Charming Greek villages, sandy coves washed by turquoise waters and nesting loggerhead turtles – holidays to Zante are filled with magical moments.
Flower of the Orient
A part of Greece since 1864, Zante, or Zakynthos, as it’s also known, was given the name ‘Flower of the Orient’ by the Venetians because of its incredibly lush landscape. The island’s interior is filled with luxuriant, rolling hills, covered with olive groves, lemon trees and blooming bougainvillea. And, along the way you can explore traditional villages that seem not to have changed in hundreds of years.
Beautiful sandy beaches
Zante boasts a coastline that rivals, or perhaps even outdoes, its interior, with sandy beaches and hidden inlets, washed by turquoise waters. Smugglers Cove, with its soaring cliffs and sandy bay, is actually considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.
Loggerhead turtle nesting ground
In July and August, loggerhead turtles flock to Zante to nest. In fact, this island is the most important loggerhead nesting spot in the Mediterranean. Head over to Laganas Beach or Yerakas Beach at sundown and you’ll most likely have a front-row seat for this magical annual event.
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In Alykon Bay, on Zante’s north coast, Alykanas is a small beach resort where the pace of life is as easy-going as the horse-drawn carriages that clip-clop through its streets. There’s a new part of town right by the beach, with little shops and relaxed tavernas. And just along the coast is Old Alykanas, with its church and quaint main square, surrounded by olive groves and orchards.
Kalamaki is on the south-east coast of Zante, just a couple of kilometres from the airport. The resort has no obvious centre – just a few easy-to-get-around streets and some traditional tavernas dotted about the place. It’s the charm and laidback appeal that rack up its popularity – plus a first-rate beach.
Laganas, over on Zante’s south-east side, is the big boy of the island. It’s the largest, liveliest place around these parts and pulls in a young party crowd. In terms of layout, the resort is quite spread out among olive groves and orchards, but you won’t miss the action – it fires up along the beach and on Golden Mile, the bar-and-club-lined main strip.
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