ZANTE, as the Italians call it, or ZAKYNTHOS, its Greek name, is the most southerly of the Ionian chain of holiday islands that follow the coastline of western Greece. One of the more popular islands for a Greek holiday, Zante features heavily in holiday travel brochures every year and the islands is a firm favourite for cheap holiday deals. Zante island has great holiday beaches, fertile plains, rough hills, wild cliffs and sweeping sands in roughly equal proportions. Resorts vary from the idyllic fishing village to the neon-lit nightmare beach resorts like Laganas - likened to a set from the science fiction film Blade Runner.
Two major events shaped modern-day Zante. One is the catastrophic earthquake of 1953 which destroyed most of the island's elegant Venetian buildings and many of its inhabitants. The other is the construction of the airport which brought Zante beach holiday tourists in droves, many now taking advantage of cheap flights to Zante.