Zante’s legendary Blue Grotto Caves lie at the top of the island, almost on the tip of the Zante peninsula. The Zante blue caves are one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions, with thousands of visitors heading here every year.
The blue caves were first discovered by Antonio Komouto in 1897. These beautiful, natural wonders were formed over thousands of years, with impressive white limestone arches and caves carved by the sea. The caves take their name from the reflections of the sun off the sea floor, giving the water its distinctive azure glow. This causes any objects under the surface (including people!) to appear blue.
The blue caves can be reached by boat and you can take an organised tour or visit with your own boat (rentals are available in larger resorts). It’s best to visit in the early morning, when the caves tend to be quieter and the light is at its best, causing the waters to magically change colour before your eyes.
Organised boat trips leave from Laganas or from Cape Skinari, Makris Gialos beach, or Agios Nikolaos port. While it might be tempting to hop on board a larger boat, smaller boats can go all the way inside the caves, so are often the better option. You’ll even find glass bottom boats which allow you to spot marine life like seals, octopus, eels, and loggerhead turtles.
The blue caves Zante are a popular spot for snorkelling and diving, and it’s common to see divers here exploring the azure depths; remember to pack your trunks if you fancy going for a swim!
A trip to the blue caves can be combined with a visit to Navagio Bay, also known as Smugglers Cove, where you can explore the remains of a shipwreck from the 1980s. This alleged smugglers’ ship was said to be carrying cigarettes, wine, and women when it hit rocks off the coast and was washed ashore. Today the beach is accessible only by boat and is a must-see on any trip to Zante. A short walk up the hill takes you to the tiny, precarious viewing platform hundreds of feet above the beach, from where you can get the best photographs of the bay and the shipwreck; it’s an image you’ll probably have seen on Zante postcards.
The Zante blue caves and Navagio Bay aren’t the only things worth seeing on a boat trip around Zante though. A popular spot for tourists is Marathonisi Island, better known as Turtle Island. This remote, isolated island was once home to people from the mainland. Today only endangered loggerhead turtles call the island home, and this is the best spot in Zante to see these gentle giants as they head to the beach to lay their eggs. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch on the beach before you head back to the mainland, or buy some snacks and drinks from the little picnic boat which travels around the island providing refreshment for visitors.