Zakynthos – what is also known as Zante – in Greece is the biggest island in the Ionian Sea and visitors can visit many places there: museums, cathedrals, wineries and ruins. Just check Trip Advisor and you’ll see. Now I would like to share my favourite activities there and also some tips and lovely memories.
When is it the best time to travel?
It is wonderful all year, but the best time to visit is from May to September. I went to Zante in the first week of September. Amazing place! I mean, I use this word “amazing” a lot and for pretty much everything, but this island is the kind of paradise, what everyone should see once. And as a huge bonus – I guess -, you can see sea turtles in their natural living place! I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to go swimming with these amazing animals. But – as it turned out later – it was not as easy to find a turtle as the brochures said. I looked for it by walking, by quad, by boat and I found a lot of amazing places… but turtles… So if you’d like to see a turtle, you should visit Zante between July and August.
Free hugs and coffee
I started to explore the city and as I figured it out, this is the place where restaurants and bars offer a free hug with coffee. Friendly place. Although I didn’t use this fantastic opportunity, it is really kind, and lonely travellers can also feel at home there. The southern hospitality is amazing and the portions are so huge so after my first dinner, I couldn’t take even a step to anywhere.
It doesn’t matter where you are on this wonderful island, you’ll find vivid nightlife with so much fun.
The Banana beach is not the most famous, but the biggest beach of Zante. If you like water sports, this is the best place to go. The beach is truly impressive and a big add-on is that this beach can be reached by direct shuttle for a symbolic amount of money.
Which is the best way to explore wonderful places?
I tried it by walking and by using local transport, but I highly recommend two ways: by quad and by boat. I found some awesome places both ways and I also tried to fulfil my biggest mission there: finding a turtle.
There are many boat trips available on the island. I recommend choosing to sail around the Island with some stops. I really enjoyed the wonderful view of the coastline, but the best was the quick stops when I could swim in the clear and turquoise water. What is more, I had a chance to jump from the 3rd floor of the boat to the water. We had a stop at the Blue Caves, near St. Nicholas Beach, at the Keri Caves and the Smugglers Cove – also known as Shipwreck beach or Navagio beach – where I had roughly an hour to discover this part of the island. An enthralling place with a shipwreck, that belonged to smugglers before. I decided to swim into the caves and successfully showed my new skill, that I just found out there: how to swim with one hand and not drowned while holding your camera in your other hand, trying to take amazing photos and videos among big waves generated by a big ship. Very, very useful skill! On the way back we sailed next to Turtle Island. Its shape is like a turtle, which was created by Ionian sea.
A whole day quad trip and I couldn’t find a place where the sight wasn’t fabulous, so I gave it up and just enjoyed the stunning view. Luckily drivers are used to the presence of quad drivers on the road and they pay attention to them. It is really hard to describe how wonderful places I saw on my tour. The final destination was the other side of the island, where I could see Smugglers Cove from above. On the way there, I drove through the coast, a forest, some little town and I also found some stunning beaches and breathtaking viewpoints. There are some vendors at the side of the road, who offer their hand-made merchandises such as flavoured olive oil, honey and soap.
During the trip, I got a tip from a local that I should visit the Cameo Island because there is a fisherman who feeds a turtle every morning. This lonely turtle stays around the Island all year because it’s used to getting food there. As I had the quad until the next morning I woke up at 4:30 am and I set out to find that turtle. While I was waiting for the fisherman I admired the view of Cameo Island, which is a very tiny private island. It is open for visitors for a small amount of money, which includes a welcome drink in the bar. And then guess what! I missed the turtle. I was in the right place, at the right time, and the turtle was there too, but I missed it. I didn’t know that the fisherman was really close to Cameo Island, but still a bit away, and the only thing that I should have done is to walk 20 meters in the direction of the harbour and I would have seen it. A tiny-tiny, but important detail.
Ready to go? Find the best hotel here:
Finally, I found a turtle when I did not expect it at all. I took a trip to Cephalonia and there I found a turtle while I was having coffee at the coast of the bay.