Ionian Sea, Greece
Zakynthos or Zante is an island of exceptional beauty in the Ionian sea. It is a popular holiday destination with beautiful beaches, diverse natural landscapes, water activities and lively nightlife. Find out more about holidays in Zakynthos, what to do and where to go, beaches, accommodation, food and ferry schedules. Book your trip to Zakynthos online on our ferry ticket booking engine.
Vacation in Zante
Zante belongs in the Ionian islands group and it's located opposite the west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula.
The Venetians named Zante "Il Fiore di Levante", which means "the flower of the East". The name describes the rich natural beauty of the island, which stands out for the variety of flowers, trees and wild herbs.
The island's landscapes are impressive and it's perfect for outdoor and water activities. It's therefore ideal to visit the island from May until the beginning of October.
Zante is a popular vacation destination for both Greek and international travelers. It combines a variety of activities and places to go, and it's one of the top options for families and groups of friends in the Ionian Sea.
The port of Zante (Zakynthos) beautifully lighted
How to get to Zante
You can get to Zante by ferry from mainland Greece or by plane from Greece and some European destinations.
There are daily ferry crossings to Zante from the port of Kyllini in the Peloponnese and the trip is just 1 hour.
The airport of Zante is located about 4km from the island port.
What to do in Zante
In Zante, you will swim in crystal clear waters and sunbathe on some of the best beaches of the Ionian Sea.
You can explore the impressive nature of the island and hike on Zante's trails or organize a road trip.
The island is a paradise for diving enthusiasts, while you can also organize day cruises in coves and sea caves that are only accessible by boat.
You should visit the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, a protected area in the Gulf of Laganas which is the habitat of the Caretta caretta turtle.
Zante is also considered a party destination for those looking for long nights out during their vacation.
Beaches in Zante
Zante is famous for its crystal clear waters, beaches with white sand, caves and an impressive seabed.
Here's a list of the most beautiful beaches in Zakynthos:
- Navagio (Shipwreck): The trademark beach of Zakynthos and one of the most photographed beaches in Greece. Magnificent clear blue waters, white sand, high cliffs and the carcass of the shipwreck compose a landscape of impressive beauty.
- Limnionas: Small and quiet rocky cove with crystal clear waters. There is no beach so you enter the sea by jumping from the rocks.
- Laganas: The most cosmopolitan beach of Zakynthos. A long (about 9 km) sandy beach with umbrellas, sunbeds, beach bars and tavernas. If you are lucky, you might see Caretta caretta turtles in the area!
- Argasi: One of the busiest beaches on the island. Sandy, with shallow, crystal clear waters. It has sunbeds and umbrellas, water sports facilities, as well as tavernas.
- Agios Nikolaos Vasilikos: One of the most popular beaches on the island. It is sandy with beautiful blue waters and it has umbrellas, sunbeds, water sports facilities and beach bars.
- Gerakas: One of the most beautiful beaches of Zakynthos. It is long, with golden sand, deep blue shallow waters, umbrellas and sunbeds. At one end of the beach, you can find natural clay for a DIY mud bath!
- Marathonisi: An island opposite the shore of Lake Keri, with dense vegetation and 2 beaches of wild beauty. One of the beaches has sand and the other has pebbles.
- Blue caves: Impressive geological formations on the northwest coast of Zakynthos. The series of caves can be visited by boat. Don't forget to bring your mask!
- Tsilivi: A tourist resort area with beach bars, restaurants and water sports facilities. The beach is sandy with crystal clear waters.
The famous beach of Navagio (Shipwreck) from above
Sightseeing and activities in Zante
As soon as you arrive by ferry to Zante you will notice the beautiful architecture of the main town and the impressive landscapes of the island.
We recommend that during your stay in Zante you find time to visit some of the following monuments and sights:
- The church and square of Agios Markos in the main town
- The church of Agios Dionysios in the main town
- The Byzantine Museum of Zante
- The exhibition center of the National Marine Park (great for kids!)
- The museum of Dionysios Solomos and Andreas Kalvos
- Monastery of Panagia Skopiotissa
- Anafonitria Monastery
- The Venetian castle in the area of Bochali
In Zante, you can do a lot of outdoor activities and explore the amazing nature of the island.
Here are some of the most popular activities in Zante are:
- Scuba diving
- Water sports
- Boat tours
- Trekking and hiking
- Turtle spotting cruises
Boat ride at the beautiful islet of Marathonisi
Nightlife in Zante
The bay of Laganas is the center of the island's ecstatic nightlife. It has many bars and clubs and during the summer many international tourists visit the area for party holidays.
For calmer evenings you can choose a walk in the main town of Zante and in the picturesque neighborhood of Bochali.
Food in Zante
The traditional recipes and products of Zante are one of the reasons to visit the island in the first place!
We definitely recommend that while in Zante you try:
- Ladotiri cheese
- Prentza (cream cheese)
- Sgatzeto (meat stew)
- Kavourma (traditional sausage)
- Olive oil
- Mantolato (nougat)
- Spoon sweets with citrus fruits
Villages in Zante
Zante is a relatively large island and you can explore different areas and landscapes during your stay.
The capital of Zante is a large town with the same name, located next to the island port.
The northern part of the island is less touristic, with traditional villages and wild nature. The largest villages in the north of Zante are Volimes and Agios Nikolaos.
The southern part of the island is more developed with large resorts and tourist facilities. Some of the most developed areas in Zante are:
The coastal village of Agios Nikolaos on the north coast of Zante
Tips for Zante
Here are some tips that might be useful during your stay in Zante:
- In order to see Navagio, the most famous beach on the island, you have 2 options: you can either book a boat trip from Schinari (close to Agios Nikolaos) and access the beach from the sea or hike to the top of the beach for a breathtaking view of Navagio and the Ionian sea. In the latter case, there is no way to go down the cliffs and reach the beach but you can take impressive photos of the shipwreck from above.
- There are many boat tours in Zante, which are worth it as you can swim in the caves and hidden coves of the island. We definitely suggest the boat trip to the unspoiled islet of Marathonisi, across the beach of Keri, in Laganas bay.
- One of the island highlights is the turtles and seals that appear along the beaches of the Laganas Gulf particularly during the summer months. If you happen to see any, make sure you keep safe distances so not to scare the animals.
- Zante has a tradition in wine production and the island produces more than 50 different varieties. We suggest you organize a wine tasting tour in the local wineries.
- If you are into water sports then the best beaches for you are Agios Nikolaos, Argasi and Banana.
Useful information for Zante
Zante is the third largest island in the Ionian Sea. In the main town of Zante, next to the port, you will find most shops, supermarkets, the island hospital, ATMs, and banks.
There are also several shops and ATMs in the areas of Laganas, Kalamaki and Agios Sostis.
In terms of accommodation, Zante offers many options for different styles and budgets. If you want to be close to where the parties take place, book a room in Laganas, Argassi or Tsilivi. In the center of the island, there are several options for quieter holidays and agrotourism.
The island also has many all-inclusive resorts as well as luxury villas. If you prefer to go to Zante with your tent or caravan and enjoy nature, the island has 4 campgrounds.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Zante
Some useful contact numbers for your stay in Zante:
- Zakynthos Port Authority:+302695028118
- Zakynthos General Hospital: +302695360500
- Bus services (KTEL): +302695042656 / 22255
- Tourist police: +302695042550 / 27367
- Zante airport 'Dionisios Solomos': +302695028322
Transportation in Zante
The island has an extensive bus network (KTEL), with daily services from the main town to the resort areas, large villages, beaches and the airport.
If you want to explore the island we recommend that you transfer your vehicle by ferry or rent one there.
The churches of Agios Dionysios and Agios Markos in Zante town
Ports in Zante
The main island port is located on the southeast coast of the island.
The port of Zakynthos is easily accessible on foot from the main town and it's close to many shops. In the port area, you can find a free parking lot, travel agencies and car rental offices.
Island hopping from Zante
The island's location in the Ionian sea makes it perfect for island-hopping. in the Ionian islands.
From Zante you can easily travel by ferry to the following destinations:
- Kefalonia (or Cephalonia)
Check our Map of ferries and find out more about the ferry connections in the Ionian Sea.
Zante ferry: schedules and tickets
You can easily travel by ferry to Zante from the port of Kyllini in the Peloponnese.
There are daily ferries from Kyllini to Zante all year round and during the summer months, there can be up to 10 crossings per day.
Zante is regularly connected by ferry with the west side of Peloponnese and more specifically with the port of Kyllini. More ferry connections include Kefalonia and then Ithaca and Patras.
Kyllini is located in the Peloponnese, and it's easily accessible from Athens and the port of Patras by bus. Here is some indicative travel information to get to Zante from Athens or Patras:
- The drive/bus trip from Athens to Killini takes approximately 3.5 hours.
- The drive/bus trip from Patras to Kyllini lasts approximately 1 hour. The port of Patras is located in the northwest corner of the Peloponnese and you can get there in about 2.5 hours drive/bus from Athens.
- The duration of the Kyllini-Zante ferry trip is just 1 hour.
Lighthouse and the beautiful blue waters at the port of Zante
Where to book your ferry tickets to Zante (Zakynthos)?
On Ferryhopper you can find all the available ferry routes to Zante, compare ferry schedules from Kyllini and book cheap ferry tickets, with no extra cost! Explore the beauty of The Flower of the East in just 4 clicks!