I’ve said it a lot on this blog and over on Instagram, but I really bloody love Greece. Zakynthos is the fourth Greek island I’ve been too, and I’d have to say (and it’s a tough competition) the best one yet. I’ve been trying to put my finger on why I found our week there better than when we visited Santorini and Mykonos – the usual tourist spots and most popular Greek islands. I think it’s how tiny and remote the island is, and how because it doesn’t have the tourist appeal as much as the aforementioned islands, it’s not as busy as you’d think.
Zakynthos is also known as Zante, which most young brits will know of as the place to go on your girls/lads holiday when you’d just turned 18 and would go away with your friendship gang and drink disgusting concoctions for a week, before returning home with a week-long hangover. This preconception did give me a bit of pre-holiday nerves – would we end up sunning ourselves on the beach with 2,000 over Brits abroad already on the booze at 11am (myself included?). Luckily this wasn’t the case, as we stayed in the little village of Amoudi, on the east coast of the Island, away from the main Zakynthos town and the Laganas strip.
We stayed at Julia Studios, ran by the generous and friendly owner Anastasia, who welcomed us in with a free bottle of homemade wine and the news that we would be the last guests for her that season. She really welcomed us in and made us feel at home. The hotel had a balcony and a little kitchenette for us to make cups of tea and keep our wine cold. I’d definitely recommend the place, but it is one of the more basic options you can stay at – if you’re looking at luxury and swimming pools, you might be better looking elsewhere. It was also pretty hard to access without the use of a car. Julia did offer to book us a taxi from the airport, but when we did our research we decided to hire a car as our best option. I’m really glad we did, as it opened up our trip and allowed us to travel to so many places we might not have otherwise – I’ve written about our experience of hiring a car here.
As for our time on the island – we alternated the days my boyfriend and I would drive the car, so we both had the chance to have a drink in the day if we wanted to. My favourite day by far was when we chose to hire our own boat and drive up to the Blue Caves, before stopping off at a private beach, having a swim and a picnic. We also took a tourist boat trip to visit the Shipwreck Cove – which we really enjoyed, even if it was a little crowded.
To get that shot of the Shipwreck beach we went up to the viewpoint on the west point of the island, braving the heights to take a peek and get some pictures. We also went to Porto Liminionas on a cloudy day, which involved a few hair raising moments trying to drive the car up the steep cliff side – my first time driving on the other side of the road. But we’re so glad we went, as the spot was quiet and the view was gorgeous and unspoiled. There’s a little tavern there where we stopped for lunch and then had drinks on the sunbeds.
Each day we would drive back to our room in time for the evening, to have a drink on the balcony and watch the sunset. The village of Amoudi is quite small, but there were around 5 restaurants and bars that we alternated eating at each night. The food was always delicious, fresh and sevred with a huge jugs of wine. Safe to say I was in heaven.
I have a few more posts planned for the coming weeks where I’ll go into detail about the highlights of our trip, but for now I hope you enjoyed this rundown of our holiday to Zakynthos. If you’d like to see anymore pictures from my trip they’re over on my Instagram account Grundy Travels. Thanks for reading x