Photo of Zante

About Zante

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. That’s where you’ll find our Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay on Zante.

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, 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 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 decorated, 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. This is also where you leave 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.

What not to miss:

  • Unwind on the pristine white sand beaches and swim in the crystal clear waters.
  • Hike or cycle through the epic, rugged landscape.
  • Make a stop at the excellent Solomos museum.
  • Hire a boat and explore the impressive Blue Caves.

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 best places to stay in Zante

For luxury

  • The Porto Zante Villas & Spa are a collection of luxurious villas right on the coast. There are just ten villas. Each with a private pool, marble bathroom and wonderful private terrace facing the ocean. There’s a fabulous waterfront spa, chic cocktail bar and a Mediterranean restaurant.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you're travelling with family or a group of friends it may be a better option to book a villa or apartment. For a wide range of properties for all tastes and budgets we recommend you visit our online partner

Travel information

  • Zante is served by one airport located towards the south end of the island caters to both international and domestic flights.
  • Travel in between the months of April - September for warm days. The months of June - August can get very hot so best avoided for some.
  • If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Zante

  • Lesante Blu Zakynthos, Zante 92 rooms from £126

    Hideaway  -  A luxurious clifftop property offering an exclusive escape.
    Sailing  -  Take a private cruise around the island.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.

    A secluded hilltop property offering glorious sea views. Suites and rooms are all white on white with plenty of glass, all the mod-cons and indulgent bathrooms. Expect a selection of bars and restaurants, a fabulous spa and glorious pool. Ideal for romantic getaways. See More

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  • Zante Maris Suites Tsilivi, Zante 192 rooms from £265

    Beach Life  -  Located a stone's throw from beautiful sandy beaches on the island, this hotel is a great choice for a seaside getaway
    Hideaway  -  Book a discreet luxury suite and hideout in your room with your own private pool and beautiful sea views
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the romantic seaside setting of this hotel and the first-class facilities
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Agios Dionysios Church, a historic Orthodox Greek church with a breathtaking interior

    This chic, adults-only hotel is located on the Greek island of Zakynthos. Suites are bright and contemporary with crisp white linens and sea views; the best suites offer a cosy private terrace and pool. Eat at the à la carte restaurant before booking into the holistic spa. A luxury seaside getaway. See More

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  • Olea All Suite Hotel Tsilivi, Zante 93 rooms from £313

    Foodies  -  Foodies are spoiled for choice at this hotel, with three on-site restaurants serving international and Mediterranean dishes
    Honeymoons  -  Book a luxury suite at this hotel for a honeymoon with added indulgence, and admire sunset from your private pool
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the hotel's chic interiors and the first-class facilities at the on-site spa
    Minimum Stay  -  Minimum stay of 2 nights
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Design Hotels

    This award-winning design hotel is located on Zakynthos, Greece. Rooms have chic, Mediterranean interiors with tiled floors and natural accents; the most luxurious suites boast a private pool with sea views and a spacious terrace. Choose between 3 restaurants before visiting the spa; luxury defined. See More

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  • Cielo Luxury Villas Zante 7 rooms from £344

    Families  -  Split into two villas one with 3 rooms and one with 4, this is perfect for families to rent out in its entirety
    Beach Life  -  Set right on the sea and with a number of watersports on offer
    Diving  -  Discover the colourful marine life in the crystal clear waters off the coast
    Sailing  -  Hire a private yacht to explore the coastline in style!

    Two contemporary villas situated on a private estate beside the sea. Chic interiors are simply designed with monochrome hues, straight lines, and modern art. Spacious lounges lead onto the swimming pool from large glass sliding doors. An idyllic spot to rent as a family or with friends. See More

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  • Porto Zante Villas & Spa Zakinthos, Zante 10 rooms from £1041

    Spa breaks  -  Come for the luxury spa treatments and ancient Greek therapies performed in areas with breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea
    Romantic Break  -  A perfect romatic getaway. Enchanting seaviews from the luxury of your private villas
    Beach Life  -  A beachfront hotel, some villas come with a private beach
    Families  -  Spacious villas welcome children as well
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    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. See More

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  • Paradisso Beach Villas Zante from £2096

    Beach Life  -  The villas perch on a small penisula jutting out to the blue Ionian sea and is straddled by a golden beach
    Families  -  Self-catering villas capable of housing up to 8 people makes this a suitable family option
    Active Holiday  -  A wide variety of water-based activities and excursions are organised by your hosts
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the Blue Caves sea sculptures rising from the sea in striking blue colours
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    Lying on a charming peninsula, these picturesque villas overlook the Ionian sea. The rooms are light and fresh, with whitewashed walls, linen curtains and tiled floors. The villas feature multi-functional living quarters leading onto outdoor terraces, with loungers and hammocks. A magical spot. See More

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