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Cameo Island, Zakynthos

Note: This article on Cameo Island, Zakynthos, is a guest post written by Paulina of ukeveryday.com.

An earthquake on Cameo Island

In 1633 a large earthquake devastated the Greek island of Zakynthos. Many houses were destroyed, the sea level rose and part of the main island was cut off. That day, Laganas Bay in south Zakynthos was a terrifying place to be, but as a result of the earthquake, Cameo Island was created. This scary event turned Laganas Bay into one of the most beautiful places on the island. 

In the foreground a rocky bit of shoreline and the blue water lapping at it. In the background, the island, rising straight out of the water, cliffs on the sides, flat on top with a scattering of trees.

How to get to Cameo Island

Situated in the Agios Sostis area, Cameo Island in Laganas Bay is considered by many travelers to be one of the best attractions to see in Zakynthos. This secluded beach with crystal clear water on a small rocky island is a dream place to visit. You can get there on foot via a wooden bridge which has beautiful illuminations at night. As this is a private island, you will have to pay a few euros for entrance.

This idyllic small island is just half an hour’s walk from Laganas. It is one of the best places to visit during a short break due to its close location to the airport. On your way, you’ll stroll along the largest beach in Zakynthos, and you might see airplanes flying low above your head. Walking to Cameo Island is enjoyable and allows you to admire beautiful views of Laganas Bay.

When is the best time to visit Cameo Island?

Cameo is a small island which gets really busy during the day. The best time to come is in the early morning so you can find a spot on the beach easily. Another option is to come in the evening if you want to see the illuminations of the island. Sunset time is also a great choice to witness one of the best sunsets in Zakynthos.

Most people visit Zakynthos between May and September. It is a perfect time to enjoy the sun and swim in the crystal clear waters. July is the hottest month of the year with an average daily temperature of 34°C. If you decide to visit Cameo Island in the peak season, remember to use sunscreen with a high SPF. 

A perfect wedding

If you would like to organize a wedding ceremony or capture wonderful moments, there is no better place in Zakynthos. White sheets that play with the wind above the water make Cameo Island the most romantic place on Zakynthos. Those simple decorations look fabulous between rocky cliffs. I am sure that all your guests would fall in love with this wedding location. 

Blue sea, with a small wooden dock extending over the water from a rocky bit of land. People sit on the land part of the dock on spread towels. In front of this scene is a rope stretched from left to right, and white strips of cloth hang from it, visibly blowing in the wind.

Swimming with Caretta Caretta turtles in Greece

Zakynthos is famous for the turtles that you can see in a few places such as Gerakas Beach, Marathonisi Peninsula or Cameo Island. The endangered species Caretta Caretta turtles (a.k.a. Loggerhead turtles) always come back to the place they were born to lay their eggs. This makes the chances of seeing them swimming around Cameo Island really high. 

The Greek island of Zakynthos attracts over a half million visitors every year, in a normal year: mainly young people who want to party in Laganas. Unfortunately, these tourists leave a lot of rubbish on the beach without thinking about its impact on turtles. Plastic bags in water mislead the turtles since the bags look like tasty jellyfish. If you decide to explore Cameo Island, please keep the beach clean to help protect the turtles. Zakynthos is their main home in the Mediterranean Sea so if you want to visit it, be responsible!

A view over water from Cameo Island Zakynthos. In the distance is another island or perhaps the Pelleponese, with low mountains rising from the sea. In the foreground are two motorboats.

Snorkeling in Cameo Island

Cameo Island has one of the best beaches in Zakynthos and is a great setting for snorkeling: one of the best snorkeling destinations in Europe. In the Greek waters you can admire colorful fish, turtles and even sea urchins. Be wary of the sea urchins, since they are covered in long spines.

If you decide to visit the beach in Cameo Island don’t forget to bring water shoes to protect your feet when you go snorkeling. A snorkel, a mask and fins are top things to pack for your holiday in Zakynthos. 

Enjoy drinks at Cameo Island Beach Club and Cliff Top Bar

The Greek island of Zakynthos is the perfect destination for those who want to combine a holiday in a sunny place with great nightlife. The streets of Laganas are full of bars and clubs where you can enjoy cold drinks. If you want to relax surrounded by amazing views and great music, you should definitely check out Cameo Island Beach Club. 

The music at the Beach Club can be really loud so if you want a bit quieter place, go to Clifftop Bar. Get your drink and admire the beautiful views of Laganas Bay. I would recommend going there just before the sun goes down. Watching sunsets in Cameo Island can be truly magical.

Hotels near Cameo Island

There are plenty of hotels near Cameo Island. Some have great views, some are family-friendly, while others are adults-only. Click on the map below to look for your accommodation:

If you are looking for vibrant nightlife I would recommend Zante Atlantis Hotel in the heart of Laganas. Just keep in mind this is a party hotel so you can hear loud music until early morning. Anywhere in Laganas or Agios Sostis will allow you to have a great time in Zakynthos and reach Cameo Island easily.

Greece is one of my favorite places to visit in Europe. Rich marine life, delicious Greek cuisine and stunning scenery make me want to explore more of this country. Traveling between islands is very easy via ferries. During your holiday in Zakynthos you can book a trip to beautiful Kefalonia or the Greek mainland.

If you’re planning travel to Greece, you might like these other articles:

Where is Zakynthos and Cameo Island?

Zakynthos is an island off the west coast of Greece, next to the region called the Peloponnese. Many flights – including budget airlines – go directly to Zakynthos from major European cities.

To get to Zakynthos from Athens, take a car or bus the three and a half hours to the Peleponnese town of Kyllini (Cyllene). From there, the ferry takes about an hour.

If you’re island-hopping, it’s relatively easy to travel between Kefalonia and Zakynthos, though you’ll have to pass through Kyllini on the way.

Cameo Island is in the southeast of Zakynthos near Laganas town and right next to the little harbor of Agios Sostis. You can’t drive there; the only way onto the island is via the footbridge.

Guest post by Paulina, author of ukeveryday.com. Her blog was shortlisted as one of the Top 70 UK Travel Blogs to follow. She loves exploring hidden places in England, Wales and Scotland, but also travels worldwide. One of her favorite European countries is Greece.

Text: Cameo Island, Zakynthos, Greece: what to see and do (and the Rachel's Ruminations logo). Image: a view of Cameo Island as seen across the water.
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about Rachel

Hi, I’m Rachel!

Rachel’s Ruminations is a travel blog focused on independent travel with an emphasis on cultural and historical sites/sights. I also occasionally write about life as an expatriate. I hope you enjoy what I post here; feel free to leave comments!  Read more…
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