Show-stopping beauty and hidden depths.
Internationally known as “Zante”, Zakynthos is one of the seven gem islands that decorate the Ionian Sea, featuring some of the most stunning beaches all over Greece. Birthplace of famous national poets and composers as well as a place of gastronomic interest, Zakynthos has always been a particularly popular destination. Its hidden forested wilderness can be the perfect escape for those who appreciate places abundant with nature. Travel across centuries while visiting the picturesque rural villages and feel reborn when diving into the breathtaking turquoise waters.
Zakynthos - Zante
White beaches, sea turtles and a party atmosphere make Zante – or Zakynthos as the island is known in Greek – a favourite holiday destination in the magical Ionian Sea. The Venetians called Zante Fiore di Levante, the Flower of the East, and its nobility and fertility made it the jewel of their empire. Today’s visitors to the southernmost Ionian Island (known as Zakynthos in Greek) would agree, though they come mostly for its iconic beaches – Lagana, Tsilivi, Argassi, Kalamaki, Alykes – where British, French and Italians know how to have a good time.
A different beach every day of your holiday
From your seat on the caique, you’ll be treated to a procession of beaches around Zante, each seemingly more magical than the last: Laganas, Tsilivi Gerakas, Vasilikos, Marathonisi ... all ranking among the most splendid beaches in Greece. Not forgetting, of course, that Zakynthos landmark, Shipwreck Beach (Navagio), with its famous beached vessel that adds drama to the sandy setting, white cliffs and turquoise water. And then there’s the Blue Caves … not a beach, of course, but an unforgettable swimming spot. Come early in the morning or drop anchor the previous evening, so you can enjoy your first dive before the rest of the world arrives.
Spot the sea turtles in Zakynthos’ marine park
The sea around Zante was picked for Greece’s first marine park. This is where the rare caretta caretta sea turtles lay their eggs. In spring, these endangered creatures set off from the Libyan Sea and the southern Adriatic, not because they like the swim but because nature tells them to lay their eggs in the sands of Gerakas, Dafni, Kalamaki, Marathonisi and, especially, Sakania, east of Laganas, as they always have. If you’re lucky enough to witness this spectacle, please don’t disturb these beautiful creatures or their eggs.
Prepare your Instagram feed for panoramic views
Zante isn’t just about beaches. Take a stroll through lovely Bokhali, 2km from the centre of town, through alleyways lined with old houses and traditional cafes. You’ll find yourself stopping to admire the panoramic view of the harbour, Argassi, and the Bay of Laganas. And if you walk a bit higher, you’ll come to the castle, camouflaged by all manner of plant and shrub, where the Venetians had their island capital.
Pay a visit to the miraculous St Dionysios church
The church of St Dionysios draws visitors throughout the year as it houses the relics of the saint of the same name (also the island’s patron saint). The impressive church was built in 1926, with a three-aisled basilica and inner arch. Zante’s catastrophic earthquake of 1953 left it virtually undamaged. Miracle or just solid foundations?