Zante holiday highlights
Liz Waugh: March 2012
Zante holiday highlights for all the family.
Family holidays on Zante have proved hugely popular and Zante, also called Zakynthos, is many families' Greek island holiday of choice. Although a beach holiday is the main attraction, anyone can tire of sunbathing and swimming, especially those with children in tow or those who like to add a little adventure to their beach holiday in the Greek islands.
Here are a few ideas for things to do besides laze on the beach for those planning a holiday to Zante this year.
Holistic Heaven Day Retreat
Holistic alternative therapies are all the rage at the moment and where better to indulge in a little 'healing' treatment than in Old Kalamaki on Zante's south coast.
Holistic Heaven offers aromatherapy and head massage, reiki, reflexology, crystal healing, facials, Hopi ear candles and other weird stuff — just the thing to help relax your way into a Greek island holidays.
The treatments are based on a concept of the 'whole' person, with the mind, spirit, and emotions in balance with the environment. Not sure what that means but, mumbo-jumbo aside, you can indulge yourself here, relax in beautiful surroundings and get a good measure of Zante holiday pampering.
Tsilivi Splash Fun & Water Park
Based near the Zante holiday resort of Tsilivi, this water park opened in 2010 and, although there are a couple of other water parks on Zakynthos, this one gets a lot of good reviews from Zante holiday visitors
The Tsilivi water park is not as big as the others, but visitors say it is just the right size for kiddies and recommend popping in for the afternoon when prices are often reduced. Visitors say the water park is clean and well laid out with plenty of fun for all ages. Five big slides for older children, a good swimming pool, jacuzzi and, best of all for moms and dad, plenty of sunbeds.
Visitors liked the water features — Pirate Galleon, Aztec Jungle — loads of stuff for kids to climb on and loads of lifeguards too, so you don't have to worry about safety. A snack bar and restaurant tend to be pricey, but visitors report huge portions.
OK, I was suggesting alternatives to the beach but this is a Zante holiday beach with alternatives. Xigia is also called Sulfur Beach and its found near Volimes, about 23km from Zakynthos Town. Xygia is a pebble and shingle beach, very small and picturesque, but what hits you is the smell of sulfur that wafts out of a nearby cave.
There are steep steps down to the beach and the blue water has a milky white tinge. It is very shallow for some way out then drops sharply into the sea. The thing is, the sulfur in the water makes for a great therapeutic holiday dip as it is good for rheumatism, arthritis and aches and pains in general.
This Zante holiday beach doesn't have a cantina or sunbeds though so take some provisions if you visit. Lack of amenities means the beach is never crowded and for large parts of the holiday season you will get a Zante beach all to yourself.
Logothetis Organic Farm
This organic farm, on the Vassilikos peninsula, lies among olive groves, pine tree forests and the deep blue of the Ionian Sea. The bio farm is in the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.
Visitors are welcome to walk the trails and the Logothetis family will even loan you a mountain bike for free if you want to explore the area further. There is a visitor centre here where you can taste the agricultural products of the organic farm.
If you really like it, and you will, you can even stay in one of their traditional farmhouses. Each house in Logothetis farm is totally independent, secluded with plenty of peace and quiet. Farmhouses can accommodate from two to seven people.