Zante is what the Italians call it; Zakynthos is its Greek name and it’s one of the most southerly of the Ionian chain of holiday islands that sidle down the coast of western Greece.One of the most popular of the Greek holiday islands, Zante features strongly in travel brochures and the island is a firm favourite for firms offering cheap package holidays deals.

Zante is an island mix of busy downmarket beaches, quiet family coves, wild and rugged cliffs, green forested hills and fertile plains in roughly equal measures.

The notorious beach resort of Laganas, for example, has been justifiably likened to a stage set on the bleak SF movie Blade Runner while the idyllic Port Vromni beach is a haven of peaceful tranquillity.

Two major events shaped modern-day Zante. The catastrophic earthquake of 1953 destroyed almost all of the island’s elegant Venetian mansions while the construction of the airport precipitated the rise of Zante’s reputation for cheap package holidays.

The busiest beach resorts are north-west of the capital city of Zakynthos Town and along the huge bay of Laganas, to the south.

Elsewhere, visitors can expect pretty village tavernas, quiet beach coves and lots of finr scenery, especially along the wild western coast.