Holidays in Zante

The Greek Island of Zante, also known as Zakynthos, can seem a bit too touristy at first. I’ve stayed in the resorts of Argassi and Laganas, both on the East coast. The beach front is your typical holiday resort, lined with restaurants, clubs, bars and souvenir shops. As is the case with many tourist destinations, it is becoming more and more difficult to find a nice traditional Greek restaurant. Argassi is not quite as Anglesized as Laganas, but it seems to be well on its way.

My heart sank a little the first day that I arrived in Laganas. My hotel was right in the heart of the resort, which was an ugly concrete road leading down to the beach. On this one strip was a Mc Donalds, a Pizza Hut and a KFC. Perhaps appealing if I was very drunk, but not somewhere I intended to dine out in the evenings with the brunette escort I spent some time with over there. Luckily, I managed to find a few hidden gems off the beaten track. There was a local minibus that ran fairly regularly, and I found one lovely restaurant up in the mountains. Trust me, they are around if you look for them. Try asking the locals, they’re usually very friendly and happy to help.

There are many shops in Zakynthos with beautiful hand made jewellery, specialising in silver and amber. I took a trip into Zante Town to seek out more selection as a gift for my brunette escort, and she was delighted with the results. The town is quite charming, with many more locals going about their daily routine. I wish I had been warned about the siesta in the town where all the shops close in the early afternoon; this did not happen in the beach resorts so I was left wondering the streets until they reopened.

There are a couple of activities I would recommend trying whilst you are in Zante. First, hire a quad bike for a day. Apart from being great fun, it gives you a chance to see more of the island without being tied to a tour guide. Make sure you take a map and plenty of water with you, and perhaps drive in the mountains where you can find your way onto more secluded beaches.

I would also recommend taking a full day boat excursion around the island. You get to visit the famous ship wreck that you see on so many postcards; aside from the grafitti, it is quite spell binding. You can also see the beautiful Keri Caves, and if you’re lucky you might get to see a sea turtle. Known as the Caretta-Caretta, these loggerhead sea turtles are sadly declining in numbers since the tourism industry picked up on the island; the turtles use the beaches to lay their eggs and hatch.

If you are considering visiting Zakynthos, you will probably have a great time. Beautiful beaches, sunshine, good food and breath taking sights combined with a plethora of bars and clubs makes it difficult not to enjoy yourself!