When one thinks of the Greek Islands they think of Mykonos; the famous party island or Santorini with its whitewashed houses perched along the caldera, however few will generally think of Zakynthos; an island within the Ionian Sea. Of those who recognise Zakynthos will know it is the home of Shipwreck Beach (Navagio beach) where the alleged smuggler ship was shipwrecked while transporting cigarettes, hence the name.
Having been to Santorini in October and blessed with amazing weather previously another Greece trip was locked in for the month. This trip was a highly anticipated one as we had already seen such great photos of the cove & other parts of the island! However, slightly unfortunately by the time October rolled around the weather forecast was not completely on our side but we remained hopeful nonetheless. Lo and behold the morning we arrived blue skies warmly greeted us. We definitely couldn't contain our excitement and after a tasty Cappuccino Freddo at Café Ouzeri a quick hop, skip and step (okay, maybe more like an hour drive) later we were at the Navagio Beach lookout.
The best view of the cove is actually not at the lookout point but as always it’s off the beaten track. This is approximately half an hour walk down towards the cove via a dubious pathway (it appeared to be a path on google maps!) and involved beating through bushes & loose rock to get a view of the ship from the back of the cove. Depending on how far the conditions allow, it really lends itself to a breathtaking view and one that is not seen that often which always makes it all that much more special!
We had come all the way to see the shipwreck so we wanted one last view of the shipwreck from the side. Navigating super carefully (it’s a sheer drop off here, so always be super careful of where you’re stepping) off another beaten track we saw the final shadow come upon the shipwreck for the final time that day (but not the last look of the trip - yet!)
After seeing waters so clear and inviting, Porto Vromi was close by so a quick decision was made to head over and jump into the waters for a quick dip to cool down after after the unexpected mini hike we did!
That evening we headed to Kampi Cross to watch the sunset and it was obviously the tail end of the season as the café that we were planning to sip a coffee while admiring sunset was closed! Regardless, a couple of chairs were pulled up on the balcony and the sunset was enjoyed, sans coffee.
Always a key aspect for during travel, refueling our bodies was done with some gyros at Alykanas (JT chose to have a souvlaki plate instead, which looked equally as delicious!)
Completely satisfied with the first fun-filled day we retreated back to our abode for our time in Zakynthos; Vatia Villas. This is a set of luxury villas with a private pool located a short drive away from the main drag of Tsivili, in the middle of the island and we couldn't have found a better place to base ourselves!
Cloudy skies the next day called for a day of exploring Zante town and started with a stroll along the port. I always love admiring the colourful little fishing boats and continually wonder how they manage to haul in plentiful amounts of fish to sell for the day!
An early lunch was called for at To Kantouni when the storm clouds decided to roll in and the skies opened up. As soon as some blue skies peeked through we drove ourselves up to the venetian fort at the top of the hill only to realise it was a paid entry, so again decided to go off the beaten track (on the maps you’ll see there’s a path just alongside the fort walls) and met some little goats along the way to see the view of the town!
Cameo Island was next to visit, but who knew that at the end of the season they take off the planks on the bridge! So we were left gazing out at the what could be on the island instead of venturing across! During the peak season however the island lends itself to a beach club and definitely looks worth checking out!
Another day, another sunset and on Day 2 it was going to be watched from Cape Keri. We decided to abandon the crowds near the little make shift shack selling goodies and follow the path from Keri’s Lighthouse to get a peek of the rock formations along the coast. It totally felt worthwhile as we were completely isolated & with turquoise waters like that how could it not feel special!
We popped into Thymalos, a castaway-esque themed restaurant in Zakynthos Town for dinner that night and we basically rolled out of there after a big feed for good value!
Stay tuned for our next blog post to find out how we rounded out the 5 day trip in Zakynthos!
We Flew: EasyJet, We Stayed: Vatia Villas