Thinking about visiting Zakynthos aka Zante for your Summer Holiday in 2019? Well, if it’s beautiful beaches on a sun-drenched island, with world class events and amazing nightlife that you seek – then you’re barking up the right tree! Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Zante nightlife, the Laganas Strip, bars, clubs, restaurants, events and party’s and not forgetting the beautiful beaches and daytime excursions you can enjoy when you visit. We finish up with some VERY important top tips for your holiday.
Firstly, why choose Zante for your summer holiday?
One of the best things about Zante is that it’s great value. You can get return flights from the UK for around £150 and with booking.com and other websites allowing you to book hotels, villas and apartments direct, there has never been a better time to organise your own holiday rather than use one of the big tour operators. 18-30 have just gone out of business in Zante for this very reason as more and more people make their own way to the island, saving a fortune in the process.
Unlike Ibiza and other resorts, there are no exorbitant club entry fees or outrageous drinks prices in Zante. On the Laganas Strip you can get smashed for about £7 if you want too, although there are some t’s and c’s attached to that, just ask this girl!
The independent event and party scene in Zante is thriving which is great news for those on a budget. Rather than paying £280 euro to your hotel rep when you arrive for an event ‘block’ fluffed up by bar crawls and theme nights like school disco’s and face painting etc, savvy buyers now snap up PROPER events online saving a fortune in the process. Over 5,000 people pre-booked the A-list Zante event package last summer which ranges from £89 – £109 and includes tickets for some of the biggest and most popular events on the island including The White Party, Nathan Dawe Tour, Danny T Paint party and VVIP Sunset Yacht Party. Where else has this calibre of events available at such a low price? Nowhere!
The Best nightlife in Europe?
Zante is now the most popular party island in Europe for 18-30 year old’s and it’s getting bigger and better every year. The island is only a short 3 hour hop from the UK and boom – you’ve arrived in sun and party lover’s paradise. Swanky pool parties are going off by day at the beach clubs. Boat party’s sail round the beautiful Ionian coastline during the early evenings and some absolutely crazy club events are going off by night, you really are spoiled for choice when it comes to partying in Zante.
The Laganas Strip
As for the infamous Laganas strip if you hit this road of debaucherous ruin hard it will hit you back. Harder. There are no organised bar crawls in Laganas as the whole strip is essentially one big bar crawl. Packed with bars and clubs, pulsating with music and light and teeming with people from all over Europe the Laganas strip is pure mayhem and an absolutely cracking night out. You can rock in and out of loads of bars and clubs as they are all pretty much free entry and competition is fierce for your money so you can get some decent drinks deals. Note! You will see a lot of casualties passed out on the pavement or being carried home by friends when you’re out and about in Laganas so don’t get too carried away with the drinks deals, especially when you first arrive!
Please remember that Zante is not all about boozing, nightclubs and partying. The island has scores of beautiful beaches with safe, crystal clear waters, which in our educated opinion rival anywhere in the world, in fact Zante’s most famous beach ‘Navagio’ aka Shipwreck Beach has recently been voted THE NO 1 BEACH ON THE PLANET!!
There are some awesome daytime excursions and activities you should aim to enjoy while you’re in Zante so make sure you experience the island as a whole when you visit and don’t just get smashed in Laganas all week.
Now we know you’re here for the nightlife, so let’s start with our favourite bars in Laganas.
Located just before the main strip starts, G-Spot has been an iconic Zante drinking den for many years and is where every good night out in Laganas should begin. Serving classy cocktails with a chilled out ambience there’s always a table or sofa to grab and it’s a great shout for your first couple of rounds to get you in the mood for a big night out. The drinks are spot on here with a contemporary cocktail menu featuring Porn Star Martini’s, Mojito’s and Daquiri’s etc. We rate this as the best bar in Laganas.
Plus marks the start of the strip proper and there’s always a great holiday atmosphere with girls invited to dance on the bar where they will be waving their bra’s around at the behest of the lively bar tenders. Plus is also a great place to buy a bottle of Ciroc or Absolut to enjoy on their VIP terrace which gives you a great view of the passing humanity as it flows down the strip. Plus club have been throwing some of the biggest events in zante for many years now and is home to the hugely popular Nathan Dawe tour and the very messy Danny T paint party.
Rescue Top Bar
An oasis of sophistication and tranquility, located right in the centre of the Laganas strip, yet still far from the madding crowd it is with great reluctance we share the secret of this hideaway. Top drawer cocktails here only so ffs don’t ask for a sex on the beach. When you are fed up with sticky dance floors and cheap cocktails head up to Rescue Top Bar, grab a sofa and enjoy the tawdry scenes as they play out down below. There is usually one or two riot’s in Zante peak summer and there is no better place to watch them play out than from here.
Indie Rock Cafe
Anyone who can go into a rooftop bar which is belting out Kasabian on a hot summers night in Greece and not instantly be having a great time should probably have been shot at birth. Indie rock Cafe plays classic anthems by The Smiths, the Kaiser Chiefs, Oasis etc – you get the idea. This is the only place in Zante where you’re not going to hear the same top 5 summer hits being played twice every hour, which is one reason why this bar is so popular with Zante workers. The venue has strategically placed podiums upon which you can pop out your best indie fist pumping moves and you can expect a great atmosphere here every night. Oh, and there is one final glorious detail. Indie has a dentist chair! So if it’s your friends birthday you have the absolute right to force them to sit in it and have a bottle of alcohol poured down their throat. Good, clean holiday fun until they projectile vomit all over you of course.
Night clubbing in Zante
Cocktails and Dreams Night Club
Entering this gaff is a life changing experience. You know you’re in the right place when you set foot in cocktails because 10 times out of 10 it’s absolutely going off. The lights and sound are a complete sensory overload with the DJ switching songs sometimes every 20 seconds, it’s hectic but very enjoyable when you’re tipsy and you enter with the squad. The bar team are all Greek and serve up some decent cocktails, just don’t bother asking for any free shots as they will tell you to f*** off! Once upon a time a young man called Watson sat on the balcony of Cocktails and Dreams, lost his balance and toppled off backward. Miraculously, he executed a perfect reverse somersault, landing neatly on a stool in the kebab shop 20 foot below. With incredible panache he then shouted out ‘large chicken donor please’. This is why you’re going to love zante, it’s an absolute LUNATIC ASYLUM.
Rescue and Zero’s Nightclubs
The two super clubs of Zante, Rescue and Zero’s are at the epicentre of the Laganas nightlife area. You can probably see them from space. Both are huge operations with lively front bars and massive clubs out the back. Peak summer the dance floors are guaranteed to be heaving and considering they don’t charge for entry they are always a good place to rock in for a rave as they have top notch resident and guest DJ’s.
Located near the beach at the bottom of the strip this penthouse R’n’B club is a favourite with the Zante workers and is probably the only club in Zante that ever has a queue outside it which tells you everything. You need to go to Waikiki to get a break from all the commercial and cheesy music you will hear all night as you make your way down the strip. Waikiki closes late and is where pretty much everyone in the resort ends up at the end of the night.
The Best Place to eat in Laganas, Zante
This is the best place to eat in Laganas, it’s indisputable. Chevy’s simply has it all when it comes to munching out on your holidays and is where many Zante workers will eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located right in the centre of the main strip Chevy’s is always buzzing with waitresses whizzing round on roller skates and loads of workers hanging about trying to shake off hangovers. Chevy’s has comfortable padded booths and loads of tasty things on the menu with the Thai soup getting a special mention!
A kebab shop so hip it has it’s own twitter account! On the Kalamaki road there’s a little gem called Skewers serving Greek style fast food with a bit more effort and style than anywhere else in Laganas. Delicious pork and chicken souvlaki with halloumi for the veggies, you will often find the VVIP squad in here after a Saturday night boat party stuffing our faces. It’s also good value, so when you need a quick fix to set you up for a night out in Laganas this is the place.
Never a bad idea to hit Peri Heaven for a chicken feasting sesh. The service is great, the chicken is even better and we highly recommend a sit down meal here at some point over your holiday. It’s basically Nando’s on tour and everyone loves Nando’s don’t they?
No, sorry, nothing going on here. Just walk straight past please we don’t want anyone else discovering this absolute NOSH PIT on the Kalamaki road. We often fail to get a table here as it’s so busy and it’s not just the tourists, lots of local Greeks know about the quality of the food here which is a great indication something special is going on. This is one of the best Greek style places to eat in Laganas. The menu is packed with so many tasty things to try if you visit once you will definitely be back for more. Freshly grilled chicken or pork souvlaki served with toasted pita, salad and chips is really something you have to try in Zante and this is the best place. Also the lamb, the gyros plates and wraps are excellent, try to find this place on your holiday it’s amazing.
Located on the beach so your instantly off to a winner here as the setting is close to perfect as the sun sets, you may even see turtles popping up their heads if you’re lucky. This very popular restaurant has a modern European menu and it’s all well executed. The Kung Po chicken is tasty but the best bet has to be the humungous rack of ribs which are about 2 foot long. The Jack Daniels steak is another favourite. Cool Peppers is a great option if your celebrating someones birthday or just fancy a nice meal. You definitely have to eat on the beach a couple of times when you’re in Zante and this restaurant is the best option.
There are loads of great fast food outlets in Zante – Big Boys, Red Castle, Blue Penguin, Munchies to name but a few, all you need is 2 – 5 euro for a good feed. Be sure to sample the gyros pita it’s amazing! A special mention must go to the 1 euro pizza slices from BJ’s, which have reached legendary status in Zante and have probably saved many peoples lives. Absolutely stunning value, you could have one for breakfast, lunch and dinner and be quite satisfied and you would only have spent 3 euro!
The Best Things To Do in Zante During the Daytime
Best Thing to do in Zante Numero Uno.
The Bay of Laganas is calm as a lake and you can walk out for ages without being out of your depth so it’s really safe. From June through to September it’s lovely and warm and mid summer it’s like a bath! There are no sharks or jelly fish or anything nasty, no seaweed, no stones and it’s crystal clear. Incredibly, just a few feet from the shore, if you keep your eyes peeled, you will encounter huge ‘Caretta Caretta’ aka sea turtles. These gentle, prehistoric amphibians have been using the bay of Laganas to breed for millions of years. Swimming alongside them is absolutely amazing.
So, that’s the first tip. Go to the beach! It is truly lovely and the top tip has to be Republic Beach Club, it’s the best venue in Laganas full stop and free to enter, put it top of your list to find when you visit Zante.
Best thing to do in Zante number 2.
Go to the beach again! This time hire your own speedboat for the afternoon and sail to Turtle Island which looks exactly like a turtle, hence it’s name. You probably won’t be the only one who finds it mind boggling that there’s a massive island that looks like a turtle from every angle, in the same place as where turtles have been breeding since life began! Maybe the turtles made it? A day out on a speedboat is a classic holiday experience and providing you apply sun screen and don’t stupidly crash the boat you will have a great day. There are some cliffs you can dive off, gorgeous beaches to plot up at and also a rather tasty cave to explore. Make this happen on your holiday.
Best thing to do in Zante number 3
So, third tip. Wait for it….Yes you guessed it. Go to the beach again! This time, take a coach to St Nick’s beach which is about 40 minutes away from Laganas, but actually a really nice journey as the bus takes you round the coastline, so you get to enjoy a nice bit of scenery. This beach is even more beautiful than Laganas and also has some bad ass water sports going on, which is a brilliant way to enjoy some fun with your friends.
Finally, our fourth Zante day time tip.
And yes it involves a beach. Not just any old beach this one. The iconic and world famous ‘Navagio’ aka Shipwreck Beach. Consistently voted in the top 10 beaches of the world this is absolute paradise, the water is so clear it looks like the boats are floating on air and it really is a lovely experience. A massive top tip is to take a smaller boat before the big crowds arrive which our resort team can help organise for you.
Zante Spending Money Guide
Pay attention now, this is GOLD. Firstly, don’t change currency at the airport. This is truly an epic fail as you will get a very poor rate. Don’t be fooled by the ‘no commission’ signs, as they are making plenty of commission you can be sure. Shop around for the best rates at your banks or on your local high street. Or ask Dad where is best to change your money as Dad’s know stuff like that. Change at the airport you will have 50 euro less to spend in Zante!
The Biggest Financial Mistake You Can Make in Zante
If you can’t organise your friends to book events and party’s online for fu*** sake don’t hand over all your spending money as soon as you arrive to the first person who asks for it, which will be your friendly hotel rep.
When you arrive in Zante, before you’ve even unpacked, you will find yourselves on the receiving end of a big sales pitch where your rep will try their utmost to sell you a ‘block’ of events to cover your whole week. We have yet to meet ANYONE who actually bought this and were happy with what they received and there are loads of posts on Trip advisor and social media warning you against doing this.
You will be badgered into buying a ridiculous 14 ‘events’ in 7 days, but it’s important to understand that entry to a club which is free anyway, glitter on your face and being given an inflatable banana to wave around IS NOT AN EVENT. It’s a theme night and there is a BIG difference.
The White Party in Zante IS AN EVENT. Gorgon City are on the decks, there’s musicians and dancers flown in every week, flame throwers and CO2 cannons are going off and it’s hosted at a sick beach club which holds up to 2,000 people. Yet some people end up paying THE SAME MONEY for a ‘theme night’ from their Rep which involves nothing. Literally. NOTHING. Discounted drinks and a bit of face paint.
So listen to what your rep offers, then politely ask to think about it. They are trained to push you hard here. Be firm. No.
Have a walk round Laganas and compare options and prices from outside the clubs, ticket sellers and ticket shops. If you then decide the 280 euro event package is your best option then go and buy it, just don’t buy it straight away is our advice as this is what we feel is the problem. A lot of pressure is put on and many lies are told to take your money as their wages depend upon it. Your rep and their managers MAKE AT LEAST 100 Euro in pure commission when you buy their package so make sure you understand that.
Lies you will be told by reps.
The rep events are not going to sell out. Ever.
You don’t need to decide straight away.
Other events they don’t sell are not illegal or uninsured or cancelled.
Far better in our opinion is to choose which events you wish to do, then reserve tickets online or buy them in resort from outside the clubs or from ticket sellers. Otherwise you’re going to get sold a load of crap when you arrive and pay more money.
Don’t go All Inclusive.
All inclusive is great for families with a few kids who are happy to eat chips, pizza and pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days on the bounce, however it’s a bad idea for you and your friends. You can drink what you want and save money is the game plan but the drinks are shoddy and who wants to drink in a hotel bar all week when you’re in Zante?
We have never heard any good reports about the food or drinks, only complaints. Also, eating at the tavernas and restaurants in Greece is an experience you should look forward to and enjoy. There are some amazing local dishes to sample which will give you a love of Greek food for the rest of your life, or if you’re unadventurous you can get a decent English breakfast anywhere for 5 euro and eat out for 10 euro pretty much everywhere.
Watch out for silly drinks deals
As we mentioned earlier, you will be offered some crazy drinks deals in Laganas as some of the smaller bars are desperate to get you in. Just remember if something sounds too good to be true, like free bar all night for 5 euro then it probably is. You’re not going to get the best quality booze that’s for sure.
Avoid a hospital or morgue visit.
Every year in Zante we have loads of accidents on the roads and they are pretty much ALL quad bike related. If you want to rent a quad bike then you need to be very careful because if you prat about or drive too fast you are going to come a cropper and we see it happen literally every day of the week. Quad bikes don’t have seat belts or any protection at all, they tip over very easily and the standard of driving in Greece is also pretty terrible. Our advice is simply do not get one. If you read this girl’s story you will be fu***** AMAZED she is still smiling. Basically, the accelerator jammed and she went off a 50ft cliff. VERY lucky to be alive and cost her parents £30,000 to get her home.
It is fundamentally OK for girls to walk home alone in Zante, it’s a very safe resort, however, that’s not to say that it’s necessarily a good idea. It’s always a good plan to walk home together or get a taxi which are very cheap. Also, PLEASE don’t leave your friends alone and unconscious in a pile of vomit on the Strip, as they will get scooped up by a medical centre and billed 150 euro to be rehydrated by a saline drip.
Getting spiked in Zante
There’s a myth perpetuated that people get their drinks spiked in Laganas. The British Press love stirring it up in a bid to wreck the islands reputation. It’s funny how none of the Zante workers get spiked? Or how it’s only English teenagers under the age of 20 who it happens too. Basically, it’s a complete urban myth, no one gets spiked in Zante, however many young people get carried away and spike themselves. Alcohol is a poison. 50,000 teenagers a year in the UK are admitted to hospital because they drank too much alcohol, too fast.
It’s the same in Zante; add 40 degree heat, an all day sesh and sunstroke to the equation and that’s why some fools end up in puddles of vomit on the pavement. Unfortunately, some hotel reps now perpetuate this myth for their own financial agenda. Don’t drink at this bar you get poisoned…. but make sure you come on my bar crawl tonight, only 30 euro, and we will avoid all the places you get spiked. Cynical isn’t it?
All in all, stay at least a little sensible, don’t go mad on the shots, and go easy drinking in the blazing midday sun and you will be fine. (10 seasons getting smashed in Laganas at every bar and club and have never so much as thrown up once)
Finally, remember your common decency in Zante.
When in Zante please remember your manners for which the British people already have a great reputation!
One of the reasons we don’t play sex games on the VVIP Sunset Yacht Party is because we don’t want to tarnish the reputation of the resort. We don’t want Zante to be the victim of a British press witch hunt like Falriaki and Magaluf. Be warned that any lewd conduct will not go down well with the Greek locals. Wearing a Borat mankini down the strip might seem like great banter but when you are getting your testicles pulverised by a baton wielding policeman you won’t be finding it so funny! Be polite and friendly to the wonderful locals and they will be nice as pie back to you. If you’re rude, rowdy, vulgar or violent and misbehave in Zante you’re going to enter a whole world of trouble, but in our experience 99.9% of people are nice and pleasant and will have no problems.
If you have any questions about Zante, feel free to ask our Resort Team who have a wealth of experience, either in resort or via email before you leave.
Our Resort team can organise:
Restaurant recommendations and bookings (we know some amazing restaurants in Zante)
Executive mini buses for up to 20 people for airport transfers and tours, perhaps if you have booked a villa
Private Hire speed boats
VIP boat trips to Shipwreck Beach
Free coach transfer to the water sports beach
And of course all ticket holders get our discount wristband, which actually works and will save you a few quid over your holiday.
We really hope you have a lovely holiday in Zante!