If you're seeking the perfect summer escape, Alykes, on the island of Zante in Greece ticks all the boxes with soft golden sand beaches, emerald water, and excellent Greek hospitality. This lively resort in the north of Zante offers a broad selection of restaurants and bars where you can order a delicious, creamy moussaka and other Greek specialities, and perfect beaches that are just right for all the family.
Zante is generally quieter and more off-the-beaten-track than other holiday destinations in the Greek Islands, which is why it's popular with holidaymakers who just want to unwind and get away from it all. So, if you want beautiful scenery and a friendly, laid-back atmosphere a holiday in Alykes is perfect for you.
Like the rest of Zante, this resort enjoys a very warm, sunny climate, with very little rainfall in summer, when beach weather is almost guaranteed. Even in winter, daytime temperatures regularly reach the mid-teens (°C), although there is significantly more rainfall from October to March, so bring a brolly!
approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes from the UK
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Zante is a history lover’s dream, with temples, museums and all kinds of ancient remains. Visit the Byzantine Museum at Zante-Cidade, where you can discover some of the most famous artefacts of the Byzantine Empire, from paintings to wood carvings. Or take the family to the Askos Stone Park, where you can see ancient stone structures and Mediterranean plant life and wildlife.
While you can enjoy the sand, sea, and sun right here in Alykes, you can also go wandering and explore some of Zante's other beaches as well. One of the most beautiful is Dafni, a delightful sandy bay that is a little more secluded than other resorts, and is overlooked by a few tavernas. Then there's Tsilivi, a sandy, family friendly beach with good watersports facilities. You could also spend some time at Gerakas Beach, where you can rent parasols and sunloungers and, if you’re really lucky, spot sea turtles.
No Alykes holiday would be complete without visiting Navagio, an enchanting cove overlooked by a dramatic cliff that you'll probably recognise from postcards and travel websites. The beach can only be reached by boat, which is probably just as well because this ensures that it doesn't get too crowded during the peak holiday season.
However, the shipwreck offers the best viewpoint of the beach and is best visited in the early morning, late afternoon or evening, when there will be fewer people. Stay in the safe zone, though, as there is an enormous drop.
Another natural wonder that's definitely worth seeing is the Blue Caves, where you can swim and snorkel in clear, bright blue water beneath the dramatic caves. It's easily accessible from Navagio beach via ferry.
If you're keen to try some authentic local cuisine during your holiday to Alykes, Greece, try one of the nation's most famous dishes, moussaka. This rich meaty pie that gets its distinctive flavour from the combination of baked aubergines, fresh herbs, and beef, and is one of Greece's greatest culinary creations. Greek salad is also another must-have, as it's typically accompanied with fresh cucumbers, onion, feta cheese, olives, and tomatoes, all locally grown. It can be enjoyed as a meal on its own. You could also have a glass or two of raki, an anise-flavoured alcoholic drink that is commonly eaten with seafood.
Families with children: A convenient base for families looking for a relaxed atmosphere and easy access to the beach for those sandcastle competitions, and tons of ice cream.
Couples: with its good range of eateries and bars, Alykes is a paradise for romantic couples looking for a low-key resort and a quieter atmosphere than Greece's larger holiday destinations.
Language: Zante's official language is Greek. However, English is spoken in most hotels and at tourist attractions, and many staff working in restaurants, bars and shops will have a basic command of the language. But the locals will always appreciate it if you attempt to speak their language, no matter how bad your pronunciation. Carry a phrase book or download a Greek-learning app during your Alykes holiday.
Currency: like the rest of Greece, Zante uses the Euro.
Local time: Alykes is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Zakynthos International Airport. The transfer time to Alykes is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Flight time from the UK: The flight time to Alykes is 3.5 hours.
Visa and health: click here for the latest information on visa and health requirements for your holiday in Alykes.
If you're looking for almost guaranteed summer sun, you can't do much better than Zante. This is one of the sunniest holiday destinations in Europe, receiving an average of around 12 hours of sunshine per day from June to August. That's almost double what you would expect in the south of the UK. The sea is also warm enough for swimming from around June to October, with temperatures peaking in the mid-20s, although it's often still warm enough for a dip even in November, depending on the air temperature. Just another reason why holidays in Alykes are perfect for beach lovers.
By bus: Well served by Zante's public transport network, with regular buses to the capital of the island. It's worth checking bus times before you travel, though, as online timetables may not always be up to date.
By taxi: taxis can be a quick and convenient way to travel to and from the airport, and to tourist attractions near Alykes. Just remember to always agree the fare before you set off.
By car: you'll find hiring a car gives you more freedom and flexibility during your visit to Alykes, Greece, especially if you're a family with small children. The easiest place to hire a car is at the airport, where you'll find a good choice of vehicles and rental companies. However, hiring a private vehicle is not essential for holidays in Alykes.
Come to Zante during the Carnival fortnight from late February to early March, when you'll enjoy street theatre, live music, dancing, parades, and great food.