Home sweet home!
First of all, I want to let you guys know that I’m not a Zakinthos expert, but I had a fun time there and I’d love to share my experiences with you!
Where to stay
During our time in Zakinthos we stayed at the Diana hotel located in Zakinthos city. I felt that the location of this hotel was perfect. Zakinthos City is located on a very convenient location on the island. From there we were easily able to visit other places nearby. When driving through other cities I couldn’t be happier with or choice of hotel and location.
I’d recommend avoiding Laganas, it totally lost all of his Greek charm because of the many tourists that come for a “Lloret de Mar” experience.
Zakinthos city has many cute ancient streets with buildings with a whole different architecture than I’m used to in the Netherlands. The city is also one of the few cities on the island which isn’t located on a mountain, so that makes it easier to get around by feet.
The Diana hotel is a normal priced hotel. The room aren’t too big, but they’re clean and functional. I think that the best feature of this hotel is the rooftop bar and pool. From this pool you get a really pretty panoramic view of the city. The rooftop bar and pool is open to everyone, so you don’t have to stay in the Diana hotel to be able to use it!
Where to eat
In my opinion Zakinthos doesn’t have many really good restaurants, but there’s one place you MUST go to when visiting Zakinthos. This place is called Essence and the story behind it is so beautiful. The restaurant was established in 2010 by a chef from Australia, who used to cook at many great restaurants and 6 star cruises, and his wife. He and his wife decided that the Greek life was a better fit for them and so they went and opened a restaurant on Zakinthos together.
From the moment we walked in the restaurant we immediately got a good feeling about this place. The owner came to chat with us and explained the menu, she is so kind! The ambiance and the food was perfect. You were able to taste and feel the passion of the couple in everything. I love it when people follow their dreams and leave everything behind achieve that. When going there I’d recommend making a reservation, because it can be very busy in the summer.
What to see
As you might have seen in my previous post about Zakinthos, Zakinthos haves many beautiful places. These 3 places are my favorites.
1. Navagio Beach – Shipwreck beach
People usually go to this beach by boat, but we decided not to do that. To avoid crowded places full of tourists we decided to make a road trip (of one hour from Zakinthos city) to Navajo beach. This way we weren’t able to get to the beach, but we got the most amazing view I’ve ever seen by hiking for 5 minutes!
2. Turtle island – Marathonisse
We rented a boat for 4 hours and we went from Agios Sostis to the Turtle island. The boat trip was taking about 20 minutes. We went in the morning, so the island wasn’t full of tourists yet and so we had our little private beach. The other time we had left with the boat we spent sailing on sea and floating around the south side of the Turtle island. It was really quiet here and the water was perfectly blue!
3. Banana Beach
Banana beach is the largest beach of Zakinthos. What I liked about Banana beach is that it really felt like a relax vacation at sea. The water was really calm and so clear that I was able to see the fish swim around me (I’m really scared of fish, so it felt good to see where they were).
When traveling to Zakinthos there are a few tips I found out during our trip.
- Bring a good sunscreen (minimum SPF 30). The sun is really powerful and you’ll get burnt without even noticing, it just goes so fast. That’s the reason why I’m having my Daniel Wellington watch marked in my arm at the moment.
- Rent a quad instead of a scooter. The first days we rented two scooters, but we quickly found out that the curvy and slippery roads in het mountains weren’t so suitable for the scooters. It’s very dangerous and the changes of falling are too high.
- Don’t ride on properties to turn. We were attacked by a dog, but thankfully or quad and my boyfriends driving skills good enough to escape the dog. Apparently almost every property has dogs like this one…
- Make a short stop at Bochali hill. From here you can overlook Zakinthos city. You can make a short stop here to simply enjoy the view or grab some food. It’s even prettier at night with all the lights!
Hope you’d like these what and where’s, let me know what you think of it!
© All photo’s by Joëlla Wassink and Tom Heidstra