Tuesday 19th September 2017
Shaun and I woke up bright and early ready for our Zante adventure. I did a Yoga with Adrienne called Ocean Flow which was perfect for the holiday mood. We got ready, did our final checks and left to get our train. There was a bit of concern as as couldn’t find our flight on the Gatwick live departures website but we decided to sort that out once we reached the airport. Whether we were travelling with Easy Jet or Norwegian Air – we were going to Zante.
It was a smooth journey and check in was nothing to worry about. Before we knew it we were eating wraps from Pret in the departure lounge. We picked up the necessary aeroplane supplies – drinks, chocolate, crisps and magazines then we boarded our plane. Three hours later we were in Zante. It’s a lovely warm evening, immediate shorts and dress weather. Our hotel room has a less than impressive view (a brick wall) but we are upgrading to a sea-view tomorrow. This evening we had a little walk around Argassi, which is quite a busy place with supermarkets and restaurants. Then we enjoyed our first holiday dinner of pizza at Gyropolis which hit the spot. I’m looking forward to exploring Zante with Shaun tomorrow.
Wednesday 20th September 2017
We woke up in room 306 knowing that later we would be upgraded to a room with a better view. Breakfast was limited, I opted for a bowl of muesli, Shaun had bread, eggs and a sausage. We then decided to get out and about for a walk and explore the beach. We could see Zante town across the water so we went on a slightly nerve-wracking walk along the main road next to speeding scooters, buses and quad bikes. About 45 minutes later we arrived in a pretty harbour and enjoyed ice teas, fantas and turkey baguettes next to the water. The dangerous walk into town was worth it.
We thought it was best to get the bus back which soon turned into a taxi as the bus never appeared – we wanted to get to the hotel quickly to meet the Thompson Rep to book some trips. Unfortunately, we missed him but we had a lovely refreshing afternoon swim instead. We met up with Raymondo the Rep just before 8pm and booked two trips – The Shipwreck and Turtle Island. Both should be nice days out. We also unpacked in our new room (311) which came complete with its very own pool view. Very happy. Dinner tonight was at Apollo (a lamb kebab and Shaun had moussaka) followed by a rather amusing and spontaneous horse and cart ride up and down the main street in Argassi. We got caught up with the enthusiasm of our jolly horse and cart driver who kept ringing his bell every 5 seconds and waving at unsuspecting tourists who were quietly enjoy their evening meals. Twenty minutes well spent.
Thursday 21st September 2017
It’s Shaun’s birthday today so we started the day a little differently. Shaun went to the lobby and I set about decorating the hotel room with three banners, 30th birthday sprinkles, balloons, presents, cards and an inflatable parrot. Shaun spent a little while opening his cards and presents in the newly decorated room. Then we went into Zante (well Zante bus station) and picked Tsilivis for a day out.
It was quite a straight-forward journey via quiet village roads and before long we were enjoying a big breakfast at Seacret: a picturesque restaurant on the beach looking out to sea. Our late breakfast was well worth the rumbling stomachs and it filled us up for our long beach walk. It was such a beautiful day, we walked for about an hour an a half, paddling in the warm sea to cool off. Afterwards, we got the bus back to Argassi and had a refreshing swim to clean our sandy legs and feets. The birthday meal tonight was at the local Chinese restaurant opposite the hotel. I had a veggie dish of cashews and rice and Shaun had a duck/chicken curry. It’s been the perfect day to celebrate Shaun’s birthday.
Friday 22nd September
We set the alarm for 7am as we knew it was an early start for the turtle island day trip. After our simple bowls of muesli we were waiting outside The Beer Academy for our Thompson transport. A short journey later we arrived at Zante harbour ready to board our boat with 150 other tourists. We briefly enjoyed the whole front lower deck to ourselves before we were joined by the late-arrivals. The boat set sail with our Brendan-like tour guide (you know, from Coach Trip) and we went out to sea.
There was a swim stop, which we decided to stay dry on board and lots of photo opportunities. The turtle spotting section was quite daft and amusing. Tons of people lurching over the edge of the boat, moving from one side to the other on Brendan’s instruction to catch a 2-second glimpse of a shadowy thing raise its head above the water. We quickly got bored of this activity and went indoors to eat our lunch of bacon rolls. Nevertheless, it was a relaxing day looking at the pretty coastline of Zante. Back at the hotel Shaun and I enjoyed a swim and a game of catch in the water. Our evening meal was at Come To The Grill for a spaghetti bolognese and complementary grapes with pips and red wine which we sheepishly left. It’s been another fun-filled day in the sun with Shaun.
Saturday 23rd September 2017
Yesterday we spotted a bus stop heading in the opposite direction of Zante town so today we headed off to investigate. Shortly after we found ourselves on a free bus going to Banana Beach. This sounded too good to be true and of course it was. To get back you had to purchase something from one specific shop and stay on the beach until pick up at 4pm. We broke the rules and headed off on foot to the next village: Gerakas.
We made the right choice, and for the sake of a thirty minute walk we stumbled upon a turtle rescue centre complete with goats and hens. We also found a nudist beach and enjoyed sitting on the rocks looking out for sea for a while. We were ready to come back to Argassi in the early afternoon and with the unreliable bus service we had to fork out for a 17 euro taxi. Nevermind, it was defo the most convenient option. We then ate wraps and hot dogs then Shaun went off to watch the football in a local pub and I had a swim. Tonight’s meal was at Utopia after reading it was #2 in Argassi on Trip Advisor. We had a brushetta starter, then I had a quite delicious salmon salad and Shaun had a “different moussaka” – the only difference from a regular one was it was about half the size! Ha ha..
Sunday 24th September 2017
Today has been a lovely chilled day in Argassi – no trips and no buses. After breakfast we spent a while by the pool soaking up the sun on the loungers. I listened to music and read That’s Life magazine and Shaun listened to his audio book. When we got hungry we wandered into Argassi and ate at Notos – both ordering a Club Sandwich. It was a huge plate of food with added chips. We then brought an ice cream from our favourite place: The Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlour.
We had a swim and a shower then got ready for the evening. We had planned a game of mini golf at some point in the holiday and tonight was the night. We played 18 holes in medium level which I won by 4 points. And 18 holes on hard level which Shaun won by 4 points. We both even got a hole in one which may or may not have been a fluke. It was a fun way to spent an hour and the course was lit up at night all pretty. To finish the day we ate at Dinysos and had huge lamb dishes.
Monday 25th September 2017
Today is our second and last trip organised by Thompson. We are going to see the famous Shipwreck in Smugglers Cove. We had already seen it on pretty much every postcard and key ring in Zante, but now we were going to see it with our very own eyes. The transport came to pick us up at 9.35 to take us to the coach where the tour guide, Susan (who looked like my mum) explained the day ahead. We had a quick comfort break at a very Greek village in the mountains before we made our way to Porto Vromi to board the little boat. It certainly wasn’t as robust as Brendan’s turtle island boat on Friday. Nevertheless, we rode the waves and arrived at Smuggler’s Cove in one piece.
Within the allocated hour we took some nice photos, wrote our names on a rock and sat on a log to admire the view. As we were leaving, a boat load of tourists arrived on a pirate ship and swarmed the shipwreck. We were lucky to have seen it when it was relatively quiet. After a bumpy boat ride back, followed by a coach then a van, we finally relaxed by the sea for a spot of lunch. The rest of the day consisted of a nice refreshing swim, chilling on the hotel balcony then an evening meal somewhere eating something with chicken in it. It rained with thunder and lightening this evening which made me appreciate the beautiful weather we have had all week. Tomorrow is our last day in Zante.
Tuesday 26th September 2017
It’s our last day in Zante today and what a brilliant week it has been. We’ve had bus journeys, boat trips, horse and cart rides, mini golf, loads of tasty foods and a lot of swimming. It’s been a good mix of relaxation, fun and exploring Zante with Shaun. Our last day was nice, after breakfast we went for the last swim of the holiday which gave us a good appetite for lunch. We chose The Street for burgers and wedges then thought about getting our stuff together to leave.
We packed up and checked out of the Hotel Contessa and joined the Thompson pick-up coach. We got our tickets, dropped off our luggage, went through security only then to be told there would be a 90 minute delay on our flight. Not ideal, but we passed the time with me quizzing Shaun on football facts from his book and drinking overpriced iced tea. Eventually we boarded and the flight went smoothly. I spent the majority of the journey listening to my iPod blocking out the screaming child and fighting siblings. I’m glad we are now back safely in the UK eating M&S wraps and double chocolate cookies in the Premier Inn, Gatwick. It’s been a pretty amazing holiday on the sunny Greek island of Zakynthos.