Zakynthos – also known as Zante – is one of the most alluring of the Greek islands, offering a balance of natural beauty and attractive towns, with tavernas and shops hidden down every alleyway and views out to the golden beaches that have made the island such a popular getaway. There’s no more authentic way to experience it than with a villa stay. Our collection of the best in Zakynthos covers modern minimalist retreats and farmhouse properties tucked amid the pine forests and hiking trails of the mountainous interior.
With terraced pavilion roofs, wooden shutters and wrought-iron balconies, Villa Zerbera has the look of a traditional Mediterranean country home, and the interiors are decorated with wrought-iron mirrors, antique wooden dressers and other retro fittings. It’s easy to while away an afternoon beside the outdoor pool, and the beautiful Laganas Beach is just a short drive away.
Set among date palms and verdant walled gardens, and offering sweeping views over the sandy Kalamaki Beach, these two coral-coloured villas sit in their own little slice of Zakynthos paradise. There’s no shortage of places to relax, from the hydro-massage bathtub to the cosy living room with fireplace or the outdoor pool; if you can tear yourself away, there are many bars and tavernas within easy reach.
Charmingly rustic stone walls sit side by side with clean lines and plate glass in this stylishly eclectic property, which comprises one bedroom with a spa bathtub, a glass-fronted swimming pool and an outdoor terrace. Attractions nearby include the Vardiola of St Nicholas, an atmospheric island with a ruined Venetian watchtower and the remains of a monastery from the early Christian era.
Would-be Greek gods and goddesses can stay in style at this heavenly villa, which combines luxurious comfort with a sleek contemporary style: dark grey marble predominates, there’s a breezy, open-plan feel, and huge sliding doors open onto a large outdoor pool. Spend the day on the shaded poolside day beds, roam the boutiques and bars of Laganas town, or make an offshore visit to the Marathonisi island turtles.
Sitting on a forested hillside of fragrant pine, pomegranate and citrus trees overlooking the golden sweep of Laganas Bay, Villa Natura scores high on natural beauty. The property itself is quite a looker, too: made of two very cosily designed villas, one with a swimming pool and one with a private jacuzzi. The villas sit in the village of Lithakia, home to atmospheric tavernas and the Olive Press Museum, where you can learn about the ancient art of olive farming and processing.
There’s a snug, laid-back feel to this three-bedroom villa, which has several cosy seating areas: the indoor living room, the poolside loungers, a terrace dining area and rattan hanging chairs where you can sit with a book and relax in the afternoon sun. In addition to the kitchen, there’s an outdoor stone oven, and owner Yannis will make you feel welcome – even bringing over fresh melons grown on his farm.
Perched on a hilltop in the village of Lagopodo, and affording unrivalled views over the mountains, countryside and coastline of Zakynthos, Castelli Villa has a spectacular location. That’s matched by the decor within, which is traditionally elegant and luxurious – though rooms also feature modern comforts such as hydro-massage bathtubs and smart TVs. The outdoor pool, gym, bar and kitchen mean you’ll have everything you need for a comfortable stay.
There are four villas and six maisonettes to choose from at this peaceful complex, set amid olive, banana, lemon and pomegranate trees. Villas have private pools and verandas, with most also featuring hidden-away “relaxation dens” with comfy sofas and TVs. The maisonettes sit in aromatic fruit gardens and are set around a pool, complete with a pool bar.
A short distance from the beautiful beach in Agios Nikolaos, with gorgeous vistas over the photogenic coastline, Emerald Villas & Suites occupies an enviable location on the side of a cliff. Dreamy days are best spent around the private villa pool, lying on the loungers or swaying on a hammock. In the evening, meals can be cooked up by the group chef, either in the modern kitchen or on the built-in barbecue. Feeling lazy? Speak to the concierge, who will organise a private in-villa chef to do the work for you.
Sitting on a forested hill with views out to the island of Marathonisi, this complex comprises farmhouse-style villas with an unpretentious style: rough-hewn walls in pink and terracotta, country-style kitchens and bedrooms and, in some cases, private pools with sea views. Keri Beach is nearby, while Marathonisi harbours beautiful sea caves, perfect for snorkelling.
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