Greek Zante, also called Zakynthos, is the third largest of the Ionian Islands, a lush, green place that compelled poet Edgar Allan Poe to write, “Isola d'ora! Fior di Levante!" (Island of Gold, Flower of the East). With more than 50 miles of beautiful coastline, Zante is the perfect destination for a beach holiday. The largest of its many beaches is Laganas Sands, a swathe of golden sand stretching for miles.
Triangular in shape, Zante’s sides are contrasting in nature. Its north-western coast is steep and rocky, its eastern side gentle, with several bays. The main settlement, Zante Town, is a place of inspiration; it was here that Dionysios Solomos wrote the poem that became Greece’s National Anthem.
Argassi is the nearest resort to Zante town and the liveliest, with vibrant nightlife and great bars and restaurants. Go further around the island to explore authentic, whitewashed villages like Alykanas and secluded coves like Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck beach and Smugglers Cove. Surrounded by cliffs and only accessible by boat, this photogenic hideaway found fame after a smugglers’ boat was washed up on the beach in 1983.
The Venetians called Zante the Florence of Greece and its fabulous architecture lives up the name. Villages really come alive during festival season, when fireworks light up the night sky and traditional folk dances are performed. Zante is also a haven for protected wildlife, from the endangered caretta caretta Loggerhead sea turtles to rare monk seals.
Zante has a Mediterranean climate, with long, hot summers and mild winters.
Who visits Zante?
Young singles come for the lively nightlife in the busy resorts, while families enjoy the sandy beaches. There is seclusion, history and culture for those who want it and the rugged scenery is well-suited to those craving an active holiday.
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