02nd August 2013
Travel blogger Heather Cowper recently flew with Jet2.com to the sun-soaked island of Zante, a firm favourite with holidaymakers looking for beautiful beaches, fabulous food, stunning scenery and fun in the sun. Read Heather’s holiday experiences of this gorgeous Greek getaway including her expert tips and advice on the most beautiful beaches to visit, the best boat trips to take, what to do in Zante town and much more.
Zante's best beaches are along the east and south-east side of the island, most sandy while others are pebbly with clear water that's great for snorkeling. My favourites are the sandy beaches of Vasilikos, and the turtle nesting beaches of Dafni, Gerakas and Kalamaki. The north and western shores are more rocky but you can find coves such as Porto Limnionas with deep turquoise water where you'll feel you've discovered the real Greece. If you fancy a change from beaches or your hotel pool, the water park at Sarakinado makes a fun day out.
To the north of the island
If you have a hire car, it's worth driving to the rocky north of the island, stopping at the mountain village of Volimes where the local shops sell traditional Greek rugs, lace and honey. There are beautiful monasteries such as the St Denis Monastery at Anafonitria where the patron saint of the island lived in the 16th century, but be sure to dress properly with your shoulders and knees covered. Nearby you'll find a viewpoint for Navagio or Shipwreck cove to take that picture postcard shot.
It's worth spending a day in Zante town, picking up souvenirs like the local mantolato nougat, or sipping an iced frappé in one of the cafés in St Mark's square or on the seafront. My favourite coffee spot is at Bochali, the high point that overlooks the town where you'll find the ruins of a Venetian castle and open air cafes with a fabulous view over the harbour. Along the harbour front, the fishermen sell their catch in the mornings and there are plenty of yachts to admire in the marina. The beautiful church of St Denis is at one end of town and in St Mark's square is the Zakynthos museum full of religious art that survived the 1953 earthquake.
While on Zante I'd recommend a couple of different boat trips that will take 2-3 hours. From the southern resorts such as Keri, Agios Sostis or Laganas, you can take a boat trip where you may be lucky enough to see one of the loggerhead turtles that nest around Laganas Bay, followed by swimming in the sea caves at Keri. Another option is to drive to the northern end of the island and take a boat trip from Makris Gialos or St Nicholas port to see the shipwreck beach that features on many postcards and then swim in the Blue Caves, but be aware that the sea around Shipwreck cove can be choppy, so check with a local before you go.
For even more on Zante, including further fantastic travel photos, visit Heather’s blog at Heatheronhertravels.com, where you can also her read review of her Jet2.com flight experience and find other exciting travel blog posts.