Set on the beautiful island of Zante, just off mainland Greece, Alykanas is a traditional Greek village that's popular with all age groups. Alykanas is an option worth exploring for a relaxing holiday complete with access to wonderful food, traditional horse-drawn carriages and many outdoors activities.
Full of activities
International dance festivals, extraordinary archaeological excavations and horse-drawn carriages are just a few of the reasons why tourists keep on returning to Alykanas.
Add children's trampolines, biking, horse-riding and walking opportunities to the mix and you'll soon get the picture – this resort has attractions to suit all ages and tastes. And Alykanas also has a long sandy beach lapped by the waves of the Ionian sea.
Alykanas is an intriguing place to visit, not just for the attractions in the resort but also for its nearby underwater archaeological remains – a whole city that's still being excavated. People have been exploring this region for centuries, it would appear. Of course contemporary visitors also have a wide range of modern shops and restaurants at their disposal.
Venture inland and you'll be in Old Alykanas village, and the neighbouring resort of Alykes is only a 10-minute walk away along the beach. You can also use the charmingly named 'trainiki' train to venture inland and discover the joys of the olive groves, quaint traditional villages, the Vergagio folk art museum or the Vertzagias caves. Simply head down to Alykanas station to start your journey.
Have some fun by spending time at the mini-golf course – it's a fantastic way of getting the whole family to laugh even if no-one is particularly skilled. The children can let off some steam using the local trampoline and horse-riding is also popular in this part of Zante. You can have some fun by hiring a local horse-drawn carriage to travel around the area – much more enjoyable than a more conventional motorised taxi.
With the enduring popularity of pirates, a family trip to see a genuine shipwreck should be on any traveller's list. Take the 40-minute boat trip to nearby Smugglers' Cove where your children can clamber over the remnants of a smugglers' boat still lying on the beach. The actual ship ran aground 30 years ago and the modern-day pirates – and their contraband, cigarettes – were all captured by Greek customs officials.
In recent years an increasing range of watersports has been introduced to Alykanas. The fun doesn't stop with traditional pedalos or banana boats – you can hire an inflatable boat or soar through the skies by paragliding.
Another option to explore the water around Zante is by taking a boat day trip. Companies like Diana Cruises run daily sightseeing tours where you'll be given the opportunity to visit the extraordinary Blue Caves or even go and explore an ancient shipwreck.
Original shopping opportunities
There's a healthy selection of shops in Alykanas. You can buy original hand-crafted jewellery, leather goods and tasty local food products including mantolato and pasteli nougat. Alykanas is a jewellery-lover's delight and high-quality gold between 14 and 18-carat is the norm, with some shops offering unique designs.
Handmade leather goods and local ceramics are always popular. You can bag a great deal if you indulge in a little haggling – the locals will expect you to bargain as often the advertised price is only set as a guide.
Evenings in Alykanas
A centre with a reputation for family-friendly activities, Alykanas is ideal for those who want to unwind, explore and eat wonderful food. You're not restricted to local food when you dine here – if you prefer Indian or Chinese meals you'll be able to indulge in them, too.
For after-dinner fun Alykanas has a good choice of cocktail bars and live music venues. There are also places to completely chill out and just have a quiet drink. You can watch the match on the TV at Busters Bar, take the whole family for a dance and game of pool at Fever Bar or drink cocktails until 5am at Catacombs.