Xigia Beach Zakynthos was a wonderful surprise during our more than two weeks on the island. It’s not only beautiful, but also healthy!
After staying on Zakynthos for over 2 weeks and visiting many of the nicest coves, we found that while Xigia Beach, with its towering cliffs, white pebbly sand and natural sulphur mud, may not have been one of the best beaches in Greece, but it was definitely one of the best beaches in Zakynthos.
There are actually three Xigia beaches all in a row Zakynthos island, with one to the south, one in the middle, and one to the north. This post will be about the one that is to the north, which is the most scenic one with the best sulphur mud.
Where Is Xigia Beach?
Xigia Beach is located in the Koroni region on the northeastern coast of Zakynthos Island in the Ionian Sea of Greece. Xigia Beach is easiest to reach by car, and I recommend renting a car while you’re in Zakynthos Island because there are plenty of things to do in Zakynthos that require transport.
I recommend downloading the Google Maps app and then downloading the map of Zakynthos to use offline. You can then click here or click the map address above to see directions to Xigia Beach.
There are a couple of sulphur beaches side by side here, but I recommend the north one as it is more picturesque with tall cliffs sheltering the white pebble sand on three sides.
Best Time of Day to See Xigia Beach
As with most beaches in Zakynthos, the best time to see Xigia Beach is at midday, when the sun is directly overhead illuminating the white pebbles and incredible Ionion Sea. This makes for a truly breathtaking beach photo.
You can also visit Xigia Beach in the early morning as the sun rises over the mainland of Greece here in the morning. There are sometimes people strolling along the beaches here at daybreak.
When to Go to Zakynthos
The best time to visit Zakynthos is the same as the best time to visit Greece and the Greek Islands. We prefer to come in the spring (March-May) or the fall (August-October) when there are fewer crowds, the weather is still nice, and the sea is still warm enough to swim. (March is still a bit nippy though.)
Most people come to Greece in the summer months because that’s when many people are on summer holidays. At this time Xigia Beach and other beaches like Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Cove) can be packed with tourists.
But it’s the hottest time in Zakynthos as well and it’s when the sea is at its warmest, so it’s a great time to visit the islands if you want to laze in the sand and get a nice suntan.
How to Get to Xigia Beach
The best way to get to Xigia Beach is by getting your own rental car. Or there are some public buses that can get you to Xigia Beach from Zakynthos Town. You’ll have to stop over and switch buses in Alykes first (35 minutes), and then from Alykes, you’ll have to take a taxi (€8-10).
There are also some tours that will take you to Xigia Beach but they will be a part of a larger day trip that will likely cost up to €30.
Which brings me back to my best option for getting to Xigia Beach in Zakynthos and for getting everywhere else on this fantastic island. Rent a car! You can find car rentals for around €15/day when you rent for a week on Expedia and it’s worth it.
Considering the buses around Zakynthos aren’t that easy to figure out (most destinations aren’t on Google Maps at the time of writing), and tours around the island are expensive, it’s worth it to rent a car. The roads are easy enough to drive on.
Middle and Southern Xigia Beach
While this post is about the northern Xigia Beach, which has the sulfur spring and is the most famous of the three beaches, the other two are worth checking out as well.
Middle Xigia is only accessible by a rocky footpath, making it the hardest one to get to. But that’s a big part of its charm. There are no umbrellas or deck chairs here, and far fewer tourists. It’s close enough to the northern beach to get some of the sulfur too.
Southern Xigia Beach has some umbrellas and chairs for rent. Like all three beaches, it’s right under cliffs and is a beautiful spot. The Taverna to Pelagaki is right up above on the cliffs.
The Type of Sand on Xigia Beach
Xigia Beach is like many other beaches in Zakynthos and in the rest of the Ionian Sea. It may look like perfect white powdery sand from where you park your car and start to head down to the beach, but it’s actually not.
When you take your first step onto the beach and cringe slightly in pain, you’ll quickly realize that it’s actually tiny pebbles. It’s best to wear water shoes or at least flip flops so that you can be comfortable while walking around and heading out for a swim.
The Sulphur Springs
Between a small crack in the jagged rock walls that surround Xigia Beach is a sulphur spring that oozes a smelly, milky white substance into the water, turning the sea around it a little bit cloudy.
This is the sulphur that gives the beach its name. Before you get too deterred by the scent, keep in mind that sulphur is known to help muscle and bone pain, as well as skin problems. You’re basically swimming in a fountain of youth, so if you must, plug your nose until you get used to the smell, jump in and enjoy the health benefits of this breathtaking beach.
Where to Stay Near Xigia Beach
There are a few hotels and places to stay near Xigia Beach, but this isn’t what you’ll likely choose when thinking of where to stay in Zakynthos. The best hotels are in Zante Town, Laganas, Tsilivi and Vasilikos, but if you want to stay near Xigia Beach there are a few options.
Emerald Suites (10 Minutes north by car): Emerald Suites is a 4-Star hotel north of Xigia Beach in a town called Askos. It has good reviews on Google and Booking.com, and rooms here start at around $300/night in the shoulder season. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com.
Xigia Beach Residence (walking distance): Xigia Beach Residence is walking distance to Xigia Sulphur Beach and is the closest and most affordable option you’ll likely find in the area. It has a 9.7 rating and is around $60 per night in the shoulder season. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com.
Best Restaurants Near Xigia Beach
If you’re making a day of it, you might as well head to one of the nearby restaurants. The beach itself is delightfully uncommercialized, so you won’t find any bars or restaurants right on the sand, but that’s part of the allure. If you want to have a meal near Xigia Beach, check out these places:
Xigia Tavern: As you leave South Xigia Beach and hit the main road, you’ll see the beautiful Xigia Tavern up a hill about 500 meters away. The restaurant, like Lofos Restaurant in Zakynthos, has a spectacular view of the Ionian Sea and offers up some great food as well. They do great steamed mussels here.
Taverna to Pelagaki: Another nice little Greek Taverna with a view over Xigia Beach, Taverna to Pelagaki does pizza, meat and potato dishes, souvlaki, and a great octopus meal as well.
FAQs About Xigia Beach Zakynthos
Still have some questions about what to do in Xigia Beach Zakynthos? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Xigia Beach is located on the northeast coast of the Greek island of Zakynthos.
The best way to get to Xigia Beach Zakynthos is with a rental car. There are some public buses from Zante Town, but they can be confusing.
Xigia Beach has a sulfur spring coming from a small crack in the steep rock walls. This flow mixes with the sea below, and swimming in it helps with muscle pain, bone pain, and skin problems.
Many beaches on Zakynthos are sandy, but unfortunately Xigia Beach is not. It looks like sand from a distance, but it’s actually tiny pebbles that can hurt a bit when you walk on them.
Yes, you can swim in many places at Zakynthos, especially beaches such as Xigia Beach. The water is gorgeous.
Should You Go to Xigia Beach Zakynthos?
Xigia Beach is a great experience for sure. It’s more than just a beach, with the milky sulphur leaking into the water giving the tiny rock-sheltered cove a unique feel. There is a bit of an odour in the air, but it’s worth it for the health benefits.
It’s a relaxed place, and while it may not have the best restaurants in Zakynthos nearby, there are a couple of cool little taverns where you can stop in for a bit to eat. The sand is pebbly and there’s not much natural shade in midday, so bring an umbrella if you can.
Xigia is a beach and a free spa experience all wrapped up in one, so I definitely recommend checking it out on your next trip to Zakynthos Greece.
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