There is something magical about the Greek islands; beaches, hidden coves, crystal blue waters, the food and not forgetting the people. Every holiday I have had in Greece has been amazing, each one has something unique about it. I have fond memories of Thassos, after 13 years of visiting I tired to convince my partner to go but after explaining a ferry trip was involved in getting to the island, he declined and suggested two weeks in Zante.
Upon reading up on the island, I discovered it was where “turtle island” was. A small island in the shape of a turtle that my father and I had flown over many years ago; he would tell me “that is where turtles are born” and never quite knew where it was. So as soon as I read that, we booked two weeks there. What better way to spend the end of the British summer than on a beach eating fresh fruit cocktails, looking out to crisp white waves and snorkelling to explore what was beneath the calm sea.
When we arrived and had been settled, after putting a note in our booking on it being our anniversary, there was a bottle of Champagne awaiting us. We relaxed on the terrace of our beach facing apartment and soaked in the warm weather. Fortunately when we arrived it was just coming out of the party season, so the party strip was relatively quiet for a weekend night. Over the coming days we relaxed by the sea and pool as I became quite poorly as did a fair few of the guests in the hotel. Someone had decided it was a good idea to arrive on holiday with full blown flu It was just those who shared the flight who seemed to be infected. So relaxing by the pool was the plan for two days, who knew sipping Lemsip could be so scenic!
We did however make a huge mistake. One I should have known better for. We booked an excursion to see the turtles. This involved a lot of convincing for my partner to go out on the boat; he isn’t afraid of boats, just if it gets rough will get motion sickness. So off we went on this boat trip. Arrived in town, boarded the boat, and spent a good couple of hours just leisurely sailing the sea.
With this trip we were told we’d see turtles; we didn’t. We did however find out that those who booked a boat from the strip did sea turtles. So if you go, be sure to do just that. It’s cheaper, quicker to get to and when you arrive back to shore there are a row of lovely tavernas awaiting you. Alternatively, if you really want to see hidden areas of natural beauty, go on the boat trip, these photos do the reasoning here…
Fortunately one day sitting by the pool, a team of people who rescue the turtles came around notifying us they were releasing a turtle back into the sea, after being injured by a boat hitting it. Apparently he was 30 years old, fully recovered and ready to go home.
After finally seeing a turtle I was over the moon and in such happy circumstances too; he was finally well enough to join his family.
We spent the rest of the holiday discovering tavernas, using Trip Advisor to find the best places to eat. We dined at the number 1 taverna in the town, and had a mini feast. Nothing beats a fresh Greek salad and an Amstel when the sun is out and you can simply just unwind and take in the photogenic views of the harbour and church, just slightly in the distance.
One of our most fantastic findings was a little bit of island just off the shore line. After eyeing it up for a few days, off we went. We strolled through the sea to get to a rope bridge which lead to the side of the island with steps to the top. There was a small fee to enter, and with this you each get a free drink. We went straight to the bar, ordered two beers and just took in the amazing scenes…
We were told there was a hidden beach down a set of very steep stairs. And when we finally got down there we saw a little sanctuary. We had this little slice of heaven to ourselves. More drinks were ordered, and as shameful as it is to admit, emails were replied too. But with views like this, you can’t complain that you have to do a little bit of work…
All in all, Zante stole our hearts. It has everything you could ever want, so much so we are now looking for a potential villa location. It is so quick to get to, the flight from Gatwick is 2 hours 32 minutes and transfers are around 25 minutes to the strip, Zante town is a lot quicker. Don’t let people put you off with any potential party animal horror stories, go towards the end of the season, we went during the last week in August and couldn’t hear a thing unless we ventured into the bars and night clubs and during the day the ravers won’t be any bother; they’ll be nursing hangovers on sun loungers half asleep. Spend two weeks in Zante and I can assure you, you won’t regret it!
If you have been to Zante, what did you do, where did you go? What would you recommend to people who haven’t been or returning visitors?