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Zakynthos - Plalaki Rock

When it comes to the locals, as elsewhere in Greece, it’s best to come equipped with plenty of
humor and patience. Trust me! Nothing is going to go according to plan. Even at the airport, they
don’t make much effort to follow the rules. When we were there the baggage scales weren’t
working, and the security check was just for show. The only schedule you can count on them sticking
to rigorously is siesta time! This is total – from noon until about five or six in the evening life shuts
down. Nothing is open, even in the capital. We had to walk miles just for a bottle of water. On the
other hand, you can easily go shopping until eleven in the evening. Loose adherence to the rules is
particularly evident on the roads, which are extremely narrow and winding, but cars and quad bikes
roar up and down them at top speed all day long. The bus schedule is at best a rough guideline. Even
at the bus stop, it’s often written that you should simply ask the driver where the bus is going, and
when the next one will come along. Still, tickets are generally very reasonably priced: ours was €1.60
for the whole trip.
It’s unbelievable in this day and age, but the fact is that in practice it’s possible to smoke
everywhere: in bars, restaurants, hotels and boats. In our hotel, the cook who prepared out
breakfast did so with a cigarette hanging out the corner of his mouth, and when my friend got up
from the table to go smoke outside, the waitress told him he needn’t bother – he could smoke at the
table. Since Zakynthos is an island, it’s good to be sparing with the tap water, and signs remind you
of this everywhere. Electrical power, on the other hand, seems practically unlimited, and this is what
the air conditioners run off. (The local bus was about 20°C, while outside it must have been at least
30°C). The temperature drops to a surprising degree in the evening, and after dark I don’t think
anyone uses air conditioning – it’s unnecessary. The tap water isn’t drinkable, but the mineral water

tastes good, and it’s interesting that both a single bottle and a whole carton are the same price:
€1.50. The internet is unreliable, but this means that it’s never worth paying extra for: if it works, it
will work for free, and if it doesn’t money won’t make it work. Knowledge of English is equally
patchy, though they’ll usually nod enthusiastically and repeat whatever you said to them. In
restaurants and hotels there are many members of staff who speak good English, and are happy to
chat with a tourist.

Practicals

Transport

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Food

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Zakynthos - Mountain of Gyros

Fun

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Zakynthos - slide

Health

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Zakynthos - When your mom is too lazy or a painter

Background

Destination in brief

Zakynthos (also called Zante) is a Greek island, a popular vacation destination in the Ionian Sea. The island is situated at about the same height as Sicily, opposite the western side of the Peloponnese peninsula. The southernmost part of the Greek mainland is an hour's travel away by ferry (about 20 km).

Size: 405.6 km² (156.6 mi²) - The longest distance on the island is just over 46 kilometers, and driving distance of about 80 minutes. The total coastline is 123 kilometers.

Population (in 2020): 42,000

The island is relatively small, easy to navigate, and green enough. It has prime sandy beaches and exciting rocky shores with secluded, beautiful coves. The seawater is everywhere, slowly deepening, bright, super transparent, beautiful colors (dark, intersecting blues). According to many, it is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece.

Laganas is more for party people because there are a lot of nightclubs
Kalamaki is a bit quieter place, the beach is beautiful, and there are many taverns and restaurants. 
Tsilivi and Agasi are great for swimming, and these places are not full of noisy pubs
Zakynthos (Zante) city is more to visit, shopping, sightseeing, not worth living there
There are no long airport-hotel transfers, in the worst case, no more than 35 minutes.


Climate

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Zakynthos - like a tornado in the making, but it didn’t become - r.t. photo

Attractions

Navagio Bay (Shipwreck Beach)

Zakynthos - Navagio Bay (or Shipwreck Beach), seldom so empty - i.v. photo

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