LatitudeLat 37° 46' 55'' N
LongitudeLong 20° 54' 5'' E
Telephone+30 26950 28117 (guardia costiera)
Minimum Draught1 m
Maximum Draught6 m
Shelternorth, north-west winds
Port Entrance Times24 h/24
DangersRocks east of the entrance of the port
Hardshipssouth, south-east winds
Weather Forecast Service
Zante is the southernmost, and maybe the least known and popular, among the Ionian Islands. It offers many anchorages and safe mooring places in the only harbour available on the island, in addition to some among the most beautiful natural lanscapes of this strecth of coast.
Famous because it gave name to Ugo Foscolo's sonnet, Zante is a place rich of mythology and suggestion. The myth tells it was first discovered by Zacynthos, the son of Dardanus, and it became later part of Ulysses' kingdom; the history, on the contrary, tells about Ottoman, Venetian, French and English domitations before reaching the long-awaited independence.
Unfortunately, there are no many traces of this troubled history, since a terrible earthquake in 1953 destroyed most of the island. However, Zante has been rebuilt and now it's an interisting tourist destination in Greece thanks to its beautiful beaches, such as the Navagio Beach. It is a cove on the northwest shore, isolated by high cliffs and accessible only by boat.
Zante is also the "island of turtles" which, in summer, spawn on the white-sand beaches in the Gulf of Laganas hosting the national marine park which constantly works for their protection and saveguard. Monk seal, on the contrary, prefers the northern coast of the island.
On the north-western coast of the island there are the so-called "blue grottos", accessible even by boat. You can drop the anchor and swim to them ( or reach tem by tender).
Zante is also a good place for mundane life: Laganas, a small town, has become a reference point for night amusement over the last few years, a sort of "little Las Vegas" rich of clubs, night clubs and restaurants.
Getting Zante by boat is not particularly difficult. You can easily reach it from the Peloponnese peninsula or from Cephalonia and Itaca.
The only harbour on the island is located in Zante, on the eastern coast. It offers an excellent shelter from north-western winds but, in case of strong southern winds, an insidious stream might reach the port.
The port generally hosts ferries and tourist vessels. South of it, the construction of a new marina started some years ago but, as usual in Greece, it was unfortunately never completed.
Anyway, the port of Zante offers enough mooring places and some essential services.
Entering the structure is quite easy: mind only some rocks east of the entrance, signaled by a buoy. Inside, the seabottom is not particularly deep: depths varies from 6-7 m to less than one metre near the western dock and the breakwater.
Mooring places are located along the western dock and within the nothern side of the breakwater. Zante is not a quiet village... night life is cheerful, so don't hope to go sleeping early at night!
Pay attention to your safety, too: thefts on boats are frequent.
The harbour police station is located on the northern dock, near the ferries terminal: get there to ask for information about the (eventual) tourist tax.
The quay offers water, electricity and the possibility to refuel, even though some yachtsmen say columns didn't work. There're some toilets but showers don't work.
Anyway, a tavern at the end of the dock offers showers and toilets.
If you look for an alternative to the noisy Zante, you can choose the bay of Lagana, south of Zante. But remember: you can't stop here in summer since, as already said, turtles sprawn on the beaches of the bay. So, Keri, little to the south, can be a better solution, with its wonderful grottos and an excellent shelter from northern and north-western winds. You can moor inside or out of the stone dock, where depth reaches about 2-4 metres. There, you can find some taverns.
On the western coast of the island there's Ormos Vroma, a narrow long natural bay which offers a good shelter from northern and north-western winds. The seabottom, however, is not safe and stable, especially in case of southern winds. So, you'd better to approach to one of the two small beaches at the end of the bay.
A little north of Zante, there's the Navagio bay: despite its beauty, it's completely open on its north-western side; moreover, from 10:00 to 16:00 the taxi-boat traffic is continous, which doens't make it an ideal place where to have a quiet stop.
Finally, Agios Nikolaos, located north-east of Zante, offers enough room for about 10-12 boats along a quay on the foot of the village: an almost symbolic tourist tax (about 10-15 euros) is required. The tavern La Storia on the promenade offers water, electricity and free Wi-Fi.
As an alternative, you can drop the anchor near the islet, where depth is about 5-10 metres but the seabottom is not an excellent holding ground. Pay attention to some rocks north of the islet