Prefecture of Zante (Zakynthos) Things to Do Tips by nickandchris Top 5 Page for this destination
Prefecture of Zante (Zakynthos) Things to Do: 78 reviews and 133 photos
This we visited on a trip with the holiday company, the first year we were on Zakynthos. Up north of the island, about 40 km. from Zakynthos Town, it was built in the 15th c. and was extensively damaged in the 1953 earthquake.
I remember it being a worthwhile expedition with frescoes adorning the church and I
was even allowed to ring the bell.
Supposedly the home of Dhionysios, the patron saint of the island.
I expect tour companies nowadays concentrate on more spectacular trips like Ship-Wreck beach. I believe the new road leads from near here to view this beach from above. Oh my goodness, how that has become an attraction. Having looked at people's photos on VT I would hate to think how much litter is left there after the daily bombardment of tourists leave.
Prominently perched above Zakynthos Town, in the village of Bochali, are the remains of this Venetian fortress. Evidence of churches, dungeons and armouries lie amongst the beautiful pine shaded site. Wild flowers are in abundance and the whole place has a pleasant , calm atmosphere, a welcome change from the bustling town below.
Another bonus are the views of the town, much of the island and even the Peloponnese.
It's about 2.5 km. from Zakynthos town and a steep hike, so best to have transport. There are tavernas in Bochali offereing the same magnificent views.
There is an admission charge and it would appear to be open 8am - 8pm. in summer.
Directions: From the town, follow signs for Bochali.
Phone: 26950 48099
On our second trip to the Blue Caves, our captain called in at a taverna on the rocky coastline. I don't know where this was but it was a very Greek affair. The occupants were mending their fishing nets.
It's probably a major port of call nowadays!!!!
Directions: Somewhere on the north east coast.
Blue caves 1984
Blue, blue caves, found at the northern tip of the island. They are actually quite aptly named, the water turning your skin blue if you take a dip here. Obviously, the morning is the best time to take this trip, the position of the sun showing the colour of the water to it's best advantage.
We made this trip both years we were on Zakynthos, the second time we were taken by a friend of Denis's from the taverna in Alykes and had been told it would cost less than if we went on an excursion. At ythe end of the trip, the captain then stung us for a huge amount of fuel money. Well, it was a speed boat, I suppose!! Enroute, we stopped at a hamlet on a rocky promontory, consisting of a taverna and not much else. There was much ammendment of the nets taking place while our captain consumed vast quantities of beer!!!
You have to get to the small harbour of A. Nikolaos near the caves either independently or on an excursion.
The caves are probably nearly as well photographed nowadays as Shipwreck Beach.
Directions: Boats from A. Nikolaos in the north. Caves near Skinari Cape.
Now this was another strange place. The dirt road ended at a ramshackle taverna with rustic tables and chairs positioned higgledy-piggledy on a hillside. The taverna was little more than a shack and there was a bamboo type shed on stilts (seen in 4th photo) nearby which we had read could be rented as a bed for the night. On the top of the hill was a massive concrete cross, said to commemorate those killed by the Nazis in the 2nd World War.
When we looked over the edge of the cliff, the vista was stunning. A sheer drop down into the aqua-marine sea took my breath away and made me feel a little unsteady!! The views around the rocky coast were indeed a sight to savour. This was supposedly the place to come to view amazing sunsets. We were only there during the day and had the place to ourselves.
I have read recently that evening coach trips now pile into here and enjoy the sunsets from a choice of tavernas. I bet they do!!!!
Directions: West coast of the island.
Octopus drying in Zakynthos Town
A pleasant enough, modern town with a harbour where boats for Killini on the mainland leave from. In 1984 this was the main route to Kefalonia from Zakynthos. From Killini you then caught an onward connection to Poros in south Kefalonia,.Very complicated. I believe there were sailings to Fiskardo and Sami in the east and north of Kefalonia but probably only seasonal. I don't know whether this is the case now.
The town is mostly modern, but still attractive, having been sympathetically rebuilt after the 1953 earthquake shattered the whole island.
Lots of interesting shops in the back streets and cheaper eateries than on the harbour front. When we were there, tourism didn't seem to feature at all and the locals went about their businesses as they always had done.
When arriving or leaving by ferry, there are excellent waterfront views.Way above the town, the Venetian castle looks down over the bay and town.
Directions: Main town and port on the east coast of the island.
A magnificent sweep of sand at the far south of the island. Some interesting, two- tone cliffs stretch out into the bay.
This is an end of the road destination which is ever popular and at one time there was even evidence of watersports. Not so now, as the beach is a conservation area and home to nesting Loggerhead turtles. Access to the beach is prohibited at night time to give the turtles a chance to lay their eggs during nightfall.
You can walk on the headland above the beach and look back for rewarding views of the bay.
We visited Gerakas a few times during 1983 and 84 and it was never busy.
Directions: South east tip of the island.
I really don't think any of these beaches will look like they do in these photos today. In 1984 beaches were still mainly undeveloped. Porto Zorro and Porto Roma were advertised but only a couple of tavernas and a few rooms were evident. Porto Zorro was the prettier. Yerakas, well, nothing on the beach but there was a lone establishment back up in the village along with some rooms. A magnificently huge stretch of sand with spectacular cliffs.Vassilikos, nothing at all marred the beach.Hard to believe, eh?
Tsilivi was expanding rapidly and we had an idea what would happen, how right we were!!!
Laganas and Argassi were already horrible, Kalamaki we quite liked as Laganas's overspill hadn't happened then. We stayed one night in the Chrystal Bay Hotel at the beginning of May. A lot more basic than we had imagined.
The west coast was not accessible by road and no boat trips went to Shipwreck Beach.
There were a couple of beaches somewhere on the east, St. nicholas being one. A rotunda beach bar and nothing else.
Alykes was developing and had plenty of scope for building behind.A very calm, shallow beach.
Directions: Around the island.
Named after the salt-pans behind the village.
In 1984 definitely the best "resort" on the island for beach, village feel and friendly natives. Not many English knew about Alykes back then, the majority being hoarded together in either soulless Argassi or over-popular Laganas.Needless to say, we didn't spend much time in either of these places, just took a quick look and left, quickly.
Alykes had a very few eateries and a couple of cafe-bars and a traditional cafeneon in these halcyon days. The locals ate and drank with us, we were never short of company and late meals turned into even later nights as we were plyed with the local wine (which was actually hideous but well, we were young then and not so fussy!!) It came from a huge barrel and when you ran out, you simply found yourself an ampty water bottle and stuck it under the wine tap.
The sandy, narrow and shallow beach extended right round the bay, with one taverna at the far end.The water was very safe for young children. The only development was at the west end of the bay with the Hotel Montreal and Astoria. A few rooms blocks were on the increase, catering mainly for Germans, , as the few English here were mainly package jobs.
1984 and Alykes was a fantastic place to stay ,the rest of the island within easy reach if you hired a motorbike or car. Now, I'm afraid things have changed drastically and it is probably the most popular family resort, though still quieter than Laganas and the likes.
Address: Alykes, Zakynthos
Directions: North west of the island, 16km. north of Zakynthos Town.
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