Holiday to Zante September 2015
At the start of September I was looking for a last minute holiday to Zante. It’s been four years since we went to Kalamaki so it seemed an ideal time to go again.
Where we stayed
We stayed in the resort of Kalamaki at the Asteri Apartments. These apartments are around 100m from the main road where all the bars, restaurants and shops are.
The apartments are basic but clean and comfy. The owner George is on hand most of the time and he makes a great effort to make sure everything goes well with your holiday.
You can use the pool bar/ pool of the Costa Hotel next door.
The only thing we didn’t like was being woken up by cockerels. I also thought charging €35 for air-conditioning and €15 for the use of the safe for a week was rather a lot. I paid for the safe but there was no way I was paying for the air-con!
What we did
There are some pleasant walks in the area. It’s a 10 minute walk to Caretta Beach and you can walk from there to Laganas. Caretta and the Turtle beach both have very limited facilities.
You can also walk from Caretta Beach back up to the main road and walk along taking in a spot of lunch or an afternoon tipple!
We decided to take advantage of some of the pool bars that are open to everyone. It’s generally understood that you can use the pool and facilites as long as you buy drinks and food.
We used the one near the apartments but got bitten by mosquitos as its near some open fields.
A better one is at the Cronulla Hotel next door to Drunk Corner (Drunk Corner is the reference point for the resort – everyone knows where that is!)
We visited Zante town twice. There is a bus service but it’s not very reliable. A taxi is €10 and saves you the hassle of waiting for the bus. Ask to be dropped off at Saint Dionysios. (St. Dennis) church and walk the length of the water front then turn left onto Solomos Square. From here keep going up to the top of the square then turn left again. From here there are lots of shops, bars and eateries, the road eventually leads back down to your starting point.
We also went on a coach tour of the island (€18). Starting at the top of Zante Town for panoramic views of the area. Then off to:
Callinico Winery – Short tour followed by tasting of some mediocre wines.
Small Monastery – not worth the stop.
Navagio – The look out point to see the shipwreck. This was horrendous! Over an hour in a queue to take a photo. Made worse by people with ‘Selfish’ sticks taking numerous shots of themselves with the shipwreck in the background.
The toilet facilities there are awful. If you’re thinking of seeing the shipwreck go by boat!
St Nicholas – Pleasant small harbour with a few restaurants. Main place to get a boat to see the Blue Caves. The boat trip was good value at €6 each.
Travel back down the east of the island back to Kalamaki.
Where we ate.
When we were in Kalamaki 4 years ago we had a few favourites so we made a point of going back to some of them.
Escape – Still excellent! Beef Stifado some of the best you’ll ever have.
Olive Tree – No change here either! Great service, great food and all reasonable. Try the Olive Tree lamb.
Cronulla Hotel – We had breakfast and lunch here. Breakfast was good and the Pork Souvlaki at lunchtime is enough for two.
Heavens Kitchen – Good food but the waiters are a bit over the top and the chap that tries to get people in is a bit sleazy.
Milos – Doesn’t look much from outside but they looked after us well while there was a thunderstorm going on! Food was ok – nothing to write home about!
Most unusual was at a cafe near the entrance to the ferry port in Zante Town. We ordered Ouzo mezedes. A Greek mixed plate of octopus, whitebait, olives, sliced meats, feta, Tsatsiki, tomato, sausage, pickled chilli and garlic bread. Very tasty but I don’t think I’d be brave enough to order it again! It was definitely an experience!
Other things to do.
There are a number of tour operators along the main road. They offer trips around the island, boat trips to see turtles and around the island.
Hire a car and go where you fancy.
Pop along to Laganas (18-30 crowd!), Argassi, Alykanas, Tsilivi which are the other main resorts along the coast.
Zante is a great island for a holiday. It has something for everyone.
Have you had a holiday to Zante? Do you have a favourite place there?