The island of Zante, known locally as Zakynthos, is one of the most popular destinations for a Greek holiday. Many of Greece’s islands lie on the Aegean Sea, to the east, but Zante is a good deal closer to the UK, making it quicker and more convenient to get there by air. Part of the Ionian Islands, Zante is also easily reached from sea ports such as Dubrovnik, which lies to the north in Croatia, or Brindisi in southern Italy. Package holidaymakers have been flying to Zante directly from all of the UK’s major airports for decades and it remains one of the best places to go if you are looking for a last minute holiday or an all inclusive escape to the sun.
The island is not huge and only covers an area of about 160 square miles, but there are plenty of resorts to choose from. Laganas is probably the most well known resort on the island, largely due to its nightlife which has a great reputation for friendliness. Laganas is the biggest resort on Zante, with plenty cheap self-catering accommodation as well as hotels offering the best family holiday deals. It is located on the south coast of Zante and has a great beach. Small hills lie just to the north of the resort which gradually grow into mountains.
Tsilivi lies a short drive from the capital of the island, Zante Town. Located in the north east of the island, it is a typically Greek resort with a family orientated atmosphere. Full of restaurants and tavernas, Tsilivi boasts a sandy coast which runs for over a mile with shallow and clear waters. The beach is great safe for children to play on safely because the sand slopes gently into the sea. In terms of accommodation, you can find hotels and villas all of which offer deals, especially if you don’t travel in mid-summer at the height of the season.
Argassi is another resort worth checking out. It is situated in the south east of the island. Argassi has an attractive appearance and you can see Mount Skopos in the background from nearly everywhere in the town. The beach here spans the whole length of the resort. The beach offers areas of both sand and shingle and – even during the high season – it never feels crowded. Argassi affords the opportunity to take part in water sports as well as more restful fun if you just want to kick back a little.
Zante has great weather, being the most southerly of the Ionian island chain. It has a season that runs between mid April and October. In August, the temperature averages 32 degrees and you can expect 11 hours of sunshine per day. Very little rain falls during the summer months and there are usually cooling breezes from the south which help to keep holidaymakers cool in the heat of the day.
Attractions And Events
Travelling to Zante at Easter is a good time if you want to enjoy some of the local culture. There is a procession through most towns, including the island’s capital during the Orthodox Holy Week. Laganas holds regular party events that are suited to a young crowd during the summer. There is also a two week festival that is held each February which is a carnival that is really very Greek in character.
Zante has plenty of culture and history, too. From ancient Greek times, to the later Roman period there are museums and ruins to explore which are cheap – or even free - to enter. Zante also boasts a Venetian heritage and much of the older parts of the towns sport architecture that dates back to this time.
If you like to try some fun sport, then try out the F1 go-karting track which is located at Kalamaki. There is a bowling and entertainment centre situated at Tsilivi which is a great place to visit for all the family, too.