Averages for Zante in May
May, in Zante, Greece is the unofficial opening of the tourist season. Many resorts, restaurants, galleries, and museums that have been shuttered for the winter, open for the vacation season. It is a good time to visit this Ionian Sea island since touristsÂ have yet to arrive en mass but the atmosphere is still festive. Visitors are not yet congregating on the beaches, thus they are le...
May, in Zante, Greece is the unofficial opening of the tourist season. Many resorts, restaurants, galleries, and museums that have been shuttered for the winter, open for the vacation season. It is a good time to visit this Ionian Sea island since tourists have yet to arrive en mass but the atmosphere is still festive. Visitors are not yet congregating on the beaches, thus they are less crowded than the following months. Greek Labour Day and The Zante Feast of Flowers occur on May 1st.
May weather in Zante, Greece, with its continuing Mediterranean climate, begins to show a dramatic improvement of the weather. The thermometer records increasing temperatures averaging 19ºC (66ºF) and an average high of 23ºC (73ºF) and average low of 14ºC (57ºF), a significant improvement from the winter months. Evenings, however, can be slightly chilly. The highest recorded May 1st temperature was 34ºC (93ºF) and the low, 7ºC (45ºF).
May days remain comfortable as the dew point, a better measure of comfort per person, increases from the previous month, so the air feels like 13ºC (56ºF) on average with a high of 19ºC (66ºF) and a low of 6ºC (43º) so there is no discomfort from heat and humidity. The average relative humidity is 76% with a high of 81% to a low of 72% and continuing to slightly decrease throughout the month.
The wind is minimal, averaging only about 4 mph but with an occasional gust of 20 mph, although one recent year there was an unexpected 46 mph gust. The winds increasingly come from north.
There are approximately 10 daily sunshine hours and visible daylight jumps to an average of 14 hours. Some days may be slightly to partially cloudy, and rain is expected for 6 days in total during this month, with an average rainfall of 17mm. The May average sea temperatures improve to 18º C (64ºF), so, perfect for swimming.
The month of May could be the ideal time to visit this jewel of the Ionian Sea. The weather is pleasant, it’s not too crowded, and all accommodation and activities options are now available.
Things to Do
Zante is rich in art, both traditional and modern. The continuing exhibition of the work of the artist Dionysios Giatras is on display at his Dionysios Art Gallery, located in the vintage schoolhouse in a complex of old buildings opposite the old church in Agalas. His colourful and contemporary creations includes paintings, posters, postcards, and even book marks. Hours are Monday-Sunday from 10 am to 2:30 pm, and 8 pm to 10 pm, or by appointment. Admission is free.
Enjoy the holistic fitness holiday retreat designed by Michele Wilburn, the author of the best selling Starbound book. The retreat is a back-to-nature, by-the-sea experience featuring daily Energyia Kinetics exercise sessions is designed to improve the yoga flow. Michele holds her workshops in St. Nicholas, Tsilivi, Port Koukla and Zante Town.
Take a turtle spotting boating excursion to view the famous Caretta-Caretta loggerhead sea turtle who use the island of Zante as their main nesting ground in the Mediterranean. Considered an endangered species, and protected by the Greek government, the turtles return to the same beach from where they hatched to lay their eggs. They are found mainly in the Gulf of Laganas. Boat trips leave
from resorts at Keri, Kalamaki, Porto Koukla, Laganas, and Agios Sostis.
Hit The Beach
Often overlooked is Spanzia beach, located 10 miles south of Zakynthos town. It is one of the longest beaches on the island featuring soft sand but with some areas with small pebbles. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery and a plantation. The waters are sheltered and calm, thus safe for children. Enjoy beach volleyball and other outdoor games. There are several bars and cafeterias located on the perimeter and umbrellas and sunbeds are available. There is plenty of parking and bathrooms are plentiful.
One of the largest and busiest beaches is Laganas, located 5 ½ miles north of Zakynthos town. It is sandy, family friendly, and has several organised activities, including a diving club and water sports centres. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, snack shops, and taverns nearby. There are plenty of umbrellas and sunbeds available. Since it is so close to major resorts, the beach comes alive at night as a haven for young people. Cross the iconic wooden bridge to islet of Agios Sostis. Laganas beach is a protected marine habitat.
Where to Eat & Drink
Restaurant Panas and Grill, on a side street in Laganas, seems like not much on the outside, but it is always packed on the inside. It is family-run where the food is authentic, the wine affordable, and the service great. Try the chicken souvlaki, grilled octopus and sea bass, and the nice, juicy streaks.
The Aeikis Grill House in Kalamaki, is known for their barbecued food in a picturesque setting and often frequented by the local residents who enjoy the wine bar. The menu selection is small but there are always blackboard specials, which include beef and tomato stew, lemon pork, and stuffed tomatoes. It is famous for its spit roast pork and drunk chicken. Thursday and Saturday nights, live
Local Zante residents recommend the Aeras Restaurant on the road to Porto Vromi. It is built on the edge of a cliff overlooking a picturesque, little cove. Chicken, rabbit, goat, and lamb are featured, or try the Greek salad, Moussaka, and baked feta.
Where to Stay
The Diana Hotel, on a small pedestrian street at Kapodistriou and Mitropoleos in Zakynthos Town, is a hidden jewel located next to the main square near the tavernas, restaurants, and shops and overlooking the harbor. There are plenty of taxis, the harbour is ten minutes away, and the old part of town is only twenty. It features a roof-top pool and free parking nearby. Don't miss the buffet breakfast with feta-cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and baked goods.
Overview of Zakynthos Town. Photo by Ghost of Kuji.
The Contessina Hotel, located a short walk from the beach in Tsilivi, is lovely, quiet and reasonably priced. The accommodations are three buildings surrounding a large swimming pool. The rooms have a flat screen TV, refrigerator and plenty of wardrobe space. The rooms opposite the pool are quieter and get the evening sun. A full English breakfast is available as well as a choice of cold meats, vegetables and cheeses, croissants, cakes, breaks, Greek yogurt and fruits
The Yria Hotel in Zakynthos town, is family owned and located in a quiet residential neighbourhood but just a five minutes walk to the beach, ten to the main port and less than a minute to Solomos Square. It is a renovated building with balconies providing a sea view. There is a range of breakfasts from Italian to American including toast with jam, yogurt, biscuits, sweets and fruits.