I feel guilt as I’m writing this post; I know it seems hard to believe I’ve been away to Greece for what? 4 weeks because I haven’t but I’ve been so so busy lately that I genuinely didn’t have the time to sort the photos and crate this travel diary entry. I guess what I’m trying to say is sorry ?!
Anyways… my holiday in the Greek island of Zakynthos was amazing and one that I will surely remember for some time. It was the perfect combination of sizzling hot weather, perfect beaches and Greek food – all of which are impossible to dislike.
Just as a side note, these photos have not been enhanced in any way which means that yes, that is the actual color of the water! This part of the island, which is on the northern peak of the island is probably the most famous of its touristic attractions : the blue caves and Shipwreck beach (named so after a ship ended up in this gulf in the 1980’s or so) which are only reachable by boat. The tour we took from Makris Gialos beach was really good and because the sea was quite ‘choppy’ as the captain put it, it was a really bumpy 3 hour cruise. To get to the beach, I had to jump off the boat which was pretty scary, I’m not going to lie. The water is very deep and the waves literally pulled me under so I think I’m a bit crazy when I say that was such a fun adrenalin rush. It’s a truly beautiful place so there’s no way it shouldn’t be on your Zakynthos to-do list.
Dafni beach was definitely the best beach I have been to in the past years. It’s not commercial at all so you get to enjoy the fine sand and crystal clear warm waters in peace which is great. It’s also a good place for diving or snorkeling, there are tons of pretty fish swimming about. One of the highlights for me though was the taverna – the best Greek food on the island, no jokes. Here I’ve completed my 10 day challenge of eating only fish and I fell head over heels in love with their crushed biscuit and lemony Greek yogurt desert as made by the owner’s family’s grandma. I literally had around 5 portions and could have really had some more but it felt a bit weird asking for more. Although I did get the recipe. Also, we had the unique and very lucky opportunity to see Careta Careta baby turtles come out of their eggs and swimming into the ocean and being ready as I was I swam with one as well…absolutely the cutest thing ever!
Other places include Xagio beach – very picturesque but also quite crowded
Porto Roma beach and taverna were also very nice, they had an endless list of available fish cooked in any you could possibly want.
Another completely different experience was renting a boat for the day from Keri beach and seeing all the southern coastline basically. The sea was quite calm in the morning which meant that a) it was perfect for tan-time! b) we could take focused photos c) I got to drive too. The later went pretty well I was so impressed with my steering qualities that I’m now considering a sailing course. Yeah, we’ll see how that goes… Back to the boat, it was such a fun day out, we got to see an adult turtle swimming about and we also dived a lot so I’d definitely recommend the boat renting.
I’d also recommend you see Keri church, it’s surely nothing I’d have expected from an orthodox church. In a way it looked quite Spanish which made for an interesting architecture compared to the one you can find on the island. Also, the medieval olive trees. No story could be found about them, but they looked old and knotty…
Koiliomenos was a favorite place of mine. A small small village in the more rocky side of the island, it was so charming and typically Greek that I wanted to live at their local tavern, which was run by some locals including the village’s oldest resident. While there, stop at the tourist shop in which you can find really tasty olive oil and traditional things like halva and nut jam with honey. And when I say tourist shop, I mean the stone room in the village center in front of which there is always at least one old woman, gossiping about her neighbors I suspect.
Some other nice places include these ones here:
In the evenings, we usually went out to a different part of the island considering it takes about half an hour by car to get from the south to the north. The most impressive views of the sunset can be found in and around Aghios Leon and Exo Chora where taverns line the high cliffs that enter the Mediterranean. The drive there is also very picturesque.
There are also cities in Zakynthos! Shock, I know! And by cities I actually mean one… Zante is a nice town, with a calm port and narrow streets, lots of merchants and great tavernas. Although it does have some shops, it’s not a great shopping destination but there are a dozen souvenir shops. Out of the less commercial and thus more quality oriented one I’d recommend the Eco Artist shop (where I got my beloved ankle bracelet from) and the market hall, both located on the main street. Also, stop at yo.co for the best Greek frozen yogurt there can be.
Just looking at these photos make me want to go back. But it could be worse, it could be raining in London….