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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Kalamaki

Kalamaki Holidays 2017/2018

The tranquil and beautiful resort of Kalamaki is located on the southern shores of the popular island of Zante in the depths of the Ionian Sea. With Mount Skopos towering over the white sand beaches and the clear blue skies reflecting in the warm ocean, you might well do a Shirley Valentine and never come home.

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Natural wonders

Kalamaki itself is serene and scenic. The impressive image of Mount Skopos stands at one end of the beach and the green landscape is sprinkled with beautiful wild flowers, grape vines and all manner of fruit and olive trees. Due to the conservation of the resident loggerhead turtles along the coast, the no-watersports policy here only adds to the ambience and tranquility along the white sands.

Once you feel rejuvenated and fancy some action, Kalamaki will continue to impress you with its host of wonderful excursions and experiences suitable for the whole family. Local tour operators offer daily cruise trips to nearby caves and coves where you can snorkel, sunbathe and spot loggerhead turtles in the clear water. Opportunities to traverse the rest of the island and its beautiful culture abound, with the options of exploring on foot, bike, horseback or 4x4 with an experienced guide - and kids will love the mini golf course.

A short ten-minute taxi ride will find you in the historic and culturally rich capital of Zante Town. As the island's commercial centre, you'll catch a glimpse of the real Zante as you watch the island's residents go about their business and dine at traditional, Zakynthian tavernas full of locals.

The nightlife in Kalamaki is nothing in comparison to the neighbouring party town of Laganas. Here you'll find a great selection of cocktail bars and tavernas where you can enjoy entertainment, good conversation and fantastic cuisine. If you're craving a foam party and a fish bowl, a ten-minute drive will find you on the Golden Mile in Laganas, surrounded by all kinds of guilty pleasures.

Quick Tips

  • Greek Orthodox
  • Euro
  • Greek
  • GMT +2

Rural Zante on horseback

Whether you're an experienced rider or have never stepped foot inside a stable before, there are plenty of riding schools in the area catering to all abilities. Take an evening trek along the beach and watch the sun set behind the mountains as you pad through the shallow water, or trek up the mountains for panoramic views of the coast.

Take to the waters in search of loggerhead turtles

It won't take you long to spot one of these incredible endangered residents. The turtles, known locally as Caretta Caretta, return to the island every summer to mate and lay their eggs in the sand.

Local operators offer cruises to the uninhabited islet of Marathonissi, a popular nesting site, complete with a shipwreck and beautiful bay to relax in. These cruises typically include visits to caves and opportunities to snorkel, with some of the boats enjoying a glass bottom.

Having been around for more than 250 million years it really is a special experience to watch these animals that shared the planet with dinosaurs in their natural habitat.

Kalamaki beach

Lined with tavernas servicing the many sun loungers shaded by umbrellas, Kalamaki Beach is a natural extension to Laganas Beach, and its white sands stretch for five kilometres.

Although there is a strict no-watersports policy on the beach due to the breeding turtles, you'll find plenty of pedalos to float by rather more serenely in the water, which is itself mercifully shallow, making it perfect for paddling tots.

Eat Greek

It's only too tempting to head to the international restaurants along the main strip that offer all the classic foods from home that make you feel at home, but Zante has some exquisite, locally produced cuisine that it would be a sin not to indulge in.

Lamb, pork, chicken and veal are cooked and served in traditional ways, but stuffed rabbit cooked in wine or stewed is the most characteristic dish of the island. Souvlaki – meat served in pitta with fries, tzatziki and salad – is to Greece what hamburgers are to the USA, and stifado – veal with onions and tomato sauce – and bifteki – meatballs with onion, parsley and garlic – are also local favourites and should definitely be tried before you head home.

You'll find an array of delicious fresh salads and mezze dishes, which should be accompanied with lashings of local wine, ouzo and metaxa.