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Zakynthos / Zante – Greek Island Getaway

When you talk about the Greek Islands, most people will either know or have been to Santorini, Mykynos, Ios…. however we decided to take a bit of a gamble and through Flight Centre booked a 7 day getaway on what they call ‘Allocation on Arrival’.

The Greek Islands from the air

The Greek Islands from the air

This deal included return flights to Zakynthos / Zante, return transfer from the hotel, and the hotel was literally allocated once we stepped off the plane (or so we thought). The total cost of this trip was $828aud per person and when Flight Centre confirmed that we would be in 3 star accommodation, well we decided to lock in a week of beaches and sun.

A beach in Zanti. Admittedly the sand wasn't as nice as beach in Aus. but the water was beautiful.

A beach in Zante. Admittedly the sand wasn't as nice as the beaches in Australia but the water was beautiful.

Arriving in Zante, we were so excited. It was extremely hot and the transfer was there to take us to where we would spend the next 7 glorious days. What we didn’t realise was that our hotel had in fact been arranged prior to our departure and as we never thought to ask the name of the hotel, we were completely and totally disappointed when we pulled up to a 1 star ‘dive’ called Kontonis Hotel. There was no fan let alone no air conditioning and the rooms were definitely over 30 degrees even late at night. Music blared directly outside our bedroom window, and the pool that we thought we could relax in at the end of a day on the beach did not actually exist.

If you ever end up at Kontonis Hotel, heaven help you!! No air-con and music pumping all night!! We sound so old nowadays but we didn't go there to party...

If you ever end up at Kontonis Hotel, heaven help you!! No air-con and music pumping all night!! We sound so old nowadays but we didn't go there to party...

This hotel was located in the area called Lagana, which is party town. The main beach is filled with lounge chairs that restaurants and cafes place there and allow you to sit on, of course if you are happy to pay for lunch, dinner, drinks…. There is also a main street where the night life is pretty crazy.

Lis on the beach looking for a nice place to dine. A set up not unlike what you see in Thailand or Bali.

Lis on the beach looking for a nice place to dine. A set up not unlike what you see in Thailand or Bali.

Anyway as this is not what we were promised we contacted our holiday consultant immediately and arranged to be upgraded. It all came at a cost and we moved 3 days after we had arrived, but finally we were in a really lovely place, close to the beach, a nice restaurant on site and accommodation that was much more liveable – Zante Star Hotel. Its worth noting that our room had its own small kitchen with refrigerator and cooktop, so we could store cold drinks and eat our own brekky in the mornings…

The view from our balcony at Zanti Star Hotel. As you can see we had the pool all to ourselves!!!

The view from our balcony at Zante Star Hotel. As you can see we had the pool all to ourselves!!!

This hotel was located in Tsilivi and was much more chilled out. The beach was a 7 minute walk, and the main street which had so many delicious restaurants to choose from was a 10 minute walk.

Lam Kleftiko is as "Greek as a Greek dish gets". Very Yummy

Lam Kleftiko is as "Greek as a Greek dish gets". Very Yummy

There are a few areas in Zante that are definitely worth checking out and one of the best ways to get around the island is to hire a motorbike or a quad bike. The cost to hire a bike is around $45 (you can negotiate) for 24hours and it was heaps of fun. We decided to do a ‘Beach Crawl’ as there are so many beautiful and small beaches to enjoy and after riding for about 15 minutes, we were always ready to stop and have a quick dip.

THe freedom with a bike is great. It was all about the Beach Crawl...

The freedom with a bike is great. It was all about the Beach Crawl...

Riding Bandits. Its all about checking out the Island on quad bike!

Riding Bandits. Its the best way to check out the Island! Tours aren't necessary...

Its definitely worth checking out the Shipwreck (named Navagio) and spending some time around St Nicholas Beach. We also drove inland through some incredible little towns where you almost forget that in half an hour you are back on a crazy beach full of tourists in Lagana. And the day is is completed with some lovely Greek Cuisine, all the usual delights of Saganaki, Lamb Kleftiko, Moussaka, delicious Greek Salads and then to finish some Baklava.

Shipwreck at Zanti is famous and something you just have to see. Not necessarily from a chartered boat, but from up-top.

Shipwreck at Zante is famous and something you just have to see. Not necessarily from a chartered boat, but from up-top.

There are lots of little stalls scattered all over Zanti that sell home-made olive oil, conserves etc

There are lots of little stalls scattered all over Zante that sell home-made olive oil, greek sweets and dried fruits. They are all keen for you to sample their produce too.

Pete jumping off rocks into the crystal blue warm water.

Pete jumping off rocks into the crystal blue warm water.

Lis bathing in the delicious waters!!!

Lis bathing in the stunning waters!!!

Saganaki aka Fried Cheese. They were really good!

Saganaki aka Fried Cheese. They were really good!

This was a week of complete relaxation and we loved it. We are still keen to check out the other Islands, but this was a really beautiful first visit to Greece.

For more photos, please see our gallery.

  • Leonienolan

    OH WOW!!! How fantastic are these photos!!! They are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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