Zante holidays from
Discover caves, shipwrecks and turtle beaches
Zante, or Zakynthos, is a Greek island that’s split into distinct parts. The south and south east coasts are dotted with popular, commercial holiday resorts, while the south west contains pockets of refinement like Keri and Limni Keriou. The rest of this Ionian island is an altogether more rugged and authentic affair, including an interior sprinkled with traditional rural villages and deep forested valleys.
Zante Town is the island’s capital. Little of the city’s original Italianate architecture survived a 1953 earthquake but the Agios Nikolaos of Molos church is one notable exception. Check out its impressive facade and the small Byzantine museum attached to it.
Call in next at the Solomos Museum dedicated to the poet who wrote Greece’s national anthem. Then head towards Agios Markos (St Mark’s) Square, whose pretty pollen-hued buildings resemble a more modest version of its Venetian cousin. It’s the ideal spot to pause and savour a glass of sherry-like Verdea wine. Speaking of wine, try a tasting at artist Giannis Giatras’ winery Art & Wine, reached via a picturesque mountain road. Sample a refreshing golden white Robola or a complex spicy red Avgoustiatis. The western shore really shines, with its wild, colossal cliffs plummeting down to turquoise seas. Little wonder then that Zante entranced the likes of literary heavyweights Lord Byron and Edgar Allen Poe. Visit yourself and you too may fall under its spell. Book your flights to Zante today and start exploring.
Carefully selected Zante hotels
Best hotels in Zante for all types of traveller
We have a great selection of quality hotels in Zante to recommend. Set on a hill with direct sea views and surrounded by olive trees and greenery lies the Olea All Suite Hotel. Three restaurants offer exquisitely crafted culinary creations while the Royal Spa offers the utmost in relaxation, along with the refreshing outdoor pool. Activities here encompass free bike hire, yoga, wine tasting and even Greek cookery lessons.
Lesante Blu - The Leading Hotels of the World is a luxury, adult-only property offering state-of-the-art suites, with private infinity pools and direct beach access. Deluxe amenities include a secluded beach, a luxurious spa and even a private helipad. Or choose Zante Maris Suites – this intimate, adult-only collection of suites is perched on a quiet hillside of Tsivili, on Zante’s north-east coast. Many of the suites offer sea views and private pools, while a clean, minimalistic design provides a welcome and calming sanctuary.
Contessina Hotel is a four-star, boutique property set on a quiet road 80 metres from a beach in the lively resort of Tsilivi. Each of the rooms are furnished with a balcony, Nespresso coffee machine and smartphone/tablet docking station, while an outdoor swimming pool and a separate children’s pool are also available. Also set in Tsivili, just three minutes from the beach, the Lesante Classic Luxury Hotel & Spa offers three pools, a luxurious spa and a tasteful piano bar where you can relax with an early evening cocktail.
Domes Aulus Zante Autograph Collection is set on the scenic shores of Kalamaki and Laganas Bay, with spacious accommodation, family-friendly areas and a heap of fun activities. Dine around in a choice of four elegant restaurants and a funky urban food truck, with their Cool Inclusive option.
Zante Maris Suites is an intimate, adult-only collection of suites perched on a quiet hillside of Tsivili, on Zante’s north-east coast. Many of the suites offer sea views and private pools, while a clean, minimalistic design provides a welcome and calming sanctuary.
Zante holiday FAQs
Make the most of your Zante holiday
Zante offers around 76 miles of alluring coastline, much of it craggy and festooned with impressive rock formations. Don’t miss the white sands and dramatic 200-metre-high cliffs of Navagio Beach, with its shipwreck centrepiece.
What are the best things to do in Zante?
- Zante Water Village is one of the largest water parks in Greece covering 40,000 m2 in the village of Sarakinado. The park promises a day of aquatic thrills and spills for all the family, including a reception pool and giant Jacuzzi, tube rides, an interactive play area, a lazy river and towers of varying heights, such as the Extreme Tower for the ultimate adrenaline rush.
- Tsilivi Beach is one of Zante’s busiest, located on the east coast in a bustling resort area around four miles from Zante Town. The long beach is mostly sandy with pockets of shingle. Amenities and water sports are plentiful with many bars, hotels and restaurants lining the beach. The water is clean and shallow, plus the beach’s step-free access makes it ideal for families with younger children.
- Turtle Island, or Marathonisi, just off Keri Beach in the bay of Laganas, is so named for two reasons. Firstly, its shape resembles that of a turtle, but more pertinently it is home to a thriving colony of Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtles that nest here. Marathonisi is part of the Zante National Marine Park which is also home to endangered Mediterranean monk seals. The turtles remain the star attraction though and the park’s residents account for around 80% of the world’s total population.
- The Blue Caves, one of Zante’s top attractions, consist of a series of natural caves and arches on the north west coast between the port of Agios Nikolaos and Cape Skinari, which create a stunning effect caused by the colour of the water reflected in the caves. You can visit them, weather permitting, on a small boat tour or by private boat: the caves are only four metres high so larger boats, typically those seating over 50 people, cannot enter them. Swimming inside the caves is forbidden due to the high volume of boat traffic.
- Banana Beach is Zante’s longest with soft white sand and shallow, crystal-clear waters just a 20-minute drive from Zante Town. It’s one of the island’s more popular and commercial beaches with a wide array of water sports on offer, ranging from ringo rides to paragliding and jet skiing. Get here on a daily free shuttle bus serving Laganas, Argassi and Kalamaki.
- Alykes Beach is a large, narrow beach with fine white sand and clear blue seas, around 14 miles north west of Zante Town. There are plenty of sunloungers and umbrellas to hire, plus quieter stretches nearby, and numerous bars, restaurants, shops and cafes to enjoy. The beach takes its name from the salt pits that populate the area which were once the island’s main source of income. Just a few miles along the coast lies the less busy Alykanas Beach.
Where are the best places to visit in Zante?
The Vasilikos peninsula boasts five great beaches. Choose Banana Beach, with white sand, shallow sea and bar service to your lounger. Or visit the nesting site at Gerakas, where year after year, rare loggerhead turtles choose to lay their eggs.
Agios Nikolaos is little more than a small port, but from here boat excursions take you to the Blue Caves cut into the wonderful limestone. Then you’ll go on to the famous Navaggio Beach, the unofficial emblem of Zante. Surrounded by soaring cliffs, this large slab of sand is only accessible by boat. The water here is perfect, the view from the cliff is astounding.
Near to Zante Town, Tsilivi is one of the most family-friendly resorts on the island. There’s a lot going on in the summer and plenty of beach space to do it on. Try jet skiing or boat excursions or relax in a bar or in the water – you’ll find the beach and water are both clean, clear and beautiful.
Alykanas, in a bay in the north east of the island, has white sandy beaches with sand dunes next to a small harbour, with charming tavernas and shops in the town. The nearby Alykes beach, with more restaurants and bars, is just a short stroll away.
Kalamaki is near to Zante Town and the airport and is one of the quieter beaches on the island with only a handful of shops, bars and tavernas. The vast sandy beach is unspoilt by the usual tourist development largely because it’s a key nesting site for loggerhead turtles. In the small village set back from the beach there’s a decent array of facilities, such as supermarkets, ATMs, souvenir shops and vehicle hire outlets.
Laganas is Zante’s key nightlife hub with dozens of bars and clubs where you can party until dawn. The large beach with warm, shallow waters has all the facilities you could need, including bars and tavernas open until 2am. Cross the wooden pier to access the charming islet that is Cameo Island, a popular wedding destination, and also visit the Oil Press Museum in an artisanal old mill a few miles away. You can also enjoy go-karting nearby.
Argassi is a small village on the Vasilikos peninsula in south east Zante. The village has a decent number of shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants, plus a wide range of accommodation options. Argassi’s narrow, sandy beach is dotted with rockpools and coves to explore, plus the remains of an old bridge from 1805. There are ample water sports and sun beds, and clear, shallow waters ideal for snorkelling.
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