Zante, or Zakynthos as it’s traditionally known, is the third largest of the Ionian Islands and a wondrous destination that deserves to be explored to its full extent. A self-catering getaway in Zante is ideal as you’ll be able to discover more of the island, with the added flexibility of staying at some places for longer. These are five things to see in Zante which’ll make your time here truly unforgettable.
Navagio Beach is instantly recognisable, and for good reason too. This so-called Shipwreck Beach is known for towering nearby cliffs, vibrant turquoise waters and gleaming white sands. There’s also an archaic shipwreck in the middle which adds to the magic of the place.
When people think of Zante this beach is often the image that springs to mind. You can only get to it via boat, which makes the whole trip far more of an adventure. Self-catering comes into its own here – take a packed lunch and stay past 3pm and you’ll get the beach practically to yourself. It’s perfect for a romantic afternoon, snorkelling in the sea and playing pirates with the kids.
The capital of Zante makes for a great day out for couples, families and groups of friends. The city has stunning Venetian architecture, a wealth of shops and a laidback, yet still entertaining nightlife. Take a stroll to the fresh fruit and veg market that runs every Monday and Thursday, and load up on scrumptious flavours to spice up your self-catering holiday.
Aside from the markets, the Church of St. Dionysios, the Solomos Museum and the Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos are all well worth a visit.
Loggerhead sea turtles
Loggerhead sea turtles, or caretta caretta to use their scientific name, are some of the island’s most enthralling beings. These magnificent creatures can grow over 30 inches long and live for more than 60 years. The best time to see them in action is from June to late August, when they go to lay their eggs around Laganas Bay. Be careful not to disturb them, however, as they’re also an endangered species.
The Blue Caves of Volimes
The Blue Caves are a popular attraction in Zante and can make for some Instagram-worthy holiday snaps. It’s another attraction that’s only accessible by boat, but is still well worth the trip. These beautiful caves reflect the varying blue hues of the sea – why not see them submerged on a snorkelling or diving trip?
If you like the sound of the Blue Caves, then try the Keri Caves too. They’re both similar in nature, but after all, who can really get enough of these tranquil natural wonders?
Marathonisi is also only accessible via the sea, and is a popular breeding ground for loggerhead sea turtles. This luxurious island has two beaches with totally distinct features, some sea caves and a colossal amount of charm. With its golden shore and lush vegetation, it’s easy to want to stay on Marathonisi long after the last boat has left for the mainland. Whip up a delicious lunch at your self-catering villa and make the most of the dreamy views.
If you enjoyed this, check out some other blog posts for more holiday inspiration.
By Isabella Perkins, a freelance travel writer best known for writing about self-catering holidays. Her writing tends to have a family focus, and she is in the middle of writing a new travel guide due to be published next year.