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.
This village on Zante’s northeast coast isn’t as developed as those in the south, but there’s still plenty here, from motorbike rental places to cocktail bars. Alykes is packed with charming touches, such as the old stone bridge over its river – and even a horse and carriage that will ferry you to tavernas for free. There are wildlife-filled salt flats to explore, too, along with a sweeping golden-sand beach.
This village on Zante’s southwest coast is certainly not short on views. Here, in the foothills of Mount Skopos, pine forests, lemon trees and wildflowers dot the plains. But this place isn’t just about rural beauty – it offers bags of convenience, too. The main road through town is lined with shops, plus a surprisingly lively selection of bars and tavernas. And there’s a fine beach right on hand, too.
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