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DESTINATIONS — GREECE & CYPRUS Smartline Margarita, Laganas


Diana Palace, Argassi


Vassilikos: Set on a peninsula at the island’s southeastern tip, this quiet area embodies a more relaxed, rural feel – think olive groves and traditional architecture rather than jetskiing and watersports. Jet2holidays has introduced the resort this year, featuring the Belvedere Hotel Luxury Suites with its pool, Jacuzzi, on-site tennis courts and wine bar. Kalamaki: This is close to the airport, so its short transfer times should be weighed against potential disturbance from early-morning flights. Yet for families who want the


facilities of Laganas minus the late-night clubbing crowd, it’s a good choice. Hotel Caretta Beach is Thomas


Cook’s best-selling property across Greece, boasting an on-site water park, seven swimming pools including two for children, a Lollo & Bernie kids’ club for three to 11-year-olds, and a shuttle bus to the beach 850m away.


Laganas: Welcome to party central. Laganas put Zante on the radar for clubbers and few nights go by without its neon-lit strip of bars and clubs teeming with party- goers and big-name DJs. That doesn’t mean it’s beyond the pale for other clients – family resorts such as the value-driven Smartline Margarita from Thomas Cook boast all the facilities you’d need for children, but be sure parents know what to expect. The beach gets busy during


the day, but it’s large enough that it won’t necessarily feel crowded and watersports are limited thanks to the presence of loggerhead turtles in this area of protected marine life. There’s clearly significant demand for this resort: it’s home to Olympic Holidays’ largest Zante property, the 249-room Poseidon Hotel, plus Cosmos has added the all-inclusive Zante Plaza Sun, Village Inn, and self-catering Splash Studios this year.


l SEE: CALL OF NATURE Natural beauty is definitely the island’s strongest selling point – there’s a reason why the Venetians christened it ‘Flower of the East’ when they ruled from the late 15th to 18th century. Lacking the ancient ruins of other Greek islands – even the architecture left by Venetian, French and English settlers in Zante Town was flattened by a massive earthquake in 1953 – most visitors will spend their time exploring its coastline, looking for loggerhead turtles, or venturing into the hills to see charming churches and monasteries. If visitors take only one


excursion, it should be to Shipwreck Beach on the northwest coast and accessible only by boat. The small cove gets crowded, especially in the middle of the day, but that doesn’t make the sight of that ruined, rusty hull abandoned on the golden sands any less striking.


The cove’s bright azure waters


are matched only by the similarly remote Blue Caves at the northern tip of the island, where a curious trick of the light, combined with brilliantly clear waters, means anything below the surface appears bright blue – a sure-fire


SAMPLE PRODUCT


Jet2holidays offers seven nights’ bed-and-breakfast at the four-star Belvedere Hotel Luxury Suites in Vassilikos from £402, with flights from East Midlands on May 27, 22kg baggage, and transfers. jet2holidays.com


A week all-inclusive at the four- star Filoxenia Hotel in Tsilivi starts at £667 with Olympic Holidays, with Germania flights from Gatwick and transfers, departing June 28. olympicholidays.com


Hotel Caretta Beach, Kalamaki


60 • travelweekly.co.uk — 7 May 2015





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