Where to stay in Zakynthos for first time: 7 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Zakynthos as a first-timer can be overwhelming. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Zakynthos for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Zakynthos for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Zakynthos and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is a beautiful Greek island and the third-largest of the Ionian Islands. The island is known for its stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife.

The capital and main port of the island, Zakynthos Town offers a mix of Venetian and neoclassical architecture. The town square, Solomos Square, is a popular gathering place. Tsilivi and Laganas are popular resort areas with a lively nightlife, featuring beach bars, restaurants, and clubs.

The island is home to numerous sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters, limestone cliffs, and lush greenery. Navagio Beach is one of the most famous and photographed beaches in the world. It is accessible by boat and is known for the wreck of a ship that ran aground on the beach. 

The waters around Zakynthos are home to a diverse marine life, and the island is known for its sea turtles, especially the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). The National Marine Park of Zakynthos was established to protect the nesting grounds of these turtles.

Greek cuisine is prevalent on the island, with traditional dishes such as moussaka, souvlaki, and Greek salads. You can also enjoy local wines and olive oil.

Zakynthos has an international airport, making it accessible by air. Ferries also connect the island to the mainland and other nearby islands.

Is Zakynthos safe to visit?

Yes, Zakynthos, like most of Greece, is generally safe to visit. Like any tourist destination, it is recommended to take care of your belongings to avoid pickpockets, avoid walking alone in darkside street at nights, try to travel with a group and stick to the main strips.

Where to stay in Zakynthos for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Zakynthos for first-timers and tourists are Zante Town, Argassi, Kalamaki, Laganas, Keri, Tsilivi/Plános, and Alykes/Alykanas.

Zakynthos Town is a great choice for those who want a lively atmosphere, cultural experiences, and easy access to amenities. You’ll find charming streets, traditional Greek architecture, and a mix of restaurants, shops, and nightlife. It’s also a convenient hub for exploring the rest of the island.

Laganas is a popular resort area known for its nightlife. It has a long sandy beach and is a hotspot for younger travelers seeking entertainment, bars, and clubs. Keep in mind that it can get quite lively at night, so it’s ideal for those who enjoy a vibrant and party-oriented atmosphere. 

Tsilivi is a family-friendly resort with a beautiful sandy beach and proximity to Zante Town. It has a good selection of restaurants, shops, and bars, making it suitable for both couples and families. The nightlife is more relaxed compared to Laganas, making it a well-rounded choice for a diverse group of visitors.

Argassi, located just south of Zakynthos Town, is a good choice if you prefer a more laid-back atmosphere while still having easy access to the town’s amenities and attractions.

During my trip to Zakynthos, I stayed at the Phoenix Hotel. It was in a great location in the center of the island’s main town, easy access to the ferry port, and attractions like the Solomos Square, Byzantine Museum and Agios Nikolaos Church. My room was compact but clean and comfortable. Breakfast was tasty with a good selection of dishes.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Zakynthos for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Zakynthos first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Zakynthos first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Zakynthos, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Zakynthos have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

7 Safe areas to stay in Zakynthos for first-timers and tourists:

1. Zakynthos Town

Zakynthos Town is one of the most popular areas to stay in Zakynthos for first-time visitors. It is the capital and main port of the island, and serves as a central hub for exploring the rest of the island.

Zante Town has a charming mix of traditional and Venetian architecture. You can explore historical sites such as the Solomos Square, the Byzantine Museum, and the Church of Agios Dionysios, which houses the remains of the island’s patron saint.

 The ruins of a Venetian castle stand on a hill overlooking Zakynthos Town. Although the castle itself is largely in ruins, it offers spectacular views of the town and the surrounding landscape.

The town offers a variety of shops, boutiques, and local markets where you can buy souvenirs, local products, and crafts. There are also numerous cafes, restaurants, and tavernas serving traditional Greek cuisine.

The waterfront area is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it a pleasant place for a leisurely stroll. You can enjoy views of the harbor and the sea, and perhaps even take a boat tour from the port.

While Zante Town is not as renowned for its nightlife as some of the resort areas like Laganas, it still has a selection of bars and cafes where you can enjoy an evening out.

Zante Town’s central location makes it a convenient base for exploring other parts of the island. You can easily access various beaches, villages, and attractions from here.

Best places to stay in Zakynthos Town for first-timers:

Mid-range ($$): Bitzaro Boutique Hotel, great 4-star hotel located in Zakynthos Town, within easy walking distance to the beach, and the town center where you can find the Dionisios Solomos Square.  The hotel has exceptional breakfast with lots of dishes, 24-hour front desk, and an onsite bar/restaurant.

Budget ($): Palatino Hotel, lovely accommodation located in a quiet area near the center of Zante Town, featuring free parking, and comfortable rooms with ocean/mountain views. It also has a paid shuttle to the port, airport transfer services, and very good breakfast.

Budget ($): Phoenix Hotel, popular 3-star hotel, situated right in the city center main square, where you can find many lively restaurants, bars, supermarkets, tour agencies, car/motorbike rental services. Easy access to the beach, the port, and attractions like Byzantine Museum and Agios Nikolaos Church.


2. Tsilivi/ Plános

Tsilivi/Planos are popular choices for visitors seeking a well-rounded and family-friendly vacation experience. It is located on the northeast coast of Zakynthos, just a short taxi ride from north of Zante Town.

This area has numerous beautiful beaches including Paralia Tsilivi, Bouka Beach, and Paralia Mpouka. The beaches are well-organized and offer various water sports and activities. They are suitable for families with small children and  non-swimmers  due to its gentle slope into the sea.

This area offers a diverse selection of restaurants, tavernas, and cafes. The nightlife in Tsilivi is more relaxed compared to Laganas, making it suitable for couples and families.

Some attractions in this town include the Tsilivi Water Park and Fantasy Mini Golf. Tsilivi is not far from Zante Town, making it easy to explore the capital’s cultural and historical attractions while still enjoying the beach resort atmosphere.

Best places to stay in Zakynthos in Tsilivi/ Plános:

Luxury ($$$): Contessina Hotel, great 5-star hotel located along a quiet road, easy access to the town center of Tsilivi and a beautiful European Blue Flag beach. You can find an ATV rental place and many bars/restaurants nearby.  Great base for both relaxing holiday and easy access to the nightlife of Tsilivi.

Luxury ($$$): Contessina Suites & Spa – Adults Only, 5-star accommodation close to Tsilivi Beach, Planos Beach and Bouka Beach.  It is a short walk to plenty of amenities and restaurants.  15 euro taxi to Zante Town. Good base for couples and groups of young adults.

Mid-range ($$): Al Mare Hotel, 4-star beachfront hotel, conveniently located on Tsilivi Planos, offering free sun loungers and umbrellas on the beach for their guests. Quick access to the town center. In addition to rooms for solo travelers and couples, they also have rooms for families of 4 and 5.

Budget ($): Alamis Hotel & Apartments, great apartment-style accommodation, close to the beach and Tsilivi Water Park. Good base to explore the area, as it is within walking distance to everything within Tsilivi. Zante Town is a short taxi ride away.


3. Argassi

Argassi is located just a short distance from Zakynthos Town, the capital of the island. This proximity allows visitors to easily access the town’s amenities, cultural attractions, and historical sites while enjoying a more relaxed environment.

Best places to stay in Zakynthos in Argassi:

Mid-range ($$): Windmill Bay Hotel, 4-star beachfront hotel, situated 10 mins walk from Argassi Town, 15 mins taxi ride from Zante Town and the ferry port. It has self-catered accommodations with views of the Ionian Sea. It also features an outdoor swimming pool, children’s pool, family rooms, and free parking. You can find a good selection of restaurants nearby.

Budget ($): Hotel Palmyra, popular 3-star hotel located in the heart of Argassi village, within only a few mins walking distance to a variety of bars, restaurants and shops. It has a pool, superb breakfast, and free parking, which is a bonus for those who drive. 

Mid-range ($$): Ionian Hill Hotel, 4-star hotel located in a quiet area on the outskirts of, only 5 mins walk from the beach, 20 mins walk from numerous bars and shops. Good base if you have a car, you can rent a car from the airport when arriving. Lovely location on a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea with nice sunset views.


4. Kalamaki

Kalamaki is a popular resort area located on the southern coast of the island of Zakynthos. This area is close to the popular nightlife resort of Laganas and Zakynthos International Airport.

Kalamaki is known for its beautiful sandy beach, which is part of Laganas Bay.  It’s also a nesting site for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), and efforts are made to protect their habitat.

Best places to stay in Zakynthos in Kalamaki for tourists:

Mid-range ($$): Marelen Hotel Zakynthos, 4-star lovely hotel located near the airport and not too far from Zakynthos town. It is within a short walk from beaches and  Kalamaki strip where you can find various restaurants, shops, and bars. Keep in mind that it is close to the airport, you might hear aircraft noise sometimes but it is normal everywhere in Kalamaki.

Budget ($): Two Brothers Studios & Apts, 3-star accommodation in Kalamaki, featuring spacious rooms with air conditioning and a kitchenette. Easy distance from the main strip of Kalamaki, locations of a variety of taverns and bars.  It is only a 10 mins walk to the beach.

Luxury ($$$): Meandros Boutique & Spa Hotel – Adults Only, 5-star accommodation, located close to Vrontonero Beach, Kalamaki Beach and Caretta’s Fun Park Centre. Easily accessible from the airport. It has a seasonal outdoor pool, a 24-hour front desk, business center,and currency exchange.


5. Laganas

Laganas is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, making it a hotspot for party-goers. The main street is lined with bars, clubs, and beach clubs that come alive in the evening. It’s a hub for those seeking a lively atmosphere and entertainment into the late hours.

Laganas Bay is a significant nesting site for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). While the beach is lively during the day, it’s important to note that there are conservation efforts in place to protect the turtles, and strict regulations govern certain activities during the nesting season.

Located near Laganas, Zante Water Village is a water park that provides a fun-filled day for families and individuals alike.  Laganas is also easily accessible from Zakynthos International Airport.

Best places to stay in Zakynthos in Laganas for travelers:

Luxury ($$$): White Olive Elite Laganas, 5-star hotel located within walking distance from Laganas Beach. The hotel has a fitness center, a tour desk, 2 swimming pools, and paid airport transfer.

Mid-range ($$): Paradise Vezal, 4-star good value for money accommodation located close to numerous beaches including Laganas Beach, Agios Sostis Beach, Cameo Island Beach and Pure Beach Club. The hotel has  air-conditioned rooms with a full kitchen, free parking, and a beautiful garden. Higher floors have beautiful views, especially the morning sunrise.

Budget ($): Cactus Hotel, popular 3-star self-catering complex in Laganas, featuring studios and one-bedroom apartments with a fully equipped kitchen, and a huge pool with free sunbeds and umbrellas to use. It has a quiet location but easy access to the main street in Laganas and the beaches.


6. Keri

Keri is a picturesque village located on the southwest coast of Zakynthos. It’s an ideal destination for travelers seeking a more authentic and serene Zakynthian experience.

The Keri Lighthouse, perched on the cliffs overlooking the Ionian Sea, provides stunning panoramic views. You can enjoy a scenic drive or hike to reach the lighthouse and take in breathtaking vistas of the coastline and surrounding islands.

Keri is a starting point for boat trips to Marathonisi, also known as Turtle Island. This small island is a nesting site for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). You can take boat tours to explore the island, its caves, and enjoy swimming in the clear waters.

The coastline near Keri features several sea caves that are accessible by boat. Boat trips often include visits to these caves, allowing tourists to explore the unique geological formations along the cliffs.

Best places to stay in Zakynthos in Keri:

Budget ($): Maria Studios, 3-star accommodation located in a quiet area, featuring a lovely garden with olive and citrus trees. It is only a short walk from a mini market, bakery and restaurants. The hotel can help to arrange boat rental and car rental services.

Budget ($): Kyprianos, 3-star nice little accommodation in the area of Keri Lake, in Kerion, 20 km away from Zante Town. Easy walk to the beach.

Budget ($): Marathon Studios & Apartments, lovely beachfront self-catering accommodation located in a great area, a short walk from the beach of Keri. It has car-bicycle rental services. Rooms have a kitchenette, and you can buy daily essentials from its onsite market to cook your own meal.


7. Alykes/ Alykanas

Alykes and Alykanas are popular choices for visitors seeking a more laid-back and family-friendly atmosphere. They are located on the northeast coast of the island of Zakynthos.

Alykes beach has shallow waters, making them suitable for families with children. The beaches are well-organized with sunbeds and umbrellas, and it offers a relaxed environment for sunbathing and swimming.

Alykes is known for its unique salt flats, where sea salt is traditionally harvested. The salt flats add an interesting element to the landscape, and you can explore the area to learn about the salt production process.

Alykanas has a quaint village center with a selection of shops, cafes, and tavernas. Strolling through the village allows you to experience the local culture and hospitality.

The bridge connecting Alykes and Alykanas is a notable landmark. It offers picturesque views of the surrounding countryside and is a pleasant spot for a leisurely walk.

Best places to stay in Zakynthos in Alykes/ Alykanas:


In conclusion, Zakynthos Town, Argassi, Kalamaki, Laganas, Keri, Tsilivi/ Plános, and Alykes/ Alykanas are the best places to stay in Zakynthos for first-timers and tourists. These areas provide a variety of accommodations for all budgets and needs.

 You can continue reading about other destinations in Greece in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Zakynthos. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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