The Zante peninsula at Vassilikos become a big favourite with UK tour operators in recent years, thanks to its beautiful wooded scenery and a clutch of very pretty beaches along this part of the island coast. Vassilikos is the name given to the area of the Gerakas peninsula that curves around the eastern side of Laganas Bay about 17 kilometres south of the island capital of Zakynthos Town.
The Vassilikos area has seen some major tourist development in recent years with several luxury class hotels, studios, and apartments being flung up. Nothing too overpowering though as the area is a designated nature reserve with strict building controls that have helped to curb too much beachside development.
A whole string of very fine beaches runs down the eastern side of the coast, from Porto Zoro in the north to Porto Roma in the south. The main beach area for Vassilikos has adopted the name Banana Beach — some indication of its growing popularity with Brits abroad. There are other small beaches nearby called Ionio, Kaminia, Daphni and Sekania.
The beaches of Vassilikos are generally soft sand and with shallow water, making them appeal to families with children. Most beaches have showers, sunbeds and watersports except for the sands that are designated turtle nesting sites where watersports are banned and visitor restrictions will be in place.
The most important turtle nesting sites are at Daphni with a vast stretch of sand, inviting views of the islet of Pelouzzo offshore and a beach cantina that opens in the summer and at the nearby dunes of Sekania.
Tavernas line the main road of the resort and more can be found backing onto many of the beaches. There are few late-night bars and cafes and there are no nightclubs in the area so night entertainment here tends to be hotel-based.
The main road is also where you find most of the shops and they include the usual mini-markets, gift shops and bakeries.
The roads are not well signposted and it's easy to get lost in the wooded hills but the area is not large so visitors don't get lost for very long.
Apart from the beaches the most attractive feature is the variety of scenic locations and the beautiful forested hills and memorable countryside.
There is regular bus service to Zakynthos Town and there are rental outfits for cars, mopeds and bicycles. A taxi station is located on the main road, at the junction for Agios Nikolaos.
The remarkable sea caves of Zante are made even more dramatic thanks to the pure white cliffs and seabed which enhances the azure colour of the water to create a simply stunning seascape.
The Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos is located in the heart of Zaknte Town in Solomou Square, in Zakynthos town and houses a rich and interesting collection of art and artefacts.
A boat trip to Shipwreck Cove is one of the most popular excursions for those on holiday in Zante and the beach must be considered one of the most spectacular sights in the Greek islands.
Argassi or Argasi beach is the nearest decent beach to Zakynthos Town and that does something to explain its popularity with UK tour operators. This is the perfect family friendly resort.