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The Venetians gave the island of Zante the name ‘The Flower of the Orient’, inspired by its surprisingly verdant landscape. Visitors today will well understand this name, as Zante is blessed with fragrant lemon trees, lush olive groves and bougainvillea-strewn villages.

The coastline is also remarkable, both in terms of its natural beauty and the variety and cleanliness of its beaches. The best beach on the island is surely ‘Smuggler’s Cove’ - it has the well-deserved reputation for being one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the whole of Greece. Zante is also famed for its profusion of wildlife - most notable the loggerhead turtles that flock there during July and August. To stand the best chance of seeing them, head down to Laguna Beach, which is their favoured nesting spot.

Whatever sort of holiday you are looking for, you will find that Zante can provide what you need. Clubbing types favour Laganas and Tsilivi (which also has a fantastic waterpark that the kids will love); those looking for a more relaxed break will find Alykanas or Kalamaki more to their taste.

Laganas is one of the most popular resorts on Zante, attracting visitors from all walks of life. It is fantastically well served with all the facilities a visitor could possibly wish for, whether you are travelling as a couple or a family with little children.

If you are looking for crystal-clear waters in which to snorkel, Bouka Beach is ideal. This is a peaceful place that is fairly isolated, so it is a good idea to pack a picnic if you are planning to spend the day here, as it is some way from the nearest tavernas and bars.

If you chose to base yourself in Alykanas, you will certainly experience a taste of traditional Greece. This pretty, chilled-out resort still echoes to the sound of the horse-drawn carriages that are an everyday sight on the streets here. There is a lovely beach and plenty of friendly family-owned tavernas, so this a great location to get away from it all and enjoy the simple Greek way of life.

Another must-see village for those that crave a taste of the ‘real’ Greece is Kalamaki. Here you will feel at one with nature, surrounded by olive groves and with views that are to die for over the Aegean Sea, particularly as the sun sets.

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