After spending a week on Zakynthos I can’t say I know all the beaches, but we tried a couple of them. Here is a detailed review on what to expect and which ones we liked best. As an overview, the beaches to the south are all sandy and long-stretched while the ones to the north are a lot smaller, mostly little inlets or without any sand.
Amoudi beach: there is not much of a beach so to speak, but there is a small sandy stretch to walk in. Most places have free sun loungers and umbrellas available with stairs to the actual beach in return for being a guest at their restaurant. An easy enough deal with lots of nice places to choose from. There is enough sand to build a castle and the walk into the sea is long and shallow.
Dafni beach: although a turtle conservation beach there were actually only a few fenced on areas. The road there is not easy and you definitely need to be motored to access it. Once here you can choose a shaded parking spot at one of the available restaurants (there appear to be around five) and just use the free of charge loungers. Besides the necessary umbrellas this place also offers natural shade. The beach is a wide stretch of sand with the loungers a bit to the back. We parked at a place called Porto Mela and it had excellent self-baked bread on offer.
Gerakas beach: the real nesting beach for the sea turtles is at the eastern tip of Zakynthos. The car park is on top with everything else. Down at the beach there is only the nesting area and a 5 meter wide strip of sand for sunbathing and the swimmers. The place felt crowded and hot, no restaurants were at sea level. So we took one look at the nests, talked to a conservationist and left. Probably great for long walks, also very sandy and easy shallow access to the sea. But if you like it a bit more relaxed with maybe a restaurant at hand, then this is not the place for you.
Agios Nikolaios beach: small port where the boats to Navago beach (or Shipwreck beach) and the blue caves leave. Actually they do leave from almost everywhere around the island, but from here the trip is only around one hour. The beach in Agios is super small and didn’t invite us to linger. With boats coming and going it’s a constant hustle and bustle. Agios does offer great places to eat though. We stopped at ‘To Nisi’.
Xigia Beach: who would have thought that Zakynthos offers hot springs like Iceland. There is one beach where you can experience it. Standing next to the rock wall you can feel the hot and cold water wash over your body. Not only can you see the sulphur springs due to the milky residue that comes out with it. Furthermore yellow arrows on the wall indicated where they are. The beach itself is very small but offers a couple of chairs and umbrellas for rent. The snack bar on top has an endless rope haulage installed, so if you hunger for ice cream or a beer it’s readily available.
Porto Limnionas: I’m not really sure why this is called a port because I saw not a single boat. Also there was no harbor to moor. There is no beach to speak of, basically it’s a small inlet with an amazing turquoise color and a rocky shore. On small terraces there are loungers and umbrellas available for rent. On top is one taverna for snacks and drinks.
Porto Koukla beach: a narrow strip of sand with no natural shade in sight. A couple of sun chairs and umbrellas for rent round-up the picture. There is one restaurant on top that looked very inviting, but the beach didn’t appeal to us. Maybe the wall in the back gave it an even tighter feel. The beach is probably wider in other spaces, but where we looked at it was just not enticing.