Cheap flights to Zante
Advert beaches, rolling green countryside and traditional mountain villages; Zante is Greece at its very best. The Venetians used to call it the “flower of the east,” and any tourist who sets foot on the Greek island of Zante, or Zakynthos as it is known in Greece, will immediately understand why.
Today it’s as famous for its lush green vegetation and colourful wild flowers as it is for its tourist resorts and thumping nightlife. Of course, this is ignoring the 92 kilometres of pristine coastline complete with some of the world’s best beaches – check out the jaw-dropping turquoise beauty of Smugglers’ Cove, one of the most photographed bays in the world.
Let’s just say if it’s stunning scenery you’re after, then Zante has it in abundance. But it’s also got a large slice of traditional Greek culture too. So if you like your mountain villages quaint and small, your churches old and fresco filled and your tavernas offering moussaka with a glass or two of ouzo to wash it down, then you’ll be spoilt for choice. And let’s not forget that hospitality for which the Greeks have been famous throughout history, trust us, the locals of Zante don’t disappoint.
Nobelos (tel 26950 31582) in Volimes is a fine place to look for authentic handwoven garments, rugs and other fabric souvenirs. Other similar shops line this pretty town in the north of the island.
If you have any time in between sunbathing and clubbing, Moonstone in Laganas (tel: 26950 55361) does a good line in jewellery, accessories and Greek handicrafts such as ceramics.
Named after the island's famous annual marine visitor (the sea turtle) Caretta Caretta in Argassi (tel: 26950 27665) is as good a place as any to pick up a cuddly toy replica of the turtle. It stocks numerous other souvenirs too.
For a taste of mainland town life and great shopping opportunities, it is easy to take a bus that goes on the ferry to Kyllini and continues through to the busy port of Patra on the northwest coast of the Peloponnese.
With so many daily ferry crossings to Kyllini on the Peloponnesian mainland, it is easy to take a day trip and climb up to the little-visited but well-preserved Venetian castle of Chlemoutsi, just 5 kilometres from the port.
As the island is short on archaeological sites, the best way to get a taste of Greece's ancient heritage is to take a tour across to the stunning site of Olympia, the original home of the Olympic Games.