The Bochali area is famous for its Bochali Venetian Castle that unfortunately was damaged by an earthquake. However it is still open for tourists and for €4 you can enter the castle and have a nice walk between ruins and old trees.
The best time to visit the Bochali area is at sunset and stay until dark and the city lights are on. This is the view you will want to see.
While you are staying in Zakynthos city, you might as well do a sunset tour to Shipwreck beach. There are two ways to visit this iconic place: from the sea, or the viewpoint on a cliff.
The sunset tour we found on AirBnB Experiences and since we don’t drive ourselves, the tour was a perfect way to hit all the remote locations.
The tour includes Machariado village, Kiliomenos & Agios Leon village, Exo Hora (see the oldest olive tree in Zakynthos), Shipwreck view point and other stops. The private tour costs €120 and you can have a total of 4 people.
I really recommend this tour if you don’t drive yourself. The super friendly tour guide, George, was really helpful with our needs and actually did way more for us than we expected. You also can read here my full review of our Sunset Tour On Zakynthos.