Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is one of the Greek Islands in the Ionian Sea. It is 405.55 square kilometers (156.6 square miles) in size, and home to 41,000 people. It is a well-known island for European tourists, not to many Americans. After being told that from many locals, I was even more excited to be one of the Americans to see the beauty of this island for myself, that many have not seen. The beautiful cliffs, countless caves, cerulean and turquoise blue waters, incredible shipwrecks, stunning beaches, and smooth mountains, the views around Zakynthos are just breathtaking! To get here, I took a short flight from Athens, directly to the island.
Best Time to Visit & Climate
High Season Mid-June through September, prices are at their highest, very dense crowds, great nightlife, great time for swimming, and the water temperatures are divine. July & August are the hottest months. August is the most expensive. Temperatures range from a high of 26-33°C (79-91°F), and a low of 17-23°C (64-73°F).
Shoulder Season: April through mid-June, and mid-September through October, rates are much lower, and there will only be small crowds here and there. The water is a bit chilly, but this doesn't stop people from swimming. This is an excellent time to sightsee, hike, and explore. Temperatures from April to mid-June range from a high of 18-29°C (65-85°F), and a low of 11-21°C (52-69°F). Temperatures from September to October range from a high of 22-28°C (72-83°F), and a low of 16-21°C (60-69°F).
Low Season: November through March, the rates are at their lowest, many places are closed, there are little-to-no crowds, and rain is common this time of year.Temperatures range from a high of 13-19°C (56-66°F), and a low of 7-14°C (44-57°F).
I traveled to Zakynthos early May. The weather was absolutely beautiful! I had no rain, got a great tan, the crowds were pretty much non-existent and I still went swimming, though it was very chilly!!! I highly recommend going this time of year.
Potamitis Brothers Windmills I stayed at the most amazing place in the Agios Nikolaos area, inside of a windmill with Potamitis Brothers! I chose the stone windmill which was the largest of two windmills available to rent, the second one being a white & blue windmill, closer to the cliff. This gorgeous stone windmill had more than enough room! When you walk in, you have your kitchen, living area, and bathroom. There is a pair of spiral stairs that lead to the second floor, and that is your bedroom with a balcony. I absolutely loved it here, and Yianna (the owner) and her daughters were the greatest help! Not only do they take care of the windmills, but they own the restaurant beside the windmills. They were extremely courteous, and the restaurant was extremely convenient considering we were far away from the main towns in Zakynthos. I highly recommend staying in one of the windmills! The walk down to the water is just gorgeous with incredible views, and the famous blue caves are right beneath the cliffs where the windmills are located!
Exploring Zakynthos To explore the island, I rented an ATV again! It's so much fun, refreshing, and a great way to take in the beauty around you! The signage around the island is quite confusing, and definitely lacking. So, don't get alarmed if you get turned around a bit! There is barely any traffic around the island. I would only pass a car or another ATV from time to time. It's a peaceful island to explore with winding roads and gorgeous views! I absolutely loved exploring this beautiful island of Zakynthos! Xigia Beach is a cool spot to hang out with high sulfuric waters from the caves nearby, Skinari Lighthouse has pretty views, which you can admire as you are making your way down to catch your boat to the Blue Caves! The Blue Caves are scattered around the cliffside, even right under where I stayed in the windmill! Another cool beach to check out that is desolate and is covered with pebbles, was Makrys Gialos. My absolute favorite spot I wanted to see and explore in Zakynthos was Navagio Beach (also known as Shipwreck Beach or Smuggler's Cove)! In 1980, the MV Panagiotis ran aground this beach due to bad visibility during a storm, hence why they call it Shipwreck Beach! They say the ship left Turkey, smuggling wine, women, and cigarettes for the Italian Mafia. This incredible beach is an absolute must see, that you can only get to via boat. The day I went, there were maybe 20 people exploring around the cove. Not only should you admire the view from on the beach, but from above at the viewpoint! Both perspectives are just beautiful, and a must!