Always good to know what the vibe is around the island. Choosing where to lay anchor during your stay is important for the type of trip you want to have.
Where To Stay
What are you looking for? Hotel, room or private beach villa?
There are so many different option to choose from.
Busy or quiet? Somewhere in the middle? More rustic or with just enough of the tourist amenities?
Western Side of Zante
Definitely more serene, and rustic. Home to the famous Navagio (Shipwreck), Porto Vromi, Limionas and Porto Roxa to name a few. The landscape is untouched, other than the mountain villages and beautiful new villas that perch high on these cliffs looking out into the sea - with nothing between you and the African continent. Sometimes we need to reset our soul and this is exactly what will be provided for you here.
Authentic taverns, many dine in options from your villa (chefs), homemade everything and just enough shopping to provide you with what you need.
Coming down toward the city center from the northern tip:
North Eastern Side
Slower pace with sprawling views of the Ionian Sea. With gorgeous villa's and sprawling views of the bluest of waters, you are in for a soulful treat. Plenty of large and small acommodations.. Many of them newely built. If you're looking for somewhat of a more quiet stay, without totally detaching, this part of the island is for you. There are a few really top notch restaurants and taverns not to be missed. The city center and airport are at least a 40 minute drive, but plenty to do closer if busy isn't your thing! Private clubs, prestigious villas, villas of any budget, seaside rooms, all with views that you will soon not forget.
Agios Nikolaos is the second (smaller) port on the island. Makris Gialos and Xigia beach should not be missed. Regardless of where you stay on the island.
Travel Zante Tip: Nobelos Seaside lodge and restaurant is a must visit for a great meal. We always enjoy a late lunch while enjoying the crystal clear waters here. Reservations are necessary.
You can also opt to stop here for lunch on a boat day if you charter your boat from elsewhere on the island.
Alykes Beach Town
More for families and older couples, with all the beach town amenities, taverns, and tour options. There is a main road through the village which is lined with bars, shops and restaurants, and the few streets that branch off that offer the same. Many beach fronts to choose from.
TravelZante Tip: Paradosiako restaurant is a great modern family tavern not be missed here in Alykes. Even when you’re not staying in the area! Reservations are always a good idea. It's so good they opened another spot in the city as well with a slightly elevated menu.
There is also Fishalida, which is right on the Alykes strip. A great place to park your body during the day. You pay to rent quality chairs, and the beach service is top notch. Not the cheapest option, but Leo your beach attendant makes you feel like royalty.
One of the largest, if not the largest beach town on the island. Great tourist shops, countless restaurants and taverns, and so many hotels to choose from. Adults only or family friendly, in every budget you can think of. Waterslides, loads of activities, tour operators with countless options to choose from, rentals, all you would need for a perfect holiday.
5 star world renowned luxury (leading hotel of the world), budget rooms to rent, family hotels or suites, adults only boutique hotels, there is basically anything for any budget.
TravelZante Tip: Tsilivi is a great jump off point to many other areas of the island. It's ideally located for driving and exploring, sort of halfway to everything. Close enough to the city, close enough to the northern and western parts of the island to explore. A definite to consider. Beaches are nice but not the nicest on the island. The amenities though in this area are stellar.
Villas hidden in this mountain side are unbelievable, so many new villas to choose from, a jump from the city, nestled between Tsilivi and Zante town. No direct beach access but close enough to anything you want, and just far enough away, with clear views of the sea. Watch the sun come up from your balcony. Most of the accommodations will afford you this luxury. The island is made for exploring. So if you want to see another beach every day, this is the right place for you.
No matter what your budget, there is a home for you in this hiden gem of an area on the island. Some would argue, the best location on the island.
Maybe downtown is where you want to be. Most nights we spend exploring the delicious offerings of Zante Town. And there are many dining options. Gourmet, taverns, casual, take out. You can find hotels, and apartments to rent. If you are an explorer who likes the bustle and prefers to explore during the day and stay local at night, this might be the best option for you.
The next beach town past Zante Town. Plenty to do and eat around here. Souvenir shops are great. Tour operators at every corner. Close enought to anything. The beach is nice but not fantastic. The location makes it an ideal jump off point giving you 5 minute access to town, but close enough to explore the southern tip without having to drive too far.
TravelZante Tip: Right before you arrive in Argasi you'll pass the local clubs on a strip along the shoreline. Big DJ's come in to these gorgeous outdoor venues. Greek Bouzoukia host the biggest superstars in Greece. The clubs are on their own strip and not near the beach town so you need not worry about noise. But worth a visit if you’re in the mood. Open Friday / Saturday. And open very late (or early…)
Porto Zoro, Banana Beach, St Nicholas, Gerakas. Beautiful beaches, hotels of every sort. A wonderful part of the island that we love. More quiet than Argassi for sure, but beaches are beautiful. Some of our favorite beachfronts. Up the mountain a bit, so make sure you are comfortable with driving to get around the island.
Travel Zante Tip: Home to 3 of our favorite beach fronts: Porto Azzuro, Banana Beach, and Ammos Beach.
Also, don’t miss Gerakas. It’s really on the southern tip, but something magical happens there and it should be visited at least once.
Party central if you're young and wild. The strip is full of bars and clubs that blast their music and party go-ers rage to all hours of the night (and morning)! A lot of all-inclusive options here. Rooms to rent and hotels.
But, the daytime allows great people watching. It is much calmer during the day (perhaps our party people like to sleep in). Our favorite Laganas beach bar and restaurant finds its home here. If you have any older kids, we guarantee this will be there favorite beach. Too much to see, making it a fun day in the sun.
TravelZante Tip: Cool Peppers Beach bar and restaraunt is our favorite spot to hang on when we spend the day on this beautful bay. They offer free parking, and chairs to those planning to drink or eat.
Also a great spot to rent and captain your own mini boat and explore the Marathonisi Island across the way. A must to experience. Mini boats are aprox 125 Euro for a 2 hour ride and up to 8 passengers.
This area is in a big upswing. So many new and awesome hotels are opening in the area. Beaches are quite, protected for the Loggerhead turtles that nest here. There is a great strip with all the taverns, bars and shops you can ask for. They have an amazing kids fun park that is a pay to play. If travelling with kids you might find yourself here more than once. Waterparks and loads of other activities.
Zante Travel Tip: Kalamaki beach restaurant serves the best spaghetti bolognese. The kids portion is big enough if you are not a huge eater. And for dinner DO NOT miss Yakynthos Restaurant on the strip. The restaurant serves delicious greek cuisine. There's a great hang out spot for kids/teens. We love this restaurant.
On the other side of Laganas bay, definitely more quiet with all the luxuries you can think of. Laganas is close to so many things so this is a great jump off point to all other areas of the island. Agios Sostis is the quite brother to Laganas. Pictures is Cameo island which is available to explore for 5euro. It used to be a night club in the 80’s.
Porto Koukla and Keri
We are heading to the southern tip of the island and as it gets more quiet, it also gets more beautiful. You'll have access to the Mizithres and Marathonisi from here.
We absolutely love to captain our own mini boats in Keri. There is quick access to the caves around the corner and its so fun to join all the other mini boats exploring the beaches. Jump on and off into the crystal clear waters. It’s a day you wont forget.
For more details about the beaches and what to do for fun, don’t forget to check out our other blog posts.