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. Cheap holidays to Zante don’t mean scrimping on adventure, and a leisurely journey on horseback is sure to be a great addition to your trip.
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.
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.
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. If you’re booking All Inclusive holidays to Zante then you’re in luck, as fantastic Greek cuisine will be included in your stay, but don’t be put off venturing out to try the local venues too.