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The Spectacular Greek Island of Zante

Navagio Shipwreck Beach, Zante

Zante, also known as Zakynthos is a new island that Rene and I recently returned from during our fabulous trip to Greece. We also visited both Santorini and Mykonos while we were in Greece. Both of these islands are well known and extremely iconic in depicting Greece and, in particular, the Greek Islands.

Famous steps in Santorini's Canaves Oia Hotel property overlooking the Caldera

We’d visited both islands on 2 other occasions off both a Regent cruise and an Oceania cruise, but actually staying on the islands was very different and so much better. There’s something to be said about having more of an immersive experience over at least a few days and we had a much better appreciation for Mykonos, in particularly vs. when we were off-ship.

Mykonos Town at dusk

Of course, everyone is familiar with both Santorini and Mykonos but when we told people we were also visiting Zakynthos, most had no idea about this island. It was new to us as well so that that’s why I thought it would be great to focus on Zakynthos, also named Zante in this weekly content.

The beautiful sunrise at Porto Zante on our departure day.

We only spent 3 quick nights there and only scratched the surface of this beautiful island with just one day of touring. Sadly, we couldn’t experience as much as we would have liked since the weather was unusually cool and windier than normal for this time of year. We also laid low on the first couple of days since I’d been in meetings with my travel conference and had some catch-up work to do when we first arrived.

The view from our 2-storey, 2 bedroom villa.

We certainly stayed at an extraordinarily spectacular place on the island called Porto Zante Villas and Spa. It’s a very exclusive Virtuoso property with just 9 stunning villas overlooking the sparkling blue Ionian Sea west of the mainland of Greece opposite to Peloponnese. The customer service that we experienced with this phenomenal property was well beyond its’ five star rating.

One of the many lovely areas of Porto Zante Villas & Spa

The food at Porto Zante was incredible. Their 2 onsite restaurants include both their exquisite “Club House Restaurant” and their very special Asian Fusion “Maya Restaurant”. Both offer fantastic 6 and 8 course tasting menus, respectively, that were absolutely outstanding! Below is one of the many examples of their exquisite culinary expertise with one of the amazing presentations during their special Omakase Menu. i.e. The "Lobster Dragon Roll" with whole small lobster tempura, asparagus, avocado, orange tobiko and spicy mango.

The Beach Club Restaurant at Porto Zante Villas & Spa

The Maya Restaurant at Porto Zante Villas & Spa

The "Lobster Dragon Roll"

The Porto Zante property is both family-friendly with a great children’s family area fully equipped, both indoor and outdoor and also has wonderful staff who do a great job entertaining and educating children of all ages who may be staying there.

Outdoor children's play area at Porto Zante Villas & Spa

The indoor play area at Porto Zante Villas & Spa

They have a great beach area, incredible spa program, and workout area making it completely self-sufficient and very safe for multi-generational family get-togethers who may want to stay on property or at least be able to thoroughly enjoy themselves without leaving if they choose.

Beach area at Porto Zante Villas & Spa

Beach area at Porto Zante Villas & Spa

Spa area at Porto Zante Villas & Spa

Fully equipped gym area at Porto Villas & Spa

The island though has so much to offer and I’d highly recommend a number of tours from the property including taking a private boat or yacht excursion to famous beach areas and attractions including the famous Navagio “shipwreck” beach (pictured at the top above), the Blue Caves, and Turtle Island to name a few. Turtle Island is famous as the breeding ground for the loggerhead Caretta-Caretta sea turtles. Coincidentally, these happen to be the same species that exist on the eastern and southeastern shores of the United States.

Marathonisi, i.e. Turtle Island, located close to Zante

One of the other tours we did, although we still didn’t cover everything, was land-based with a private car and driver to take us to see two of the above-named places including the shipwreck beach and Turtle Island along with others such as Agios Sostis and the lovely Myzithres Nature Reserve.

Agios Sostis, Zante

Myzithres National Park, Zante

Myzithres National Park, Zante

We also toured the Aristeon Olive Oil factory with tasting and shopping, saw a 2000-year-old olive tree that still produces olives, and visited a 15th century monastery that miraculously survived the destructive 1953 earthquake.

Aristeon Olive Oil Facility

2000-year-old Dochia OliveTree - native to the island of Zante

Anafonitria Monastery, Zante

There were still many more sites, villages and even wine tasting that we didn’t get a chance to see or do with the limited time we had while visiting this fascinating new find. It just means that we’ll have to go back to further experience even more and so should you!

Check out this video, courtesy of Porto Zante Villas and Spa and you're sure to want to go!

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