Advantages Very cheap; friendly people
Disadvantages Cloudy weather in September
On 7th September, my boyfriend and I set off on the long and tiresome journey to Zante, Greece. After having sat in the car for two hours on the way to Gatwick, we were not so pleasantly surprised to find that we were in the wrong Terminal. Oops! So off we trekked to the North Terminal where our holiday began.The flight was about three hours, during which time you get to munch on some lovely airplane food and purchase duty free items. We went with Astreaus who were very accomodating.
After arriving in Zante five hours after we had left Gatwick (they're two hours ahead), we dragged our luggage to the coach. The transfer time to Laganas and the hotel was only 20 minutes, which was good because I was quite tired by this point!As soon as we got there the sun disappeared and the rain started to pour. Although it was still over 30C, the weather had much to be desired as we witnessed storm after storm (which meant a great lack of suntan).
The next morning, our rep introduced us to the island (locally known as Zakynthos) and informed us of several trips we could go on. Due to the weather, we decided to hire a car one day, and go on a boat trip later in the week with the hope that the weather would improve.That night we ventured from our hotel (The Portego) into the heart of our resort - Laganas. The first night we walked and it took us ages! From then on we got a taxi in which cost 5 Euros, regardless of how far into town you went.
Laganas consists basically of a long strip with hundreds of shops, bars and restaurants to venture in and the beach right at the end. Because of the sheer volume of shops, competition is high, making prices cheap.Lets start with the shops first. Unfortunately, like any resort, you go in one shop, you've been in them all. Every shop seems to have the same stock which varied from fake designer handbags to cheap packs of cards. The staff speak perfect English (as do the rest of the Greeks on the island) and are extremely helpful.
The restaurants also provide pretty much the same food, with similar prices. Again, the service is good and the food is wonderful. The only thing I found quite annoying was the English people who had been hired by the Greeks to pull passers by into the restaurants. I found this particularly annoying when the entire reason I went on holiday was to relax and not be hassled! But anyway...As for the nightlife, I have been assured it is spectacular, but I'm afraid clubbing is not for me so I am unable to comment on this part of Laganas!!
The day we hired the jeep, we went to Zante town, which is the most historic part of the island and the most lively. Due to an earthquake in 1953, much of the island was destroyed and rebuilt, but Zante town still boasts some historic landmarks.Here, there are loads of shops and restaurants to browse in and spend all those Euros. Other parts of the island to visit are Keri and Agios Nikolas.
There are hundreds of trips to go on, especially on boats. We chose to go to the North of the island and see the Shipwreck and visit the Blue Caves. Due to the bad weather, we were unable to visit the Shipwreck, but if anyone has any pictures of it, I would love to see what it looks like!! This meant I had to suffice with a swim near the Blue Caves, and another three hours of milling about in the sea on a boat. Ah well.But all the milling about in the sea was worth it after we spotted a turtle swimming along. The tour guide told us that this turtle was a long way from home as they were usually spotted off the coast of Laganas.
After a week of rain and hail (and the odd bit of sunshine) it was time to go home. Be warned, the airport at Zakynthos is the most inefficient I have ever been to. It consists of five check in desks, and you have to queue outside for hours before you're eventually herded in. The three gates at the airports (yes three!), mean that it is always overcrowded and hot, so don't forget to take water with you!After arriving back in Gatwick, I can say I was glad to be back in the UK.
If it hadn't been for the weather, I would have given this holiday a higher rating, but nevertheless, Zante is a wonderful place to visit, and I would definitely recommend it to couples seeking a relaxing holiday after a hard years work.
Thanx for the read, Victoria x
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