Zakynthos – as known as Zante – is the largest, and perhaps the most beautiful of the Ionian islands. Every year, it attracts tourists in their thousands, who flock here to soak up the Greek sun and nourish themselves with delicious Mediterranean cuisine. But is Zakynthos expensive? From the cost of transport to food and drink, we’ve put together a guide of everything you need to know about the cost of visiting Zante.
But first, a little introduction. Zakynthos is a Greek Island in the Ionian sea. From stunning beaches to vibrant nightlife, it has something to offer for every kind of tourist. Young thrill-seekers will undoubtedly gravitate towards Laganas, meanwhile, those in search of a more relaxed holiday will be drawn to the likes of Vasilikos and Alykanas. Lovers of art and literature will find plenty of history to soak up given the island’s rich history in these areas. Music, too, is a big part of the local culture in Zakynthos. Wander around the island on any night and you are bound to encounter some kind of concert or festival going on.
Despite the immense appeal of the island, it remains a relatively cheap holiday destination. This makes it the perfect destination for those looking for a taste of Ionian idyll at a reasonable price.
Is Zakynthos expensive?
All in all, is Zakynthos expensive? Generally speaking, the answer is no. Zakynthos is a pretty inexpensive place for a holiday. Those who have experienced frittering away their cash in the likes of Ibiza will be pleasantly surprised to encounter such cheap prices when they touch down here. Indeed, prices are considerably lower than many other local destinations such as Mykonos, Santorini, and Milos. As with any holiday destination, though, there are certainly some expensive activities on the island. From five-star hotels to private tours, those looking to splash their cash shouldn’t have any trouble doing so.
Many will choose Zakynthos as a holiday destination because of its wild nightlife and boat party scene. Those wanting to partake in these activities would be wise to tack on a little extra to their budget. Club entry ranges from €5-15 on a standard night, with prices rising to €25-40 if you want to go and see superstar DJs. Boat parties are considerably more expensive: a ticket will set you back at least €50 and up to €80. The price gets even steeper if you fancy buying a VIP ticket.
Lots of private tours are available for those wanting to see the local sights. These cost roughly €100 for a half-day or €200 for a day trip. While a tour guide will provide you with more local knowledge, this can prove a bit expensive for some. An easy way around this cost is to look up the sights before traveling and go there yourself. All you’ll have to pay for is the transport.
Is Zakynthos expensive to eat and drink?
Generally, food and drink are pretty inexpensive on Zakynthos. Those wanting to eat as cheaply as possible will often have gyros, a tasty and filling local favorite, available for €2,50 to €3,50 a pop. In most sit-down restaurants, €10-15 should be enough for a main course and a drink or two. For breakfast, €5-6 will get you a hefty breakfast including juice, tea or coffee, and toast.
In terms of drinks, a pint of draft beer will usually cost around €3 from a restaurant/bar. A bottle of wine can run you anywhere from €5-20 or more depending on how fancy your tastes are. Those feeling particularly brave might be inclined to try the village wine, available from shops for only a couple of euros per bottle. Do be warned, though: this might not go down all that easily and will likely leave you with a stinking hangover.
In terms of stronger stuff, a bottle of vodka might cost around €15 or schnapps about €10 from shops. If you’re in the main city, expect prices in the bigger bars on the strip to be slightly more expensive, with cocktails costing around €5 and beers or vodka mixers roughly €4. The bars on either end of the strip, or just off it, tend to be considerably cheaper. Some places will offer two cocktails and two shots for as little as €7. It is worth being wary of prices that seem too good to be true, however, as the drinks might turn out to be rather nasty and make your hangover even worse than it needs to be. A tip for those looking to spend as little as possible on a night out would be to buy your drinks in a supermarket so you end up spending less on alcohol in the clubs.
While it would be possible to spend as little as €15 a day on your food and drink, this does not give much room to have more than a couple of drinks each night. It also might leave you feeling rather unhealthy at the end of your holiday! A more realistic budget would be somewhere between 30 and 50 euros per day. Those looking to lead a life of luxury abroad, however, might find themselves spending considerably more than this.
Is Zaknythos expensive to live?
Some day-to-day amenities are more expensive than usual on Zakynthos, as it is an island. Those without a phone contract that allows for usage abroad will quickly discover this. The same applies for basics such as wi-fi, electricity and air conditioning. Fortunately for tourists, most of these will often be included in the hotel bill.
Transport tends to be relatively cheap on the island. A single bus fare is €1,80, though it is worth noting that the bus service does not reach all parts of the island. You will likely need to make use of taxis at some point during your visit, and thankfully these are also pretty inexpensive. The base tariff is usually €3 with a further charge of €1,65 per kilometer. If you’re traveling as a big group, there are several companies that run private bus services which may end up being cheaper than taxis. For the more adventurous types, quad bike hire is available for about €20 per day. Those wanting their own car can expect to pay roughly €30 per day. The longer the rental period, the lower the price per day.
Acommodation prices in Zakynthos
When it comes to accommodation, is Zakynthos expensive? Well, it depends where you choose to stay! Those wanting to spend as little as possible on their accommodation will likely end up looking at hostels in Laganas. Rooms here can be as cheap as €25 per night. A word of warning, though: this is very much the party district. Hostels here will not be for the faint-hearted or the noise-sensitive! Elsewhere, a 3-star hotel will cost around €70 per night, while luxury hotels might set you back a few hundred.
Tourists wanting a cheaper holiday should try looking for hotels rather than private rental accommodation. Due to the cost of utilities on the island, hotels will almost always be cheaper. It is also worth noting that the price of accommodation will change greatly depending on the season. In the low season of October-May, prices will be far less, reaching their lowest point in February. In the summer months, expect to be paying considerably more.
How much should I budget for Zakynthos?
It is impossible to provide a one-size-fits-all budget for a holiday when so much of the cost will be determined by which activities you choose to do. If all you want to do is eat gyros and lay on the beach, your trip will be cheap as chips. Conversely, those wanting to go on multiple day-trip tours and boat parties will end up spending far more. That said, the usual cost of a week-long trip to the island can range anywhere from €600 to €1500 per person.
An important factor to consider in your budget will be flights. The cost of these will vary dramatically depending on where you’re traveling from. You can save yourself a lot of money here by booking flights on the right day of the week. Generally, the cheapest flights will be on Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday. Sometimes, booking on the right day can save you up to 100 euros on a return flight!
Need further convincing to head to Zakynthos? We’ve pulled together a list of 7 reasons why you must visit!