Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Have you ever heard about an island in Greece, surrounded by turquoise blue water ?
Perfect home for sea turtles ?
A place where sound of sea water wakes you up every morning?
If you are looking for a great spot for your photo shoot adventure then ...
Yes, Zante (Zakynthos) is the right place for you!
Zakynthos island is one of the most beautiful places in Greece, known as “turtle island” with beautiful, blue, transparent salty water. If you are a Greek mythology fan, you would probably want to know that the island name is not a coincidence, Greece paradise is named after Zakynthos, the son of the legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus!
Don't think that because the island is only about 40 km long and 20 km wide, you will not find huge amount of places for shooting .. I will reassure you in the opposite!
This amazing place can offer you countless of breathless views, long sandy beaches, steep cliffs, more than 2000 years old olive trees, beautiful caves and that is not all!
From my side of view, the best part of visiting Zante as photographer is that you don’t have to search for photo shooting places! You can take pictures literally from everywhere!
Here are my top 5 reasons why you have to visit Zakynthos for your photography journey:
1. Beautiful views - this island offers you plenty of incredible views for your landscape pictures! Have you ever tried to capture picture of forests fallen in love with singing birds? Believe me, Zante will help you create new level of creativity skills!
There are several ways how to get to a nice location for your perfect photo :
- by walking on your feet (free)
- by renting a car/quad/motorcycle
(40-60€ per day)
- by buying ticket for ship cruise
- renting a small boat (around 50€/hour)
If you would ask me - my tip for you, is to rent a quad which will allow you to travel anywhere (even places out of civilisation) and take amazing pictures from place that you will choose with finger on map. It is more practical than traveling by bus, and more funny than traveling by car!
My another great tip is to rent a small boat (even a water bike if you like to exercise your legs) and sail to the turtle spotting places, hidden dolphin caves, or interesting "wild" beaches (which are accessible only by sailing, so they are "tourists free").
Of course the most popular are the views from the top of the hills, focused on the blue water and cliffs - as they are amazing ... but friends, please do not forget that views of the land are amazing as well (specially during sunrise and sunset)!
2. Nature - I believe that this is the first thing what will capture your eyes once you will arrive on the island.
Have you ever been in a place where you felt, that wherever you moved, olive trees followed you everywhere? If not - you should try this feelings in Zante. When you travel around the city, olive trees are literally everywhere. Zakynthos is famous by production of olive oil! If you are organic food lover, you should visit oil press museum at Pantokratoras village.
Did you know that on Zante island you will find the oldest olive trees in the world? This place is famous for its oldest living olive trees - one of them is living already more than 2000 years!
3. Animals, animals and once again .. animals - Are you an animal lover? Are you ? Have you ever considered that Zante island could be interesting place for animals lovers? Answer is - Yes ! Definitely!
As I mentioned before, you can spot here beautiful turtles, crabs, sea fishes and even dolphins (if you will be lucky)!
If you will plan a trip around the island, you will notice a lot of domestic animals like horses, goats, caws, donkeys and chickens. Animals are often not fenced (only tied to the tree) so you can go to them and take a photo from the nearest distance.
Don't worry, most of them are friendly, not afraid of strange people, so you can come closer and work with your camera and creativity !
Of course there are situations when you don't know how to act. Imagine that you are 5 meters from a wild animal (because you fell in love with landscape photo what you just did, that you did not notice that something is next to you) and when you are just standing there alone, face to face with a wild animal .. you don't know if you should run, slowly walk away or not move at all - you are paralyzed. You never know what a wild animal will do in this kind of situations, so please be more careful than me (of course I ran away ... and pray ... ).
Here are some animal pictures, what I made during the traveling around the island:
4. Interesting nightlife of the cities ! Take advantage of the night! Make amazing photos during the walk for your dinner and drinks! Results will surprise you!
My friend, I will tell you the truth - Zakynthos city life is literally dead during the day. Everyone is getting sun tan on the beach or swimming in the sea. Additionally is so hot, that you can walk only 5 minutes without regrets about the idea of visiting the city. My tip for you is simple - city visits are the best during the evening and night !
8 pm - is the time, when people are slowly starting their city life. During that time, we can see first wave of tourists walking trough the streets. At 10 pm cities are starting to be crowded. Restaurants are full of guests, bars are starting their karaoke shows and adventure agencies have plenty of interested, impatient for next trip customers.
5. Breathtaking sandy beaches ! Can you imagine sound of the waves ? Drops of salty water on your face? Feeling the sun touch on your skin? Can you feel it right now? Follow me to Zante sandy beaches and share the feeling of pure enjoyment with me!
If you would ask me if I can recommend Zakynthos beaches - answer is yes .. definitely ! Beaches located on this island are amazing ! Water is super salty (like when you put whole salt what you have at home to 1/3 glass of water)! Big advantage (for me) is that you will not freeze to death as water is not cold at all. I believe reason why the water is so warm, is because water level near the shore is very low (after 5-8 meters from the shore water is touching your belly).
Are you wave lover ? On Zakynthos waves comes with the wind, so during the day, really depends on the weather if you will have fun with the wavy water or not. Don't worry, around 6 pm you will notice first wave of waves. Usually evenings and nights are windy, so you can hear sound of waves even 10 meters from shore..
If you prefer calm water, I have tip for you! If you are on the beach with wavy water, you can travel to opposite side of island, I can say that for 90% water will be calmer ( this tip I get from one inhabitant of smaller village. Of course I followed his advice - as I am calm water lover - and I can confirm that this tip is true!).
Here are pictures from "turtle island" :
Don't be afraid to ask Zante people if you need help or some kind of advice - they are super friendly! Believe me .... the residents will share with you locations of "secret" destinations (hard to google), recommend where to eat great dinner, or try to help you with renting perfect car/squad/motorcycle for you!
Sometimes is easier to ask, than use google to find tips for your adventure ! You will be surprised how helpful and willing people can be !
Residents of Zante island will offer you even gas when you are in the middle of nowhere, and you know that you will not make it to the next gas station (because you are amazing and you will forget to check the gas before going to photograph some cliffs out of civilisation ....)!
My dear readers! I hope you will visit Zante as soon as possible ! I wish you good luck with your photography journey ! - Martyna