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Zakynthos Yacht Charter Guide

An Ionian island also known by its Italian name Zante, Zakynthos is renowned for its natural beauty and vibrant nightlife. As with many islands in the region, Zakynthos has an abundance of sun-drenched beaches to choose from, and its beautiful coves and calm waters make it an excellent yachting destination. 

Zakynthos has developed a thriving reputation for tourism and is very popular with visitors from all over Europe. However, there is a quieter side to the island that can be discovered on board a private yacht. There is plenty of hiking, ancient footpaths to long-forgotten villages, and authentic Greek life to experience on Zakynthos. Much of the mountainous landscape is protected as a nature reserve and the slower pace of life here makes it an excellent choice for a family charter. 

Best time to visit:
Zakynthos has a warm climate with hot, dry summers and very mild winters. The best time to visit is between June and September.

Key cruising areas:
As the southernmost Ionian island, Zakynthos is an excellent place to begin a journey through the archipelago. A yacht itinerary in the Ionian Islands can include the breathtaking destinations of Corfu, Paxoi, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Ithaca and Kythira, each with its own personality and distinctive culture to discover. A yacht charter to Zakynthos also offers the chance to explore The Strofades, two tiny islets just 44 km away from the island. The Strofades have a long, mythical reputation, and the larger one, Stamfani is home to an ancient monastery. You can easily spend a few days sailing in this region, taking in rugged coastline and diving into the clear blue water. 

Don't miss:
A day trip to the islet of Marathonisi, also known as 'Turtle Island'. A breeding place for loggerhead sea turtles (called Caretta Caretta), visitors are not allowed to explore all of the island in order to protect these endangered animals. A beautiful destination, Marathonisi is part of the Zakynthos Marine Park and visitors may even catch a glimpse of monk seals in the area – one of the most endangered species in the world.

Best spots for wining and dining:
Zakynthos has a huge variety of places to eat and drink. Porto Azzurro is a beachside restaurant that is an excellent spot for lunch with a view, with a casual atmosphere overlooking the water. There are several refined choices of restaurants to try on Zakynthos. Melia Fine Dining has fantastic views of the Ionian Sea and is located on the beachfront of Lesante Blu; an award-winning restaurant from chef Nikos Ispiroudis, it is one of the best fine dining experiences in Greece. Another elegant option is Neptune A La Carte, which is found within the Lesante hotel and offers an impressive menu of locally grown, organic food. For a nightcap, Bitters Cocktail Winebar, as the name would suggest, offers a variety of drinks and boasts an impressive selection of specialty wines to choose from.

Zakynthos is known as a party hotspot, with plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained throughout your stay. The Laganas strip attracts many late-night revelers and Zero's Club is one of the most famous places to go. You can expect well-known DJs to perform here throughout the summer.

Best local dish:
The cuisine of Zakynthos is very traditionally Mediterranean, with fresh fish, grilled vegetables, and olive oil being fundamental to many dishes. Greek meals often start with an array of small appetizers, such as tzatziki (a dip made from yogurt, garlic and cucumber), Dolmadakia (vine leaves stuffed with rice) or melitzanosalata (chopped eggplants). Seafood is plentiful on the island, with red mullet, lobster, sea bream and swordfish often freshly caught and served grilled as a main course.

Local culture:
Away from the crowds of partiers, there is much culture and history in Zakynthos. Bokhali is a traditional village on the island that retains its authentic Greek feel. For an insight into the island’s history, the church of St Dionysios is named after the patron saint of Zakynthos and miraculously survived the earthquake that devastated the island in 1953. There are also several thriving vineyards to visit on Zakynthos, many of which are family-owned and have been producing wine for decades.

Best beach:
Navagio or ‘Shipwreck’ beach is one of the most famous attractions on the island. A sandy cove surrounded by impressive limestone cliffs, visitors will discover a rusty shipwreck of MV Panagiotis that ran aground in 1980. The boat's nefarious history of importing illegal goods has also led to the beach's nickname 'Smuggler's Cove'. Best visited by boat, you can drop anchor near the shore to take in the views, swim in the calm waters and adventure to the beach. The village of Laganas has an excellent beach, with shallow waters and a range of bars and restaurants to choose from. Vasilikos beach is a quieter option surrounded by pinewood trees – a perfect spot for families.

IYC recommends:
The famous caves of Zakynthos. Only accessible by boat, these majestic natural caves are surrounded by bright blue waters. You can explore the caves on a tender, but there are also some narrow openings where brave swimmers can dive in and discover these ancient structures from below. For the best experience, sail over at the sun sets and drop anchor here. Wake up with the sun and you’ll be able to visit this incredible swimming spot without the crowds of people.

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Top Yachts available for charter in Zakynthos

See below available yachts for charter in Zakynthos. Contact us to find out about additional yachts for charter available in the area.

  • 288'9" 88m Perini Navi 2006
  • 262'6" 80m Yachtley 2019
  • 229'11" 70.09m Benetti 1999
  • 206'8" 63m Benetti 2015
  • 194'7" 59.3m Benetti 2008
  • 181'1" 55.2m Admiral 2020
  • 180'5" 55m Heesen 2011
  • 179'6" 54.7m Turquoise 2009
  • 178'6" 54.4m Townsend & Downey 1902
  • 173'11" 53m Feadship 1997
  • 164'1" 50m Neta Marine 2018
  • 164'1" 50m Tankoa 2017

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