How to enjoy Scuba Diving on Zakynthos Island, Greece

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There is a reason Greece is known as one of the top travel destinations in the world. The picturesque scenery, the ancient civilizations, the impeccably blue Mediterranean waters…

For regular travellers, Greece is a dream vacation; for avid scuba divers it is pure bliss.

Scuba diving Zakynthos is unlike diving anywhere else in the world.

aerial view over crystal clear blue water beach on Zakynthos island

With its crystal-clear waters, great variety of marine life, and stunning underwater caves, scuba diving in Zakynthos allows you to discover a whole new world beneath the ocean’s surface.

Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, Zakynthos has something to offer for everyone.

But what is the best diving tour? What can I see? What else does Zakynthos have to offer?

In this comprehensive guide to diving Zakynthos, we’ll be answering all these questions and more.

About The Greek Island of Zakynthos

Azure Blue Waves on Navigo Beach, Zakynthos
Azure Blue Waves on Navigo Beach, Zakynthos

The island of Zakynthos is located on the western coast of Greece, 20 kilometers from the Greek mainland near the Peloponnese peninsula.

Surrounded by the rich waters of the Ionian Sea, the island is only accessible by boat or plane.

Every year, tons of tourists flock to Zakynthos to enjoy the world class beaches and adrenaline pumping watersports.

The island is known for for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and warm Mediterranean climate.

The island has a rich history, with influences from the ancient Greeks, Venetians, and Turks evident in its architecture and culture.

With its sunny climate and gorgeous landscape, Zakynthos is the perfect destination for those seeking relaxation, adventure, and cultural experiences.

One of the most popular places to visit is the small town of Keri, located on the southwest tip of the island about 40 minutes from the main landing harbour.

This is one of the best places to stay if you are looking for diving trips in Zakynthos.

Our Experience Scuba Diving on Zakynthos

Greece Scooter Rental Dive Buddy Style - Joey
Greece Scooter Rental Dive Buddy Style – Joey

After our arrival on the island, it took only one glimpse at the blue Ionian sea for us to get the scuba diving itch.

In no time we had found a dive shop in Keri to get salty with over the next two weeks.

From the Keri harbour there are about 12 known dive sites that can be explored.

The dive sites range from plunging wall dives carpeted in marine life to dark and dismal cave dives forcing you to navigate cracks and crevices with only a flashlight.

Over our two week stay on Zakynthos, Joey and I had the chance to dip our toes into a little of everything.

Triton Snail Hero Image
Triton Snail Hero Image

Day after day Joey and I would prep our gear, head out to one of the dive sites, roll off the boat and hit the cool blue water.

Like clockwork, every time the water enveloped me I knew it was going to be a good dive; I felt like a Mediterranean mermaid.

Colourful fish were darting this way and that way with no set path in mind.

Enormous rocky walls coated in colourful sponges and plant life went by me as I was sweeping from the surface deep past my diving ability.

For two scuba divers who have done most of their diving in Canada, it felt like heaven on earth.

My favorite dive site was Lakka, it had the best of both worlds; caves and great creatures for macro photography.

What Are The Best Diving Sites of Zakynthos?

Greece Sea Star on a Wall
Greece Sea Star on a Wall

Zakynthos boasts some of the most incredible diving sites in Greece, offering divers a unique opportunity to explore an underwater world full of vibrant marine life, stunning underwater caves, and shipwrecks.

Here are some of the best diving sites in Zakynthos and what you can expect to see at each of them:

  1. Keri Caves. This is an excellent diving site, which is famous for its stunning underwater caves, where divers can swim through narrow tunnels and enjoy breathtaking views of rock formations and sea creatures.
  2. Marathonisi Island. Located south of Zakynthos, Marathonisi Island offers pristine waters and an abundance of marine life, including sea turtles, octopuses, and colorful fish.
  3. Strofadia Islands. The Strofadia Islands are two small uninhabited islands located southeast of Zakynthos. Known for their rich marine life, divers can expect to see groupers, barracudas, and sometimes even dolphins.
  4. Blue Caves. The Blue Caves are a series of natural sea caves on the northern coast of Zakynthos. Divers can expect to see a wide range of fish species, sponges, and soft corals in this incredible underwater wonderland.
  5. MV Terekhol Shipwreck. The Terekhol is a Russian cargo ship that sank off the coast of Zakynthos in 2008. Today, it serves as an exciting diving site for advanced divers, who can explore the ship’s wreckage and see its cargo of cars and trucks.
  6. Porto Limnionas. This is an area on the western coast of Zakynthos which is famous for its crystal clear water. It’s possible to see turtles and other marine life, plus it’s sheltered by a bay which means that beginners can dive here without worrying about strong currents.

Best Diving Shops of Zakynthos

caretta turtle swim in the bay Laganas, Zakynthos, Greece
Caretta turtle

Now you know what sites you should consider checking out, perhaps the biggest question you might be asking yourself is who to book your tour with.

There are many dive centers in Zakynthos, each offering something different.

Dive Center Turtle Beach

With instructors who have from 20-35 years of experience, Dive Center Turtle Beach is one of the most popular dive shops in Zakynthos, located near the beach of Limni Keriou.

They offer scuba diving courses for beginners and certified divers looking to improve their skills or learn more advanced new skills.

If you want to get your open water diver certification, this is a top rated diving school to do this with.

The shop also offers guided boat dives to some of the best dive sites around the island.

Eurodivers Zakynthos

Eurodivers is another well-established dive shop in Zakynthos, offering PADI courses for all levels of divers.

They also offer daily dive trips to various sites, including the Keri Caves, Marathonisi Island, and the MV Terekhol shipwreck.

Islanders Zante Diving Centre

Islanders Zante is located in the town of Laganas and provides diving courses, as well as guided dives to some of the island’s most famous diving spots.

It offers a scuba diving program for beginner divers called “Discover Scuba Diving.”

Their diver program takes you to a confined space of sea water, where you can learn basic skills such as mask cleaning and diving safety, under the supervision of experienced PADI instructors.

You can also go on a real open water dive to a maximum depth of 12 meters.

They also have a “try dive’ program” which is a one hour introduction to diving, which is perfect for those who are not sure if it’s right for them.

Zante Blue Reef Diving School

If you’re a more advanced scuba diver, then Zante Blue Reef is a good place to get your SSI certification, from SSI Open Water Diver up to SSI Divemaster.

They also have programs for beginners, like the “try dive” program. They also take underwater photos and videos for you so you have memories from your experience.

FAQs About Diving Zakynthos

Keep these important questions in the back of your mind when planning your Greek scuba diving vacation to Zakynthos. They could make or break your experience.

What is the cost of diving on Zakynthos Island, Greece?

The cost of diving on Zakynthos Island was 40 euros per dive. Check out the note below on diving equipment so your costs don’t increase.

What is the best time of year for diving in Greece?

The country of Greece may seem like a year-round summer weather destination but don’t be fooled, it’s not. In the winter months it can get pretty chilly and tourist season doesn’t really start until June.

Should I bring my own equipment?

It’s no secret that scuba diving can be hard on the bank account. If you’re looking to save a little money on your Zakynthos dive adventure, consider packing some of your dive equipment for the journey such as masks and funs, and just rent the tank and weights from a local dive shop.

What do you see diving in Zakynthos?

Zakynthos has many underwater sea caves to explore, but it also has crystal clear waters that make it easy to see marine life in the coral reefs. You can see lobsters, eels, red scorpion fish, sea bream, sea urchin, combers, damselfish, blennies, sea perch, wrasse, parrot fish and turtles.

How to get to Zakynthos

There are two different ways to get to Zakynthos; via boat or via plane. Make sure if you arrive by plane you give yourself the recommended 24 hour off-gassing window before taking flight. Safety first!

Shrimp in a Cave on Zakynthos
Shrimp in a Cave on Zakynthos

We may have arrived early in the season but that didn’t make our dives any less fintastic.

From diving in giant shrimp filled caverns to swimming with a rare and endangered Mediterranean monk seal, the clear blue waters of Zakynthos took our breath away.

Prospective divers should be prepared for the cold and unexpected because you never know what you will cross paths with in this neck of the sea.

If you’re interested in Zakynthos dive site specific details, take a look at an in depth article on our scuba diving blog.

The Butterfly Exit of Cave Tunnel Dive Site
The Butterfly Exit of Cave Tunnel Dive Site

Where to Stay on Zakynthos

The island of Zakynthos may not be big (only 405.55 km2) but it can still take awhile to get around, especially if you don’t have a car.

Figure out which diving company you will use and make sure to book accommodations close to its location.

Beyond Scuba Diving on Zakynthos

While the island of Zakynthos many be surrounded by water, scuba diving is not the only neat thing to do on this island.

Here are a few activities worth looking into during your Zakynthos vacation

1. Navagio Beach

The Old Shipwreck on Navigo Beach, Greece
The Old Shipwreck on Navigo Beach, Greece

Azure blue water meeting white pebbled beach, need I say more? Spend your surface interval on Shipwreck Beach which gets its name from the gigantic rusted 1980 ship washed up on its shore. This beach is only accessible by water and has no shade or facilities.

2. The Blue Caves

The Blue Caves of Zakynthos, Greece
The Blue Caves of Zakynthos, Greece

The first thing you will notice when you arrive on Zakynthos is the rugged coast plunging into turquoise waters.

All around the 123 kilometers of coastline there are small open caves to be found carved into the limestone by the continuous tide and wave action.

The most famous of those caves are the Blue Caves around Cape Skinari which can only be accessed by boat. The best time of day to visit the caves is before noon when the lighting is just right to have the sun reflecting off the blue water giving the white walls of the cave a magical appearance.

3. Olive orchards

Joey and Ali in the Olive Orchard of Zakynthos
Joey and Ali in the Olive Orchard of Zakynthos

Everywhere you turn on Zakynthos island you will find rows upon rows of olive trees. If you plan your vacation during prime olive season (in the autumn) you can join the locals during the “liotrivi” and pick, press and enjoy the delightful bite of some authentic Greek olives.

4. Snorkeling with sea turtles

Sea Turtle on the Beach

The waters off the Bay of Laganas are considered nesting grounds to the largest population of Loggerhead sea turtles in the Mediterranean.

At the beginning of June try your luck at spotting some of these incredible endangered marine animals and take in their grace and poise as they glide seamlessly through the water. If you are a turtle lover like me, you can also check out our Costa Rican turtle nesting adventure!

Joey and I spent a glorious two weeks on Zakynthos and that was not nearly enough time to see it all.

Being first and foremost scuba divers, we inevitably spent most of those 14 days exploring the amazing underwater world of Zakynthos, and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it any other way.

While most people think of coral reefs and tropical waters when it comes to a scuba vacation, our underwater adventure in Greece is living proof that great scuba diving can happen even when you’re far from the equator.

Final Thoughts on Diving Zakynthos, Greece

brilliant blue water of Most Incredible Navagio Beach or Shipwreck Beach. with boats moored

Zakynthos is a paradise for divers. Its stunning crystal-clear waters, incredible underwater landscapes and diverse marine life make it one of the best diving destinations in Greece.

The island boasts a variety of diving sites that cater to both experienced and beginner divers.

You can explore underwater caves, shipwrecks, and admire colorful fish species, octopuses, and sea turtles.

With its reputable dive shops and experienced instructors, Zakynthos offers a safe and memorable diving experience for all levels of divers.

Relevant Reading: Greek Islands you must visit!

Do you have any amazing cold water diving experiences to share? Let us know in the comments.

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