There are seven main Ionian Islands and a fair few smaller ones, situated of the Western Coast of Greece. They all are fairly lush as these Islands receive more rain than Greek Islands such as Lesbos.
Zakynthos is the third largest Ionian Island and is named after the son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. Zakynthos is a beautiful Island but tourism has taken its toll on both the Island and its people. You will find that the locals are a little jaded and wary of tourists. All speak fluent English but the occasional Yassoo or Calimera will go down a treat.
With Zante's reputation for commercial resorts, night clubs and booze you need to select your resort carefully. There is something for everyone on this island but select the wrong place, and in the wrong time, and your vacation could be a nightmare.
Zakynthos or Zante
The island of Zakynthos or Zante is a great holiday destination if you choose your resort and places to visit carefully. Consider also the time of year, check out what time of year Zante is overcrowded and when there is the most and least rain and sunshine.
Zante town is the islands capital and is reached easily and cheaply on the local bus. It had a different feel, to the beach resorts and villages, but there was good architecture, shopping, a harbour and the capital was a better location for a traditional Greek night out.
The island tour, which took in a lot of the north of the island, showed Zante's diversity. If you hired a car you could see all of this at your own pace.
Resorts in the East such as Argassi, Tsivili and Alikes have a good mix of traditional and modern features. They all have a beach.
Smuggler's Cove must be one of the most photographed beaches in all of the Greek Islands. It is in the North East region of Zante and the beach is only accessible by boat. There is a precarious viewing platform where you can look down and take photographs, but it is not for the feinthearted.
Not far from Smuggler's Cove there are some blue grotto caves which are worth the boat trip.
Overall there is something for everyone on the Island of Zakynthos, if you look closely. The flora and fauna, and the general feel of the place is relaxing but be careful when you book your holiday and pick the right place for YOU.
Our experiences staying in Laganas Bay
Laganas Bay has a long stretch of sandy beach. In fact it is possible to walk for miles and end up in Kalamaki which is a quieter resort. However this resort has low flying aircraft almost constantly flying over in high season.
Laganas Bay itself has a family friendly beach, as it has very shallow water in which you can walk out quite a long way. The beach is lined with restaurants and tavernas and most serve some traditional Greek Food and plenty of English food and drink.
Zante was not expensive but with currecnt currencies crisises in Europe you may get much for your money. Bus fares are good value but the local buses from Laganas will only take you to the Islands capital, Zante Town. From there though you can take other buses to resorts. Probably organised coach trips will be a better means of travelling around the Island unless you want to hire a car.
The area in Laganas Bay is flat and you can also hire bicycles.
Laganas has many pubs, clubs and bars mainly gathered around the main drag or strip. This long road has shops and all things touristy. For a less commercial feel travel to nearby Aghios Sosti or Zante Town or just on the outskirts of Laganas.
The locals are generally friendly but with the resort becoming rowdy in high season many are a little hostile.
The centre of Laganas Bay is only really suitable for those wanting a noisy nightlife and a lot of commercialism. There is flora and fauna to be found but you will need to look for it.
The airport is only about a 1/2 hour drive from the airport and the flight from Manchester was about 31/2 hours.
Looking back, through rose coloured glasses, it was a good holiday and I would like to visit again. However next time it will be somewhere such as Alikes or Argassi.
Hints and tips
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