This paper describes a comparative study on the performances of ethosomes and solid lipid nanoparticle as delivery systems for acyclovir. Ethosomes were spontaneously produced by dissolution of phosphatidylcholine and acyclovir in ethanol followed by addition of an aqueous buffer while solid lipid nanoparticle were produced by homogenization and ultrasonication. Both colloidal systems were morphologically characterized by cryo-transmission electron microscopy. The encapsulation efficiency was 94.2±2.8% for ethosomes and 53.2±0.2% for solid lipid nanoparticle. Concerning Z potential, both formulations are close to neutrality. The diffusion coefficients of the drug from ethosomes and solid lipid nanoparticle, determined by a Franz cell method, were 9.4 and 1.2-fold lower as compared to the free acyclovir in solution, thus evidencing the ability of both colloidal systems in enhancing the diffusion of the drug. The antiviral activity against HSV-1 of both systems was tested by plaque reduction assay in monolayer cultures of Vero cells. Data showed that no significant differences in the antiviral activity were observed by acyclovir in the free or loaded forms. Taken together these results, colloidal systems could be interesting to mediate the penetration of acyclovir within Vero cells.