Zakynthos is the second largest island in population and part of the Ionian Islands region, which includes the regional units of Corfu (region’s capital), Lefkada, Kefalonia and Ithaca, except for the island of Kythera which historically belongs to the Heptanese but administratively to Attica.
In Europe Zakynthos is widely known with its Venetian name, Zante. It is located in western Greece, 15 kilometres northwest of the Peloponnese, 13.6 kilometres from Kefalonia and about 300 kilometres from Athens.
The flower of the Mediterranean
Zakynthos, the ''Fiore di Levante'' (the flower of the East Mediterranean), as it was called by the Venetians is the eleventh largest island of Greece and one of the most beautiful of the region.
It is graced with a smooth Mediterranean climate, allowing for a variety and richness of flora. Classic regional goods, such as olives and citrus fruits, as well as flowers are found in abundance on Zakynthos. Our island is not merely an exotic holiday destination exhibiting crystal blue waters, unspoilt beaches and sunny countryside. Zante demonstrates its own identity with herbal/plant species unique in the world, including the Ionian orchid – but also rare animals, such as the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta Caretta) and the monk seal (Monachus Monachus) that find shelter on the island’s coves to rest and breed.
Zante’s natural beauty is accompanied by a several centuries-old cultural tradition, demonstrated in manifold ways: the architecture of its picturesque villages, traditional and modern music and dance performances, agricultural labour that combines the old and current techniques, as well as the culinary tastes of Zakynthian cuisine, always sprinkled with the most savory local herbs - from oregano to thyme.
Today Zante remains one of the most popular destinations in Greece and Europe, having its own international airport, high-quality lodging, wonderful surroundings and welcoming people.
Should you choose to stay in one of our homes, you can conveniently combine your holiday with various activities, sightseeing and exploration by car, by boat or on foot. Our team will gladly help you decide about notable destinations you can visit:
• Zakynthos town stands today as the capital of Zante Island, a modern town with liveliness, continuous commercial activity and development, offering numerous options for dining and nightlife. Its building sector boomed during the decades after the earthquake of 1953; all buildings ever since have been constructed according to strict anti-seismic standards. This small cosmopolitan city of approximately 16,800 residents never ceases to amaze both Greeks and non-Greeks with its charming squares, the historical Hill of Strani, the Venetian Castle (Bohali), the Museum of Byzantine Art and the majestic church of Saint Dionysios. From the charming Solomos square, named by the country’s national poet, to the centre and the colourful alleys towards the docks, the town displays lovely houses with their flowery gardens, small cosy shops, exquisite restaurants and other facilities, making it ideal for an evening stroll or a more elaborate in-city exploration.
• The well-known Shipwreck is one of the most prominent sightseeings of Zante Island. Its story draws back to 1982, when a ship from Turkey crashed on the rocky beach of Saint George (Agios Georgios) due to an engine malfunction and extreme weather. Ever-since the site was renamed to Shipwreck. This sandy, cliff-surrounded beach offers a lovely view with azure waters and glistening, granular sand. It is accessible only by the sea with small cruises taking off daily from Zakynthos town, Alykes, Laganas and Agios Nikolaos.
• The bay of Laganas hosts several wonderful coastal towns and beaches, from Keri to Kalamaki and Laganas, but its most special destination is the little isle of Marathonisi. A small heaven on earth, completely unspoilt, since it serves as migration home for the Caretta caretta turtles; a lovely islet full of coves, featuring two beaches and making a brilliant choice for a tour by a private boat.
• Blue Caves; one of the most impressive natural attractions of Zante, located at the north part of the island near Skinari Cape. The Blue Caves are famous for their azure, light blue seawaters and the visual tricks played by the sunlight.
Travelling to Zakynthos
Reaching Zakynthos is quite easy due to regular direct flights from Athens (ATH) and many European capitals to the island’s international airport (ZTH). Several airlines offer attractive rates on and off season.
If you wish to travel by boat, there are regular ferries to Patras from several Italian ports (Ancona, Bari, etc.); From Patras it’s a short trip to Kyllini port, from where you can take the boat to Zakynthos (1h 20mins journey).
Boutique Villas Zante can always arrange a private car or rental for your transportation from the airport or port to your accommodation venue.