- General information
- How to get to Zante
- Transportation in the island
- What is Zante famous for
- What and where to eat in Zante
- Where to stay
General information for Zante island
Zante is the perfect place for holidays either for family, couples or teenage companies. Depends were you will stay you will find a different kind of entertainment.
Many will ask if Zante and Zakynthos are the same islands. The answer is yes. Zante, known as “fior di Levante” from the Venetians, meaning flower of the east, is the third biggest island out of the seven in the Ionian Sea, in Greece. The currency is euro € and probably you will not need a lot of them as supposed to be a budget destination.
You will be surprised if we tell you that there are 7000 kinds of flowers, hence the name, and 1.7 million olive trees producing 6.000 to 8.000 tons of olive oil. The average temperature in the island during the summer is 30°C during the day and 20°C during the night.
How to get to Zante
You can reach Zante both by airplane and ferry boat and especially during the tourist period, April to October, there are multiple options.
Zante is connected with, 45 minutes duration, every day flights from Athens. There are also available flights from Corfu, Kefalonia, Thessaloniki 3 times per week for the entire year.
During the summer season, Zante airport has straight chartered flights from many European cities like the UK, Netherlands, France, Italy, and Spain. There are many companies offering transfer from and to the airport and as always you can pre-book one prior to your arrival here.
By car – ferry boat
Our favorite way of traveling. Zante is connected daily, every hour for the summer season with Killini in Peloponnese. The port is in Zante town and the ticket is costing around 9€ for the adults and 5.5€ for the kids (5 to 10 years old). For the infants is free.
Having the car with you will cost you 30€ and you will have a discount if you book a round trip. Be at the port at least 5-6 hours before your departure in order to buy your tickets but our advice would be to pre-book them online.
The trip is not big, the ships from all the companies are new, safe and offer more than the basics. Instead of suggesting to you a specific company is better to use the online comparison website Direct Ferries and calendar your trip on the price and time that fits your needs.
For the Italian neighbors, there is a straight boat trip from Bari. The trip for a couple and a car will cost around 380€.
Transportation in the island
You will definitely need a transportation vehicle, so either you will come to the island by ferry boat bringing your own or you will have to rent. If you are not a European Union citizen holding an EU license, is obligated to bring with you your international driving license.
Regarding European Union citizens your license is valid according to EU regulations.
In Zante, you will find many international rental car companies and locals as well as having a big variety of choices. Our advice is to rent a small car which will be both convenient and a budget solution.
For motorcycles and ATVs you will need to be more careful. Unfortunately, many accidents are being recorded every year in the islands, mostly from tourists. Usually wherever the motorcycle can go, can also the car. The advantage of the motorbikes is the half price compared to the car.
|If you decide to rent an ATV it should be over 125cc. Anything less than this is forbitten by Greek law to be on the road.|
What is Zante famous for
Turtle Caretta – Caretta
Zante is the home of turtle Caretta-Caretta. Is the place that every year is coming for reproduction (did we say that is a couple-destination??:-)). The south acroterion is named from 1999 Zante’s National Sea Park.
The scope of the park is the protection of Caretta Caretta. The beaches of Gerakas, Dafni, Kalamaki, and Sekania alongside the small island opposite of the beaches have a high ecological interest. You will have the nests protected with fences and are forbidden to use umbrellas as you may possibly crush eggs.
There are available tours from local companies in order to meet the turtle in person :-). You can also rent your own boat and visit the turtle island, Marathonisi and look for them!
Navagio – Zante Shipwreck beach
In Greece, we will say that we have even better from this, and maybe it is true, but for sure, Shipwreck beach is a bucket listed sightseeing.
Navagio beach is probably the most photo-shooted beach in Greece. It is considered one of the 10 best beaches in the world and the feeling when you are visiting is stunning. The combination of the rocks, the shipwreck, and the blue-green sea create a scene inspired by a novel.
The beach can only be approached from the sea and there are plenty of local companies that offer transportation. You will have to visit by car the Navagio beach lookout position, where you will be able to make the classic photo of the beach or something more creative. 😊
Zante has a big tradition, starting from 1816 in music when the first philharmonic orchestras were created. A lot of concerts take place during the entire year performing songs of Greek and foreign artists. It is not by luck that the national anthem of both Greece and Cyprus is coming from Dionisios Solomos who was born and raised in Zakynthos.
What and where to eat in Zante
Peppermint. We don’t make a paid advertisements for the restaurant, and we didn’t even have a single meal course for free. The restaurant is located in Argasi, 10 minutes by car, and we were lucky enough to visit it the first days of our vacation after the recommendation of our hotel owner.
We had three dinners, and we tried different plates each time. Peppermint offers local recipes on a modern version having standards that we met in high-class restaurants. The people on the service are very friendly and very professional. We advise making a reservation before you go because usually is a full house.
Where to stay in Zante
Depends on the style of the vacation that you want to do you should book your accommodation in a different city of Zakynthos. There are options for every taste and budget. You will have to book your accommodation for at least 6 months before your estimated arrival in order to have all the choices available.
Almost all of the hotels offer breakfast and many of them have the option of all-inclusive. We wouldn’t suggest the second one as Zante is a place that you should explore and maybe the distances between the villages seem to be small the duration is not that short.
There are hotels and apartments in every corner of the island but is better to choose to be on the south side of the island and make excursions during the day. As you can go anywhere in the morning, we separate the island regarding the nightlife and activities that you may want to experience during the afternoon and night.
Tsilivi area is a convenient place for families and couples. You will find numerous pubs on British and German style. In Tsilivi, there is also the Fantasy Mini Golf park that is costing only 6€ to 9€ per person. Who knows, maybe you will be the next Tiger Woods.
Laganas is the perfect place for young people that wish to do “clubbing holidays”. It is famous for its overnight parties even if it is not a representative sample of Greek nightlife. The beach is sandy but not the best quality. Usually, the tourists that are on that area, come only for the parties.
We stayed in Laganas at Ilios Hotel. A three-star decent hotel, with breakfast at a price of 120€ (£103, $136) per night. There is a swimming pool available and all day pool bar with cocktails, coffees, and snacks. The staff is very friendly and they were willing to help.
The capital of the island, Zante, was totally destroyed from an earthquake in 1953. It has been reconstructed and that’s why there are not that many old-traditional houses. Ionian sea gives a lot of earthquakes during the year but there is no reason to be afraid. All the buildings were build with high standards after 1953.
There are the Byzantine and D. Solomos – A. Kalvos museums to visit for the fans of the kind. There is the beautiful plaza of D. Solomos and a lot of taverns and restaurants. For the night there are numerous bars and pubs, mostly Greek modern style, in contrast with Tsilivi.