Zante is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea that is known as Zakynothos in Greece, but commonly referred to as Zante by English speakers. It is the third largest island in the sea and is a tourist hotspot due to its lush wildlife, sunny climate, and long stretching sandy beaches all of which is surrounded by a clear azure sea.
Within Zante there are several islands each of which caters to different holiday goers. The main town and capital is Zante town which is where the majority of English pubs, shops, and the primary harbour are located.
Most people either reach Zante via ferry service, by air, or a combination of both. While there are numerous charter flights that depart directly from most major British airports to Zante airport, many also choose to fly into Athens, and catch the 45 minute daily flight into Zante. Chartered direct flights take on average about four hours and usually are included as part of holiday package deals, although sometimes there are excess seats that are sold alone at discount prices.
Additional choices include travelling into Greece and then departing to Zante via the ferry which departs from the harbour ports of Killini and Kefalonia. Ferries depart on average every one to two hours from the ports during the holiday tourist season although the schedule varies at times, thus it is wise to call the ferry company, consortium of Zakynthian Boats, before departing.
Zante has a long history dating back to the Neolithic Age which is supported both by the writings of Homer the Greek poet, and archaeological evidence. It gets its name from the son of a Greek god who in turn was the son of Troy.
A series of earthquakes in 1953 destroyed almost all of the original architecture and buildings on the island, sparing only three. Since then the Greek government has issued strict anti-seismic building standards and although the island has experienced large earthquakes since then, only moderate damage has been sustained. Despite the destruction, for the most part the major towns have been rebuilt and are a delight to view since they strongly resemble Venetian towns.
One of the main attractions on the island are the Zante turtles, which are an endangered species and exist only in two other locations with the beaches of Zante as their major breeding location. While it is possible to view the loggerhead turtles during a holiday in Zante there are strict rules in place by the Greek government and several environmental groups to ensure that the natural habitat of the turtles is not damaged.
There are several tour groups that work in conjunction with activist groups and are highly recommended for those seeking a turtle tour as other less scrupulous groups cause damage to the turtles.