Vibrant, historic, and always buzzing, Zante town offers visitors the chance to enjoy and indulge in varied experiences around the clock. Every corner of the town reflects a rich and colourful past, influenced by various civilizations over the centuries, including the Venetians and the British.
The pretty waterfront is perfect for an evening stroll. Solomos Square (located on the seafront in the port area) is also a key attraction, named after the well-known Greek poet Dionysios Solomos. Be sure also to visit St. Dionysos Church, the largest church on the island dedicated Zante’s patron saint.
The old town's narrow streets are lined with shops selling everything from pottery to handbags, while countless restaurants and cafes dish up delicious fare from morning to night. While exploring the town during your holidays in Zante, be sure not to miss Bochali village above the town, famed for its iconic Venetian Castle and panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Whether you crave adventure or relaxation, Zante’s beaches promise a sublime experience, famed for their exotic natural beauty and emerald waters. Navagio Beach (often called Shipwreck Beach) is the crown jewel, with dazzling white sands framed by towering limestone cliffs laced with caves. The wreck of MV Panayiotis, buried halfway in the sand, enhances the dramatic scenery.
Agios Nikolaos Beach, a tranquil cove cradling turquoise waters, is also a pretty sight. Tsilivi Bay is equally beautiful, with a small Venetian watchtower (Vardiola) adding to the area’s charm. Conservationists and nature lovers are bound to fall in love with Gerakas Beach, a protected nesting ground for loggerhead sea turtles. Kalamaki Beach and Spanzia Beach are also ones for the bucket list, while countless sea caves call out to avid explorers.
Daring divers can enjoy a world of underwater wonders in Zante, with many diving centres offering courses and organised trips to colourful reefs and deserted islets. Some of the most exciting dive sites include the Arch of Triumph, the Octopus and Barracuda Reefs in Keri Peninsula, the Keri Caves, and the island of Marathonisi. The island is famed as a breeding place for the Caretta caretta sea turtle, so be sure to look out for this endangered species while exploring the deep blue.
Zante may be revered for its stunning beaches, but the island’s fine wine is a delightful surprise. The island boasts over 60 different grape varieties, with over 19,000 acres of the isle blanketed in vineyards.
For a delicious taste of local culture, embark on a wine-tasting journey and make your way towards one of the Zante’s many wineries, nestled amidst the island’s verdant landscape. Meet the passionate winemakers, raise your glass to Zante’s natural beauty and delight in the rich flavours of wines made from indigenous grape varieties, like Goustolidi and Avgoustiatis (grown since the 14th century), and rejoice in a marvellous taste of the Zante’s viticultural heritage.
There are countless things to do in Zante, and roads outside the main town lead to authentic villages worth exploring. Kampi is always a delight, a small village surrounded by olive groves, perched on the slopes of a green cliff.
Volimes village, the gateway to the famous Shipwreck Beach, is a charming place to shop for local handicrafts, textiles, and pottery. For a feel of island life untouched by tourism, head to Maries village to encounter a rural way of life. Be sure to pass by the beautiful Church of Agia Mavra or savour the taste of Zante’s honey. For stunning 360 views of the island, drive up to Ano Garaki and enjoy the surrounding beauty.
Zante town is where the action is around the year, hosting various cultural events, including festivals, concerts, and exhibitions. The Zante annual carnival in late February or early March is especially lively and flamboyant, with parades, music, dancing, and colourful costumes.
The cultural agenda heats up in the summer, especially in July and August. The Zante Wine Festival, Jazz Festival, and International Film Festival are some of the highlights of the holiday agenda. On August 24th, islanders celebrate St. Dionysos Feast with religious processions and celebrations that attract pilgrims from across Greece.
Well known for its vibrant nightlife scene, Zante is a hot spot for partygoers from around the world. And no matter what kind of entertainment rocks your boat, you’re bound to find it here. Cosy bars and cute cafes line the narrow streets in the heart of town – the ideal spot for those who enjoy a nightcap in a more chilled-out atmosphere. Laganas is the place to spend the evening for the wild at heart, while Tsilivi is home to more relaxed bars and clubs.