Vasilikos is Zante’s stunning south western peninsula. The area provides many of the facilities associated with a typical resort, yet in a much more tranquil and relaxed way. The winding Vasilikos road flows along the peninsula offering stunning views out across the Ionian Sea to the Greek mainland. As the road dips in and out of shady pine forests, small roads and tracks lead off to the east and west down to beautiful sandy beaches and coves. These idyllic bays provide perfect setting to while away days in the sunshine. You can enjoy authentic meals at one of the many traditional tavernas dotted throughout the region. You’ll find many lining the road barbecuing succulent meat, filling the air with enticing aromas.
Local Markets and Shopping
Buy seasonal local produce from stalls dotted along the Vasilikos road and fresh bread, made daily, from one of the bakeries. Souvenir shops offer small toys, local pottery and traditional sweets. Try the local nougat, ‘mandalato’, or ‘pasteli’, another of the island’s specialities, made with sesame seeds drenched in honey. There are several mini markets dotted throughout the peninsula supplying all your daily essentials. Larger supermarkets can be found within an easy drive away in the resort of Argasi or in Zante Town.
Bars and Restaurants
Traditional tavernas offering mouth watering local delicacies are to be found along the winding Vasilikos road and many of the beaches. Fresh fish and meat cooked over charcoal and local dishes slow cooked in a thick, fragrant tomato sauce are found on every menu. Fresh seasonal salads and cheese made on the island provide delicious accompaniments. Why not try eating ‘Greek style’ and fill your table with ‘oretika’ (starter plates) and create your own ‘meze’? Beach bars come in all shapes and sizes - small and low key at Porto Zoro and Porto Roma, to large scale and modern at Banana Beach. All offer a wide selection of snacks and meals to suit a variety of tastes.
The vast choice of beaches makes this peninsula really stand out from the rest of the island. Tourists and locals alike flock to Vasilikos in the height of the summer to relax on one of the many beautiful beaches and cool off in the clear blue Ionian Sea. Beaches lie all along the eastern side of the peninsula and come in all shapes and sizes! Long stretches of golden sand, small pebbly coves and the sandy horseshoe shaped beach of Gerakas which marks the very tip of Vasilikos.
Dafni beach on the western side of the peninsula, along with Gerakas beach, come under the jurisdiction of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos (Zante), an organisation that works to protect not just the turtles but all wildlife in the area. These unspoiled beaches are nesting grounds for the famous loggerhead turtles, an endangered species who visit the beaches of the Ionian Islands during the summer months to lay their eggs.
Banana Beach and Agios Nikolas beach, (also known as St. Nicks), offer a wealth of water sports, with St. Nicks awarded the moniker of the main water sports beach in Zante. Parasailing, jet skis, water skiing, wake boarding, canoeing plus flyboarding and jet packs are all on offer. You’ll also find popular favourites such as banana boats and ringo rides available.
Boat trips sail south from Porto Roma to go in search of turtles swimming in their natural habitat. You can also visit the natural cave formations at Keri and the island of Marathonisi, with plenty of time for swimming and snorkelling or just lazing on deck.
A tourist train travels from the nearby resort of Argasi along the coast to Zante Town – a great way to see this part of the island and stop to explore the capital, Zante Town.
Places of Interest
Staying in Vasilikos means you’ll have easy access to the island’s dynamic capital, Zante Town. It’s a great place to wander through, with pretty streets and a picturesque harbour, plus plentiful bars and restaurants.
Of course, no visit to Zante would be complete without a visit to Shipwreck Beach, a sandy bay backed by tall cliffs, home to a dramatic wreck!