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Zante is the Italian name for Zakynthos, the third largest island in the Ionian Sea. Arguably Zante has some of the most beautiful coastline in all of the Ionian islands, with bright turquoise waters, sweeping white cliffs worn through with caves and arches, and pristine white sandy beaches. Anywhere this beautiful, with beaches this postcard perfect, is going to be popular, and the southeastern coastlines have some large hotels and resorts well known by the package holiday companies. But there’s plenty of peaceful stretches of coast and small, Ionian style villages as you head north, and that’s where you’ll find our Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay on Zante.
Their list of the best places to stay on Zante includes the luxurious Porto Zante Villas & Spa, which is probably one of the most private and peaceful places to stay in all of the Ionian Sea.
The western and northern coasts are quite mountainous and there are some amazingly dramatic cliffs which drop hundreds of feet straight into the sea. So while these aren’t the best places to hunt for beach paradise, they’re fantastic when seen from the extremely clear sea below them, or from the clifftops.
It’s well worth hiring a car, even though the roads are quite winding and occasionally frightening.
Zante’s popularity means that there’s all sorts of activities on offer here, all your standard land and watersports, and then the slightly more exotic ones like quad biking and zip lining.
As soon as you leave the coast things get quieter though, and the forests and mountains of the interior are a great place to come to hike or bike. Hardly any visitors explore the interior but it’s extremely lush and between March and May is just littered with wildflowers.
Before the earthquake of 1953, Zante had some exquisite Venetian architecture, which is now mostly ruined, but there’s still something of Venice’s main square in the pretty piazza of Zakynthos Town. Busy and bougainvillea dusted, Zakynthos Town is the island’s capital, and has a ferry port and harbour lined with cafes, bars and restaurants.
Agios Nikolaos in the northeast is a tiny town, but the second largest port, where the ferry to Kefalonia departs from. This is also where you leave from when visiting the Blue Caves - which are certainly one of the island’s highlights.
Laganas is the party town, with a main street populated almost entirely with bars and nightclubs.
Tsilivi is a good choice for families and Vassilikos is a much quieter village with no hotels just villa accommodation.
Don't forget that this is a very busy island during the peak summer months. So if you want to book one of the best places to stay in Zante during July or August, you'll need to get organised and plan well ahead.
- The Porto Zante Villas & Spa are a collection of luxurious villas right on the coast. There are just ten villa, each with a private pool, marble bathroom and a wonderful private terrace facing the ocean. There’s a fabulous waterfront spa, a chic cocktail bar and a Mediterranean restaurant.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay on Zante for you?
Best Hotels in Zante
Porto Zante Villas & Spa 10 rooms from $1371Zakinthos, Zante
Luxurious villas with exotic views of the ocean. Rooms come with private pools, marble bathrooms, lavish toiletries and sea facing private terraces. A Mediterranean restaurant, a chic cocktail bar, a fabulous waterfront spa and other 24 hrs five star services. Winner of several awards.Spa breaks - Come for the luxury spa treatments and ancient Greek therapies performed in areas with breathtaking views of the Ionian SeaRomantic Break - A perfect romatic getaway. Enchanting seaviews from the luxury of your private villasBeach Life - A beachfront hotel, some villas come with a private beachFamilies - Spacious villas welcome children as wellRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels