Why Zakynthos could be a dream destination for your next family holiday
We visited Zakynthos (Zante) in October half term this year for the first time. tripAbrood recommended Exensian Villas, an amazing villa with private swimming pool and uninterrupted views out onto the Ionian Sea.
Zante was the perfect place to visit for the half term break, and in this blog I'll tell you why. In October, the weather tends to be low 20s. We had a few beautiful sunny days, warm enough for a day on the beach. The other days we needed jumpers but there was plenty of things to do both on the sunny days and the more cloudy days.
Here's the top 5 things I'd recommend doing on a family holiday to Zante.
1. Take a boat trip out to Turtle Island
You can catch a boat from Keri Village. We recommend Captains Motorboat Rentals. We had a private boat with a driver for 3 hours and it cost £210. On the expensive side but well worth it to get the kids safely around both Keri Caves and on to Turtle Island. The water was too choppy in the October month to swim into Keri Caves so we had a drive by. However, once at Turtle Island we got to disembark the boat and stay for a few hours. Turtle Island is part of the Marine Park of Zakynthos. This unpopulated island is a breeding ground for Turtles, and also a wonderful place to enjoy the beautiful waters of the Ionian sea. In October half term, Turtle Island is a lot less busy than in the summer months. Head over later on in the afternoon and you'll arrive when most of the visitors are leaving. We got almost the whole beach to ourselves and got to watch a beautiful sunset in the process.
2. Navagio (Shipwreck) beach
Navagio beach has the reputation for being the most beautiful beach in the world, and we could totally see why. When we visited, sadly we couldn't get onto the beach itself as there had been a cliff incident. The beach is only accessible by boat, but if you can't visit for whatever reason like us, there is an amazing lookout point where you get a birds eye view on the beach. It is about a 10 minute walk from the car park to the look out point and the terrain is uneven, so best to attempt with slightly older kids. Our 6 year old did fine, he just needed to be well supervised!
3. Zante Town
We really enjoyed a day in Zante Town, with its coffee shops, colonial architecture and port.
We had lunch at Nostimon Imar, a quaint restaurant near the port that served the most delicious gyros of the holiday. (If you are wondering what gyros is, it's sliced meat, tzatziki, chips and salad, all rolled into a pitta bread. In the words of my 8 year old son - 'my heaven').
4. Explore the many beaches along the coast
You are simply spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Zante. We did find one gem of beach called Marathias Beach, very close to Exensian Villas on the west coast of the island and accessible only by foot. A good few hours were spent on this beach, climbing the rocks and swimming in the sea.
5. Eat local food
We had so many wonderful meals, but one experience stood out from the rest. This was dinner at Katerina's restaurant called Allegro in Keri. For us this was a once in a lifetime experience of having Greek home cooking made for us by the most welcoming and delightful host, Katerina. She brings out dish after dish for you to try. All three of our kids cleaned their plates (and they can be rather fussy). Katerina was the most wonderful host and we loved the experience so much, we came back two days later. And that time, we had an entirely different set of dishes brought to us. There is no menu, so you have to just go with the flow. But we all felt that eating at Katerina's restaurant was one of the highlights of the trip.
If you'd like to explore visiting Zante and are wondering where to stay, our digital assistant Skye can match you to accommodation options just for your family. That's exactly how I found Exensian Villas, and Skye got that match perfectly right!