My expectations of Zante were at an all-time high when we jetted off to Greece, after all, it was my first proper ‘girls holiday’. Yes, I know this is one of the typical party places that all of us go to to experience our first tastes of freedom and I didn’t care, in my opinion it felt like a sort of rite of passage to go to a place like Zante.
It was exactly what I wanted it to be, cheap booze, partying until sunrise and laying on the beach all day ready to do it all again that night. I’m sure there are a lot more peaceful resorts in Zante, but Laganas, the area known for its infamous partying, wasn’t the most cultural of holidays but definitely opened my eyes to a world that I hadn’t seen before. It was my first experience of proper clubbing which meant that returning to my hometown in England and experiencing the nightlife there left a lot to be desired.
The lights from the clubs and maybe with a bit of help from the alcohol made the strip look like a long road of buzzing bars with great atmosphere and people just up for a good time. The morning after however, the strip didn’t look so pretty covered in last night’s litter and the empty bars looking slight shabby. But despite this, the beach itself was actually a lot nicer than I expected if you don’t mind it being busy.
If you want a more calming vibe then you could just walk further down the beach but I really liked the music from the beachfront bars and the atmosphere that it created. The only bad thing about the beach was the people walking around trying to braid your hair and offering fresh fruit which apparently wasn’t so fresh as I heard about a lot of people becoming ill from gone off fruit or because the fruit was washed with tap water which you aren’t supposed to drink!
One thing I wish I knew was the amount of mosquitos there would be! Possibly my biggest mistake was sitting on the sand at night when the mosquitos were everywhere and waking up to my legs covered in bites. Before that night, I wasn’t even bothering that much with the mosquito sprays, I was using a plug-in repellent at night in the hotel room which seemed to be working really well and I wasn’t too bad until I went to the beach where they seemed to be everywhere.
Since the nightlife is probably the main reason anyone reading this is going to Zante then I’ll give you a rundown of what I thought. The hotels offer so many packages with different party events from foam to boat parties but they were so expensive that we just picked one that we really wanted to go to.
In hindsight, I wish we did the bar crawl from how much fun it looked seeing people running up and down the strip but we chose the UV paint party. As long as you have a set of clothes you don’t mind being ruined then this was one of the best nights we had. A lot of companies try and encourage you to buy tickets online before you even arrive in Zante but from what I experienced, wait until you’re there and it’s much cheaper to buy them when you’re already in the resort.
While all the events they put on are great, honestly you don’t need to spend the extra money to have an amazing time. If one club is closed for an event there’s plenty of others to choose from and you end up finding one you love and going to that one most nights anyway.
For us, we started off at the same bar every day which was closest to our hotel and then worked our way to either Zeros, Rescue or Cherry Bay afterwards. Some of the clubs charge entry but if you walk past them in the daytime they’re often handing out passes for free entry before 2am or something like that.
My favourite club by far was Rescue because it always had a great atmosphere but I honestly preferred spending most of the night in one of the many bars and cocktail places along the strip because they were more chilled and the staff and people are always super friendly.
Two venues I wouldn’t go back to and would probably avoid at all costs now are Sabotage and Cocktails and Dreams. Sabotage charged a ridiculous amount for entry and then you get in there expecting a lot and it turned out to be quite a small club which was so dark and loud that you couldn’t see or hear anything going on around you so we left pretty quickly.
Cocktails and Dreams seemed to have great reviews so we tried it and after 5 minutes of being in there and after a lot of creepy stares it was evident that the place was just crammed with middle aged men and overpriced drinks so we didn’t go back there again.
On your way down the strip watch out for the street gypsies. Often there were young children trying to take advantage of drunk tourists along the main strip and would try to sell glow sticks by forcing them onto your arm so you had to pay for them. There’s even been a lot of stories of them stealing your possessions without your knowledge at the same time you’re buying something, not that I experienced this while I was there but I still made sure my possessions weren’t in clear sight or easy for them to get hold of.
While we were there we stayed in a hotel at the top of the strip called Pythari Studies, so that we were near enough that we could walk down to the beach but far enough away that you can actually sleep without the noise of the clubs if you’re looking for an early night to recover from a bad hangover. The sounds of quad bikes from the road did have a habit of waking us up but aside from that I think we made a good choice choosing a hotel that wasn’t in the middle of all the bars.
I think holidays like Zante or Malaga or anywhere like that get a lot of stick and are stereotyped quite badly for just being places to get drunk and sleep around. But I think these holidays can be whatever you want them to be and sure, while that kind of stuff is definitely going on, there’s no reason that you have to take part in any of it if you don’t want to. For me, it was more about having a good time with my friends and experience my first time being away without parents and being able to be on our own schedule and do things we enjoy.
So, if a week of cheap booze and sun with a bunch of other partiers is what you’re after then I’d definitely say Zante would be a good choice. It’s probably slightly nicer in the daytime than places like Malaga but it still gives you everything you’re looking for for a girls/lads holiday. There are definitely a lot of really nice areas with restaurants and culture if you want a break from the €1 pizza on the strip, but if you’re going to Laganas then expect it to be lively and full of drunk people.
If that’s not what you’re looking for then there are other parts of Zante that are much more peaceful and tailored to the cultural side rather than bars and clubs. But overall, Zante was a cheap way to have a great holiday with my friends and be around a load of other tourists who also want to sit on the beach and then party until the sun rises again.
Have you ever been to Zante? What did you think?
Other posts in Travel: