Need help finding the best Zakynthos restaurants and hotels? This guide has everything you need for a relaxing few days on the island!
If you’re looking for a Greek island to explore, Zakythnos is the perfect place to start! It’s known for gorgeous water and great beaches, especially its massive shipwreck on a perfectly white sand beach.
It also gets less crowded than some of the other major Greek islands and has an airport to fly straight in.
I’m putting together an entire guide to how to explore the island, but first, let’s talk about the best Zakynthos restaurants and hotels for your trip.
Getting Around the Island
To really experience the island, you have a few options:
The simplest is to rent a car. They’re not cheap, but they open everything up to you, especially if you don’t want to do group day trips on buses.
A fun middle option is renting a four-wheeler. You’ll see this all over the island, and it makes for a fun alternate way to get around. You still need a driver’s license and the usual rules about driving under the influence apply. They also don’t move as fast as cars, but it’s certainly a more memorable way to get around!
If you don’t want to drive, you can see most things via group day trips. I’ll fill you in on these in a whole other guide coming soon, or you can grab my complete Thatch guide today!
Where to Stay in Zakynthos
Where to stay in Zakynthos depends on what kind of experience you want!
There are tons of resort-style options available if you’re focused on relaxing. They’re scattered throughout the island, which means you should plan to either rent a car or mostly stay put. Here are a few that look great!
Around the island
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort to relax, head to Klelia Beach Hotel. It’s a 4-star hotel in the south part of the island and a 2-minute walk to the beach. The food is fantastic and it’s perfect for a luxe weekend away!
If you’re not looking for all-inclusive, check out Marelen Hotel in the same part of the island with similar offerings.
If you want to splurge a bit, there are 5-star options for [relatively] reasonable rates! Both Tui Blue Zante Maris and Hotel St. John offer gorgeous suites with luxury touches all over their adults-only property. Tui Blue is closer to the sea – about 12-minute walk.
Staying in the town of Zakynthos
Another option is to stay in or near Zakynthos city. Zakynthos isn’t much to look at as a town – it was pretty much leveled in an earthquake in the 1950s, so the buildings are both new and not focused on aesthetics.
That being said, the advantage to being based in or near Zakynthos is that it’s the easiest home base if you don’t want to rent a car.
I stayed at the Avalon Palace Hotel and loved it! The beds are comfortable and the showers have excellent water pressure. The buffet breakfast is tasty with a mix of Greek and western breakfast foods. The prices were reasonable, including upgrading to a suite with a private pool overlooking the port below!
The only note is that if you don’t rent a car/vehicle, getting down to Zakynthos is about a 20-minute walk. Not too bad on the way there, but then it’s a sweaty 20 minutes uphill. I didn’t mind it, but it’s worth knowing that on the front end of the trip! You can also 100% call taxis if walking isn’t your preference.
If you want to stay in the heart of Zakynthos, check out Hotel Palatino. It’s in the town itself, so no big walks, but you’re also 5 minutes away from the city’s beach!
What to see in Zakynthos City
The primary town shares its name with the island. While the town itself isn’t wildly historic, but there are a few spots worth seeing!
Every evening, nearly everyone in town passes through Solomos Square, so be sure to pass through! Don’t do dinner here, but it’s nice to have a drink and people-watch.
While you’re there, it’s nice to spend a little time walking along the harbor. It’s pretty touristy, but fun to admire the yachts. Don’t forget that the gorgeous water in the harbor is the least beautiful part of the sea you’ll find in Zakynthos!
Make sure to stop by the orthodox church, Agios Dionisios Church. It’s beautiful and worth poking your head in, but keep in mind it’s not open to visitors all day long.
Just past the church the main port. Here’s where you can catch ferries to other parts of Greece and Italy.
Staying in or near Zakynthos means easy access to great restaurants without a car. Here are some of my favorites!
Yard of Taste has a weird name, but probably our favorite meal on the island! The food is Greek ingredients and menus with a slightly upscale twist. Everything was really fresh and lovely. The Greek salad was probably our favorite part of the meal, but that’s how good it was!
Allontinó was a great spot for dinner!! The appetizers were especially good, but we loved everything we ordered. They often have live music in the evenings. It’s the kind of place you want to sit outside and watch the world go by for a few hours.
o Zochios is a great family-run spot. You know it’s good when the fish get brought in just as lunch starts! Also, it’s open for lunch, not always the easiest meal to find in Zakynthos.
If you need something quick, Artogōniá is a good bakery to grab breakfast or lunch.
There are a bunch of great Zakynthos restaurants out on their own, meaning you need to rent a car or call a taxi. If you want a meal away, try one of these! My common sense rec is to call ahead and make a reservation – don’t want to drive out to get turned away.
The Keri Lighthouse sits on the southwestern part of the island and their restaurant offers incredible views! It’s a bit of a trek from the major towns, but so worth it. Go for lunch while exploring the island.
Lete Sunset Bar has everything you want in a trendy cocktail bar, right down to the creative cocktails with beautiful garnishes. It’s one of the best places on the island to enjoy the sunset with a drink.
To Diafokereiko is a great family-run restaurant that’s been open since the 1600s! Amazing homestyle food, it’s the kind of place to let them order for you!
Nobelos Seaside Lodge is an amazing choice on the northern part of the island with award-winning dishes, doing modern takes on traditional meals. They also offer online reservations, which I always appreciate.
Soon I’ll be sharing my tips on the best ways to experience the island – navigate what to see, where to go, and how to do it best without a car. Don’t want to wait? I’ve got it all organized in a guide on Thatch!