The Secret Side To Zakynthos
Hopefully you’ll have already caught part 1 and 2 of my Zakynthos travel edits, firstly our accommodation at Villa Alico and secondly the wonderful Peligoni club. But I thought it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t dedicate a little airtime to the island itself, because it truly is a beauty with a lot of hidden gems up its sleeve. And i was lucky enough to discover those beautiful secrets during an almighty adventure during my stay in the North of Zakynthos.
Having travelled a lot, trust me when I say, I’ve not seen blue waters and hidden coves like it. So belt up, and let me take you for a little ride around some of my most favourite parts of this little island.
The thing about Greek islands and the island of Zakynthos in particular is that they’re small and easy to explore. My natural instinct is to find my spot on the beach and not more for 14 days, but this holiday showed me how important a little adventure is. Whether you explore by car, by foot by bike or by water (either would make a Stirling mode of transport on this island) it’s getting lost along the way that enables you to find the beautiful gems the island has to offer.
HOW TO DISCOVER THE SECRET SIDE OF NORTH ZAKYNTHOS
Hike & Shipwreck
The island itself is obviously infamous for its shipwrecked beach, I can’t believe I almost didn’t see this piece of history on my trip, but luckily on the last day we changed that. The Shipwreck bay is a popular tourist destination (much like the blue caves which i didn’t see on this trip), flocks of people queue for the viewing stand, and even more flock in on tour boats, but it’s hiking the cliffs to the furthest point away where the real (uninterrupted) views lie. But let me warn you, it’s seriously high and seriously rough n ready, but the views back over the beach are worth it. I’ve not seen turquoise seas like it … The photos needed no editing to bring this view to life.
Locals & Volimes
When it comes to ‘tourist’ destinations the island has a few of course, but for me it’s the local and authentic spots hidden in the lustrous hills that really make the island special. And that’s where hiring a car (or renting a bike) can be a huge help. On route to visit the Shipwreck we took our little Fiat Panda on a locals tour, stopping to chat to locals selling their olive oil and honey on the side roads (you’ll see a lot of these, the stalls in the hills feel the most authentic to me) and taking a little stroll though the local villages, one of which was the town of Volimes. Volimes is the part of the North island where the locals move for winter. And whilst I was envisaging a rather built up and established town, Volimes couldn’t have been further from it. Rustic, full of charm and totally authentic. The town has practically nothing in it aside from its own beauty. So as a photography obsessive it was fun to walk around and capture the sleepiness of the village.
But beyond the town of Volomes there’s lots more to see and explore, the Port in Agios Nikalaos, the local cafes and restaurants in the hills and around the port (The Art Cafe with Sophie’s home made tasting menus, the old Windmill, & Nobelos), the Olive factory and of course just the untouched land with such incredible views.
Getting Lost & Secret coves
But perhaps my favourite part of my Zakynthos adventure was when getting lost. After taking an accidental turn and driving 20 minutes on a stunning beach cliff descent (the drive was so beautiful we just thought we’d see where it took us) we ended up at a dead end. Facing some serious rocks and an almighty cliff above us with no where else to go. And that’s how we discovered the most tranquil and beautiful secret cove. After a short rock climb down to the water, we found ourselves in stunning rock pools surrounded by the most enormous White cliff faces. And just a little swim through the crystal clear and turquoise water was the smallest, totally hidden white sand beach. With caves on either side and only 2 or 3 people as company, this place was the highlight of our adventure. The secret cove is a must see, whether you fancy recreating our little adventure by car or simply hiring a boat for the day and exploring all the secret coves the island has hidden, I’d thoroughly recommend it.
But if my tips and story telling wasn’t enough. Then this most has something a little extra special hidden at the end.
WATCH MY ZAKYNTHOS MOVIE
My first ever attempt at a video, and a mini movie of my stay at Zakynthos. I hadn’t planned to create a film, one day after some spurring on from a friend I met whilst away, I switched my camera from photo of film, from auto focus to manual focus, and I just started playing. Luckily I took my camera on our little adventure so I could share it with you all. I spent until 2am learning how to edit and even though it’s a little rough n ready, I’m quite chuffed with my very first attempt at filming.
I’d love to know what you think of my little video & whether you’ve enjoyed these travel posts? Have you visited the North of Zakynthos?