On the island of Zakynthos is the only Greek marine national park. It is associated mainly with sea turtle Careta Careta nesting. Turtles swim everywhere, but especially a lot of them is located across the bay of Laganas, which extends from the end of cape Vassilikos to the end of Keri Cape. Across the bay there are designated zones: A, B, C. In zone B and C, you can not move with your boat faster than 6 knots, in zone B you are not allowed to anchor, and zone A is completely closed to any boat traffic.
Turtles swim in the shallow water of the bay - you can take a boat and watch them from it - the best time for observation is June and July. These are the main breeding periods.
In most places on each pier there are offered expeditions in search of turtles - with a catchy motto: no turtles met, then we give you back your money. And in fact during the expedition with a small boat for 10-15 euros per person we have almost 100% chance to see turtles in the water.
The beaches of Laganas and Kalamaki (but also beaches Dafni, Gerakas and others on peninsula Vassilikos) are closed at night. At night, the turtles come to the beach to lay eggs. It is being observed by volunteers, who appear throughout the day at the beach in the characteristic blue T-shirts with the logo of the national park. Immediately after laying eggs and burying them on the beach, volunteers indicate the location of each nest to sunbathers, so they don't trample them. It is also prohibited to get closer to nests. Approaching to the nest changes the temperature of the sand, and the temperature of the sand affects the sex of the turtles inside the eggs.
A specific problem can be met by turtles near hotels. Small turtles that hatch from eggs are encoded in the genes, that after hatching they are supposed to follow the brightest place (going towards the light). Have you ever been on the beach at night? It's worth it. The entire water surface reflects the light of a bright moon and stars. It is a one great shining tile. Turtles are meant to follow the sea. The problem are the hotels located close to the beach - light emited by these is much stronger than the glow of the sea and the young turtles may have a problem. Therefore often near the hotels can be seen screens of straw spread around the nests, especially those, whose period of small turtles hatching from eggs is coming. It is done to seperate the turtles from the bright lights of the hotels.
If you would like to see turtles in the water - take a paddle boat from the town of Laganas or Kalamaki and try swimming about 400 meters far from the beach along. Additionaly if you find a bigger boat with tourists - you can for sure find a turtle there.
Turtles swim underwater, but they must emerge to get some breathing air. They do it in intervals of 2-45 minutes. You have to be lucky to see them showing close to you.