Zakynthos island, which is known by many people as Zante, is one of the seven Ionian islands, located on the East coast of Greece. Being an island that is blessed with good weather pretty much all year round, it is easy to see why it is a popular choice for people wanting to have a holiday abroad. As someone working over there, you would get to enjoy and try out all of the same things, using your days off to explore the island, embracing the local culture, trying the delicious food, and topping up your tan.
There are plenty of really fantastic things to do in Zante. Known as one of the main party capitals of Europe, you will be surrounded by a lot of like-minded people if you choose to work a season in Zante. Zante has a range of beautiful beaches and stunning scenery so that you can enjoy some more laid back and chilled-out vibes on your days off. If you like the sound of working a season in Zante, then what can you expect to do when you’re not working? Here are some of the things that you can do when you’re there to make the most of your time in Zante.
1. Explore Zakynthos Town
If you are looking for some amazing restaurants as well as a seafront walkway, then Zante town is a popular spot where you can do just that. One of the places that you should start your visit off with is Saint Marcus square. Having historical significance, it is now the home of a range of places to eat and drink. Walking along the seafront you can walk down for 1.5km, passing churches and monasteries along the way. To get to know a little bit more about the history of the place where you are working, then this area of Zante is a good place to visit.
2. Party on Laganas Strip
If you are looking to party some more on your day off, then make sure that you head to the Laganas strip. It is one of the main party areas in the whole of Greece, and it is famous for bars and clubs, which get full of tourists each year. One of the main clubs, Zeros, is worth a visit, as it is home to some of the most famous events that happen on the island.
3. Embrace your inner Mamma Mia
The small island of Cameo is most famous for being the wedding venue in the first Mamma Mia movie. It is a pretty small island that is connected to Zante by a bridge. You can easily walk across in your spare time, or scoot or drive, if you’d rather. When you’re on the island you can spot the famous filming locations, as well as relax on the tiny island’s beautiful beach.
4. Island hopping on your day off
Greece is made up of small islands, and Zante is an ideal location to be able to visit quite a few of them. There are many tours and boat trips that you can book that can take you to a range of different islands, all in one day. As an example, Kefalonia is possible to visit in a day from Zante, with ferries departing regularly, and the whole journey taking one hour each way. If you want to really take it all in, then island hopping is definitely recommended.
5. Swim with turtles
One island that you can see from the Laganas Beach in Zante, is Turtle Island, better known as Marathonisi. It is an island that is uninhabited but you can visit, and it is part of the Greek marine park that helps to protect turtles. You can book a boat trip out there and you’re pretty likely to see many turtles on the day trip too.
6. Try diving
Being an island surrounded by water, getting out into the ocean is ideal in Zante. One of the best ways that you will be able to do just that is by trying snorkeling or scuba diving. The clear blue waters are ideal for seeing what lies beneath and enjoying all of the marine life on offer. For diving, you do need a range of specialised equipment so it is best to book onto an organised trip with an established company, who will know the best areas to take you to where you can dive in caves and see some amazing sea creatures. If you just fancy snorkeling instead, then it can be something that you just do yourself at the beach.
7. Have fun at the Tsilivi waterpark
If you love a water park then Tsilivi is a paradise for people of all ages. There are a range of water slides to try, as well as the black hole, lazy river, and pirate boats, there is something for everyone. It is a good quality water park and makes being out in the sun more enjoyable than just laying on a sun lounger.
8. Try out Greek dancing
Greek dancing is something that is very popular in the country as it has some old traditions associated with it. In fact, all Greek islands have their own interpretation of Greek dancing, so seeing what Zante’s is all about can be an enjoyable way to spend an evening off. With traditional Greek music and dancing it can be a lot of fun. There are some bars and restaurants that offer a meal and dancing as a package, and it will just need to be booked in advance. What better way to learn more about the culture and traditions of where you are living and working?
9. Visit a shipwreck cove
Being an island, naturally, Zante is home to some ancient shipwrecks. Shipwreck Beach, also known as Navagio beach, is one of the most well-known shipwrecks in the world. It is also one of the top things to see and do in Zante. The beach got its name when a ship called the MV Panayiotis washed up there back in 1980. You can explore this rusty old shipwreck by taking a boat trip out to Navagio beach, as well as taking in the white sands and clear waters of the beach itself. There are also other ways to view this shipwreck, such as from the cliff above it, which you might prefer if you want to hike on your day off.
10. Relieve aches and pains at Xigia Beach
If you are looking for something to do on your day off, then heading to the beach is a natural choice. The pebbly beach that is so picturesque and Insta-worthy called Xiga Beach, found on the northwest coast of the island, is definitely worth a visit. Not only can you have a relaxing time on the beach and swimming in the sea, but as it is seawater that is known for being high in sulfur, the water has some amazing hidden qualities that can help to relieve things like aches and pains.
11. Explore vineyards inland
For something that isn’t a beach and is away from the usual tourist traps that are around the coast, heading more inland can be a good idea. For example, the mountain villages of Volimes, Kambi, and Anafonitria are areas that are practically untouched by tourists. The locals in these areas have vineyards and make wine, as well as having olive tree orchards that are used to create olive oil. If you decide to go more inland when you have some downtime, then why not go explore these areas and see a little more of what the locals do? It can be a good way to embrace the culture of the island (as well as have a little bit of cheeky wine tasting at the vineyards).
12. Visit an olive oil factory
As mentioned above, Zante is a place where many olives are grown for olive oil. On the island you can also visit a family-run olive oil factory found in the area of Lithkia. It is a factory that makes some of the best olive oil in the whole of Greece. You can visit all year round and see how olive oil is made, as well as stocking up on your own bottles of olive oil. If you love to drizzle it over salad or dip bread in it, then why not try some of the best that there is?
13. Explore Zante’s caves
If you want to do something fun but unique, then getting out of the sun and exploring the different caves that Zante has to offer can be a good idea. The Keri Caves are found just by the Keri Cape, and you can swim in the clear water and explore the caves at the same time (a popular spot for divers).
There are also the Blue Caves, which are found by the lighthouse in the north of Zante, by Cape Skinari. They are one of the most popular sites on the island, and it is easy to see why. When you’re inside the caves the water reflections change to a really beautiful shade of blue. You can visit the blue caves by boat (a glass-bottomed boat is a good idea).
There is so much to see and do that you’ll be spoilt for choice on your days off in Zante.