Choose Between Corfu Or Zakynthos – Zakynthos Vs. Corfu

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Written by our local expert Nick

Nick is is digital nomad originally from Athens, Greece. You will now find him exploring the Greek islands, Bulgaria and beyond.

Should you visit Corfu or Zakynthos? This guide shares detailed information to help you weigh up Zakynthos vs. Corfu, both in the Ionian Sea. 

In a rush and just want to know how to choose between Zakynthos or Corfu? Here is what we think you should know:

Zakynthos Corfu
Vibrant nightlife More relaxed, laid-back holiday
Many island hopping day trips Great outdoor activities 
All-inclusive hotel options Traditional & authentic hotels

If you’re looking for the perfect Greek island to visit, you’ll have a lot of homework to do and decisions to make. However, two you might find yourself stuck between are Corfu and the Greek Island of Zakynthos, also known as Zante.

Both islands are a part of the Ionian Islands group, offering some of the bluest seas you’ll ever see. They’re both very green islands packed with olive trees and ancient ruins, which means that they are both the best places to get great pictures and learn about reek history.

But how can you decide if Zakynthos or Corfu is better suited to your travel style? In honesty, they’re both more than worth a visit, and it totally depends on what you want from your holiday.

So, let’s pit Old Town Corfu against the turtle island of Zakynthos and see how they come out.

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Corfu Vs. Zakynthos

Beaches in Corfu - Famous Canal D'amour in Sidari - Corfu, Greece

Corfu is the larger island of the two and has a more laid-back vibe to it. It is a very green and natural island, with plenty of chances to explore on your own steam. It’s also a very easy island to get to all year round.

During the high season, between April to October, there are direct flights from all major European cities regularly. You can also fly to Athens and then get a domestic flight to Corfu from there.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Corfu and Zakynthos is that Corfu is more chilled out and offers a more relaxing holiday. So, if that’s what you want, perhaps Corfu might win.

Let’s delve further.

Reasons To Visit Corfu

Ideas For Things To Do In Corfu In Winter For Everyone - Paleokastrisa

  • Corfu is the larger island of the two, which means there is more to explore. On the east coast, you’ll find pebbly beaches and a ‘wilder’ environment, but on the west coast, you’ll find fantastic sandy beaches with blue waters and a typical summer holiday location
  • Corfu is an excellent spot for walking and hiking, with plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities
  • Check out the village of Paleokastritsa on the northwest coast for a more chilled-out feel, with authentic tavernas and beaches surrounded by fragrant olive groves
  • You’ll find amazing sunsets on the island of Corfu, especially at Halikounas. This is a windy beach that is also famous for kitesurfing
  • Kerkira is the capital city of Corfu, and it’s an excellent spot for architecture fans, with many different phases throughout history
  • Limni Beach Glyko is possibly one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole of Greece!
  • Nature fans will love driving or hiking to the top of Mount Pantokrator, with amazing panoramic views and wildlife-spotting opportunities
  • Corfu is also a great spot for history fans, with Angelokastro an excellent place to visit. This is a castle built in the 13th century, yet Corfu is also home to many other monasteries, fortresses, and castles

Reasons Not To Visit Corfu

Corfu With Kids Guide - Corfu Fortress - Greece With Kids

  • Corfu might let you down just a little if you’re looking for vibrant and lively nightlife. While there is plenty of nightlife, it isn’t as varied as what you will find on Zakynthos
  • Friend groups might find the pace of life on Corfu a little too slow
  • Corfu isn’t the cheapest Greek island

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Zakynthos Vs. Corfu

Blue caves on Zakynthos island, Greece

You might know Zakynthos as Zante, and it’s the exact same island. One of the most famous holiday destinations throughout the peak summer months, this island offers plenty of tourist opportunities and great nightlife. While it isn’t as chilled out as Corfu, it certainly has more than enough to keep you occupied.

As with Corfu, you can easily reach Zakynthos directly from most major European cities during the summer and via domestic flight from Zante at other times.

Reasons To Visit Zakynthos

The best sandy beach in Greece - Navagio Beach - Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos Island, Greece

  • The capital town is called Zakynthos Town, and it’s a very vibrant and beautiful place to base yourself. Close to amazing beaches and with plenty of nightlife, you have a very short ride to the nearest airport
  • Zakynthos is home to Navagio Beach, better known as Shipwreck Beach. This is one of the most photographed islands in the world, and there is a huge shipwreck sitting directly on the sand!
  • Zakynthos is one of the best islands for nightlife. You’ll find everything you could possibly want here, from fun pubs to cocktail bars, sports bars to nightclubs
  • You can take many day trips, including the island of Marathon, which is excellent for diving and swimming
  • Zakynthos is a breeding ground for the beautiful loggerhead sea turtles, and Paralia Laganas is a top spot for this. You’ll find that at certain times of the year (late May to August), part of the beach is cordoned off, but if you head there around sunrise, you might be lucky enough to see the babies hatching!
  • There is a lot of history to enjoy on Zakynthos, too, including Anafonitria Monastery, dating back to the 15th century
  • There are many beach-related activities to enjoy, including boat trips and water sports in these shallow waters, as well as plenty of opportunities to relax on a beautiful beach for the day
  • If you want a great sunset view, check out Keri Lighthouse, where you can enjoy a delicious meal


Reasons Not To Visit Zakynthos

Turtle in the sea , Zakynthos island

  • If you want a relaxing holiday, Zakynthos might be a little too loud for you. In that case, Corfu might be better. There are many opportunities to escape the noise, but you’re never too far away from it
  • Because Zakynthos is more popular with younger groups, you may find it a little raucous during the peak summer months
  • There are fewer hiking and walking trails on Zakynthos compared to Corfu and fewer wildlife spotting opportunities, apart from the loggerhead turtles

Greece Travel Blog_Zakynthos Or Corfu_Which To Choose 


Is Zakynthos or Corfu better for nightlife?

Zakynthos has a world-famous nightlife reputation, with lots of varied activities to keep you up partying. Corfu, while certainly offering nightlife activities, has few options and less rowdy crowds in general – think local tavernas.

Is Zakynthos of Corfu better for hiking?

Corfu is a beautiful island for hiking. It’s bigger than Zakynthos and is home to many incredible natural areas to explore.

Should I go to Zakynthos or Corfu for a relaxing beach holiday?

Corfu is known for having a chilled-out vibe, perfect for a relaxing beach holiday. Zakynthos is an excellent spot for a beach holiday, but it definitely has a party-in-the-sun vibe, making it less relaxing.

Does Zakynthos or Corfu have better beaches?

Corfu has more beaches than Zakynthos, giving you lots of options for beach hopping. However, Zakynthos definitely has the most magical beaches when comparing the two.

Does Zakynthos or Corfu have better accommodation choices?

Corfu has better accommodation options as there is a huge variety of places to choose from on the island, including authentic stays.

Zakynthos is great if you want an all-inclusive option.

Is it cheaper to visit Zakynthos or Corfu?

In general, Corfu is more touristic, and therefore is more expensive to visit.

In the end, when you choose either Corfu or Zakynthos, you will have the best time as they are both fantastic islands to visit, and it really depends on what you want as to which one you choose. Or, you could decide that you’re going to visit Zakynthos AND Corfu!

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