Zakynthos, or more commonly known in the UK as Zante, is an island in the Ionian Sea. It is one of the country’s biggest islands and is a very popular tourist destination as it even has its own airport. The island has the nickname “The Flowers of the Levant” and is especially popular with party holidays.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 100 (police), 166 (ambulance) and 199 (fire brigade)
- Language: Greek
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: GRC
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 40,759
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Zakynthos enjoys a low crime rate, though petty crimes such as theft and drunken misbehaviour do take place and often this is amongst the tourists.
- One of the most popular beaches in Zante is Navagio Beach. The beach is nicknamed Shipwreck Cove due to the large shipwreck resting on the sand. Make sure to snap a photo if it's quiet, as the wreck is one of the most photographed locations in the country!
- If you take valuables to the beach then you should be wary about leaving them unattended when they can be easily taken.
I’m going to Zante on a party holiday. Have you got any advice for me?
For a lot of people, going on a lads or girls holiday to Zante is exciting and you’re probably not thinking about your own personal safety. If you’ve just left school, or this is your first time going abroad without your parents, then make sure to prepare yourself before your trip.
When out and about, always stick with your group and only buy event tickets from official events.
When walking down the strip, you’ll be approached by lots of different holiday reps trying to get you into their bars. Don’t feel pressured by anyone trying to sell you things and only go to places you are comfortable going to.
When exploring at night, only stick to the main strip and don’t go down any dark side streets. The strips are not as dangerous as you might think, and there is almost always a police/security presence, but keep your wits about you and apply usual common sense measures.
Where can I keep up with local news?
Have you got any safety tips?
As in any tourist destination it is advisable to be discrete with expensive possessions and cash you may have on you and avoid attracting the attention of thieves.
Some tourists drink to much to excess on their holidays and it is best to avoid entanglements with them.
Travel insurance and card protection is a good idea, so that if the worst happens, then it will not be too devastating for you.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
The year’s festivities are launched with the Carnival Bike Ride departing from Solomos Square and ending at Mouzaki. The programme also has the Piccolo, a children’s masquerade parade and special events on the day of Tsiknopempti when barbecued meat is eaten. In the town of Zakynthos as well as in smaller villages, many traditional celebrations take place with outdoor festivities. These will include Omilies, plays of a genre combining Cretan theatre with Comedy, Bagordes, a type of Greek feast, Kantada, a traditional Ionian serenade and Arekies, which are songs sung by ear. The festivities end with the great Carnival Parade which is led by the Carnival King and ends later on that night with Povero Carnival, a Funeral of the Mask where the Carnival King is burnt, while the carnival participants accompanying him satirise his life.
Two annual major festivals are held in honour of Agios Dionysios, Patron Saint of Zakynthos. The first is on the 24th of August and is held in memory of the transportation of the Saint’s body from the monastery of Strofadia to the church of Agios Dionysios, where lies still. The second festival is celebrated on the 17th of December, the date of the death of the saint. Both festivals last three days and consist of various religious ceremonies, followed by traditional dances and music accompanied by local food and wine. It attracts thousands of people and pilgrims from all over the island and from other parts of Greece.
Where are some of the best nightlife spots in Zante?
The Laganas Strip
The is the main strip in Zante and one of the biggest nightlight spots in Europe. The biggest clubs to visit are Cherry and Zero, but many other partygoers enjoy Waikiki and Cherry Bay as well.
Zante Bar Guide
If you’re looking for more of a chill drink, check out Plus, which many people swear to be the best bar in Zante. G-Spot is also worth a mention as the perfect place to chill out away from the chaos of the main strip.
What are some good places to visit?
In the north of the island at Cape Skinari below the Skinari lighthouse, you can find the magnificent Blue Caves. Discovered in 1897 by Antonio Komouto, the caves attract thousands of visitors each year and are one of the islands most famous natural attractions. The caves are so called because of the blue waters inside them and any objects below the water appear to turn blue. This means that people who enter the to swim inside the caves also turn blue! The area is popular for snorkelling, to see the wide range of marine life living there and the attractive blue hues on the white rocks caused by reflections from the sea
Take a look inside the old Venetian Fort or Kastro, on top of the hill at Bohali which overlooks Zante town. To enter pass through a stone gateway with the Venetian lion carved on it and you come into a large compound. The Fort dates back to the 15th century and is enclosed by a stone wall with steep drops on all sides and a near 360 degree view over the island. In 1460 the fort was destroyed by the Turks with the islanders later repairing it with help from the Venetians and at one point even made it the capital of the island. Inside the walls, the large compound once would have bustled with soldiers, with an encampment the size of a small village catering for the soldiers. At each of the different areas there are signs in English describing the buildings or activities that were once there.
Zakynthos Traditional Park
The Traditional Park is the cultural open-air museum of Zakynthos and is located in an outdoor park at Elies in Volimes, in the north of the island. Visitors can walk through the olive trees, rocky paths and visit an old stone quarry where a variety of old objects and buildings are scattered, with each one telling a story. During this walk you can learn about every day life on the island of Zakynthos, as it was in the last centuries and find out the stories related to the exhibits.