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Last updated on August 20, 2023
Welcome to Cameo Island, a small rocky island, bathed by crystal-clear Mediterranean water. Its snorkeling spot, easily accessible from the Greek island of Zakynthos, is one of the best in Europe for swimming with sea turtles. Snorkeling in Cameo is not to be missed when you are visiting Zakynthos!
Cameo Island is a small private island located south of Zakynthos, in Laganas Bay. To get there, you must reach the small port of Agios Sostis, which is at the southern tip of Laganas Beach. The island is just a little over 100 yards from the coast and is linked to the port by a wooden pedestrian bridge. The entry fee to the island is $5 per person.
If you prefer to visit the location by boat, you’ll find that there are several tours in town that will take you snorkeling with the turtles.
The recommended water entry point for snorkeling the northern area (snorkeling area 1 on the map above, which offers the best turtle-watching) is about 50 yards after the end of the bridge, at the foot of the ladders going up. Steps are carved into the cliff leading down to the shore, where a floating platform is installed in the summer.
For snorkeling the southern area (area 2 on the map), you can enter the water from the small beach (entry 2).
Loggerhead turtles can be found all around Cameo Island, as well as at Laganas Beach. However, for the best chance of seeing them, we recommend the area located to the north of the island and the footbridge (the one indicated on the map above). The probability of encountering them here is higher than anywhere else.
The area visited by the sea turtles features rocky and sandy beds, with an average depth of 6-12ft/2-4m. To find the turtles, look for other snorkelers already in the water, or at the small tour boats that visit the spot.
Otherwise, crisscross the area. Cameo Island is known as one of the best spots in Europe for swimming with turtles (together with Green Bay, Cyprus). While the chances of seeing the turtles during your time snorkeling at this spot are high, we cannot guarantee that you’ll spot them.
In Zakynthos, there are loggerhead turtles (Carreta carreta). They come to breed in the region and lay eggs on the sandy beaches of the island. Loggerhead turtles live in all the oceans of the world, but it is exceptional to be able to observe them when snorkeling (in tropical seas, the green sea turtle and the hawksbill sea turtle are the most common).
As always with sea turtles, keep in mind the basic observation rules: do not touch them, do not chase them, and give them enough space when they come up to the surface to breathe.
Apart from turtles, there is not much underwater life around Cameo Island. In rocky areas, you can still come across small shoals of salema, wrasse, seabass and seabream.
There is a bar installed on Cameo Beach, but it is closed when the island is privatized for weddings. There are a few to be found at Agios Sostis, but there is a large choice of restaurants and lodging along Laganas Beach.
Snorkel alongside a loggerhead turtle in Cameo Island in this amazing video 👇 shared by TheCoralNerd!
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Narrow rocky cove with fish and sea stars
Free shore access
Shallow rocky and grassy seabed
Rocky cove with a diversity of fish.
Small rocky bays with many fish
Small rocky bay with a great diversity of fish
Shallow rocky beds with fish