As I mention in my ‘about me’ I was lucky enough to be a holiday rep for a few seasons. My first season was spent in Zakynthos and this was also my first time visiting Greece. At the time I travelled out, we had to fly in to Athens and then travel across the mainland to Kilini via the Corinth canal to meet a ferry, as there were no flights direct to Zakynthos in the winter season, and I was arriving in at the end of March to open the resort. I arrived in to a very wet and cold Zakynthos town a bit of a shock for the 20 years I was and the fact that I had not packed any warm clothes, why would I need to? I was living in Greece!
Zakynthos as a place also does not have pavements and when I arrived it hardly had roads. I was amazed how quickly they were turned into roads in time for the tourists, you may laugh when you think of the time you saw that massive pot hole going around a resort, but trust me they are roads compared to what I saw when I first arrived! Living arrangements can be simple in Zakynthos, you will find if you are self catering you will have a hob, fridge and sink and that is just about it, but with some fantastic fresh fish restaurants you'd never need to stay in and try and cook! Also some properties may not have swimming pools but you will normally find that if they don't they are just a stone’s throw from the beach or share with an accommodation close by.
I had roughly two weeks learning the island and how to be a representative! Then I was let loose with airports greetings, transfers speeches and welcome meetings. I was extremely lucky to be placed in the resort of Tsilivi on Zante (the islands other name), which is about 20 minutes from the airport and has a great mixture for all ages and tastes. Great beaches, taverns and welcoming locals and not a fast food chain in sight, perfect! The resort runs along a beach and can give you as much or as little as you want in to actives and nightlife.
Zakythos as an island has something to suit most tastes and has a lot of things to do and see as it is in a prime location to travel around. The resorts pace of life varies from place to place; you have the clubbing heights of Laganas, which is still one of the top partying resorts in Europe to the idyllic area of Vasilikos, with some of the most peaceful beaches I have ever been on where you get a real feel of being away from it all. You could even stay in Kalamaki and share the beach with the Loggerhead turtles at this nesting site.
Zante is known for the iconic photograph of a beach, which features a shipwreck strewn across the white sands, framed by the turquoise sea. You can see this by boat or from the cliff above and both are a must in my eyes. Tie that in with a trip to Zante town to look at the church were the patron saint of the island St Dionysios lies or have lunch at Keri to see the far reaching views or board another boat to the blue caves where you can snap some fantastic holiday pictures! To go further afield you could pop over to Kefalonia for the day as it’s a neighbouring island, which can be seen from Alykes. Or even go on to the main land and visit Olympus the birth place of the Olympic Games. Climb the acropolis in Athens and learn all about the Greek Gods while taking in the spectacular views across the city.
I have very fond memories of Zakythos and personally think it ticks all the boxes in a fantastic holiday. If it sounds like the perfect place for you, ring me and I’ll tell you more!