Last minute Zante holidays
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Zante, also known as Zákynthos, is the third largest of the Greek islands set in the Ionian Sea. The island is a popular tourist destination for partygoers and sun chasers alike, but there is much more to experience on Zante for the discerning traveller. From its picture-perfect sandy beaches to its rugged hilltop villages and monasteries, there are many hidden gems to delight in on this picturesque Mediterranean island.
While there are many beautiful beaches on Zante, arguably the most picturesque is Navagio Beach on the island's western side. Navagio Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in Greece, with its crystal-clear turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and towering cliffs combining to create a magnificent vista. Navagio is also known as Shipwreck Beach owing to a wrecked cargo ship that washed ashore in the 1980s and is still visible today half-buried in the sand.
Much of Zante Town, the capital of Zante, was levelled by an earthquake in the 1950s, but has since been rebuilt in a traditional Venetian-influenced style. Explore the beautiful streets and houses of Zante Town, and you will find Agios Dionysios, a reconstruction of the town's beautiful ornate 18th-century church. Other places of interest include the Byzantine Museum, featuring relics and artefacts dating back to the 12th century, and Roma Mansion, a mid-17th century mansion that has been restored to its former glory.
Located on the northern tip of Zante are the spectacular Blue Caves, so named because of the dazzling light display that takes place within these caves. When sunlight strikes the turquoise waters near the caves, the light is reflected onto the cave walls, creating a sparkling azure glow. The caves are easily reached by boat, and there are many tours available on Zante to take you there.
Rising 300m above the sea, the dramatic Cliffs of Keri offer breath-taking panoramic views of the Ionian Sea. Spend some time in the village of Keri and visit the magnificent 30-metre high lighthouse and the centuries-old church of Virgin Keriotissa. The cliffs themselves are home to an extensive cave system that can be explored by either boat or snorkelling, and at the end of the day, Keri's cliffs are one of the best vantage points to gaze at the sunset.
On the south-eastern coast of Zante lies Laganás Bay, the longest beach in Zante stretching 9km. While the beach is popular for swimming, sunbathing and other activities, it is also part of the extensive Zákynthos National Marine Park. Here you may see the magnificent loggerhead sea turtles, approximately 1300 of which live in the bay and use it as their breeding ground during the months of May through October.
Located near the resort town of Tsilivi, the Olea All Suites Hotel provides a secluded, adults-only retreat overlooking the Ionian Sea. Guests can enjoy a stay in a glamorous Executive Suite with a private infinity pool, and a choice of either a sea view or sunset view.
Just a short walk from the beautiful Kalamaki Beach, the Meandros Boutique & Spa Hotel offers tantalizing luxury in accommodations inspired by classical Greek architecture. You will have the option of staying in a Premium Suite with luxury bedding and bathroom facilities along with a host of indulgent amenities, or you can upgrade to a spacious Grand Suite with a separate living area.
Overlooking the resort town of Tsilivi, the Zante Maris Suites provides guests with a peaceful and relaxing stay only a short distance from the bars and restaurants of Tsilivi. Guests have a choice of lavish accommodations, including a Deluxe Suite, Swim Up Suite with shared pool and sun deck, or Private Pool Suite.
Only a short distance from Tsilivi Beach, the Aqua Bay Suites is a family-friendly hotel set on Zante's scenic east coast. Guests can enjoy the comforts of a spacious Family Room suitable for families or groups or choose a Family Swim Up Room with direct pool access.
Located near the idyllic village of Kypseli and a short distance from the sea, is a chic adults-only hotel nestled among the olive trees of Zante's hills. Offers include a luxurious stay in a Superior Suite, or a Suite with a Private Pool for the next level up in indulgence.
The most popular months for visiting Zante are from June through to September. This is when the weather is warmest and major events take place but will attract more visitors and higher prices. If you would rather take advantage of smaller crowds and lower prices, aim for early June or late August/early September as there will still be warm weather and plenty of activities at this time. Look for last minute deals around these times for the best offers.
Zante can be reached either by air or by sea. Flights are available to Zakynthos Airport "Dionysios Solomos" via Athens and Kefalonia all year round, as well as from other locations during the summer months. Zante Town is almost an hour's drive away, although some hotels may arrange private transfers. Ferries are also available to Zante from Peloponnese and Kefalonia during summer months.
It is recommended that you budget for a few days to get the most out of your Zante stay. The island is most popular with partygoers and those seeking a relaxing beach holiday. Couples will appreciate the romantic ambience of this destination, and solo travellers will enjoy the vibrant nightlife and party atmosphere of Zante's resort towns.
Whether you are planning to party until dawn in the island's many bars and nightclubs or just enjoy the numerous white sand beaches and turquoise waters, Zante is one of the jewels of the Greek Islands. Once called the "Flower of the East" by the Venetians who ruled the island for centuries, it is easy to see why Zante is considered one of the most breathtakingly beautiful of the Greek islands.