Greece is easily one of my favourite places to visit in Europe due to the food and culture. Myself and my other half decided to visit the well known Zante back in early May but admittedly, not for the party culture.
We looked for a place to stay for a long time. We scrawled Expedia and various other sites when we realised the best thing to do was book a package deal with Jet2. I’ve flown with Jet2 before and they were awesome. Great service and affordable prices, so I didn’t hesitate to book again. Not only this, but everything was included so we didn’t even have to worry about transfers or paying extra for luggage.
The flight was only 3 and a half hours but fell over lunchtime so we decided to sample the Jet2 pre-ordered food menu and it was great! I usually grimace at aeroplane food but I really was pleasantly surprised at the beef stew. It was only £7 and we got the meal itself, dessert, a bread roll, cheese and biscuits and a hot drink/water! Really amazing value for money.
Upon arrival at the airport it was super quick to get through security and even easier to be directed to our transfer bus by the ever so helpful Jet2 staff. We were super lucky that our hotel was less than 20 minutes from the airport, so we were the first stop. The hotel itself was called the Avalon Palace and was luxurious for Greece with enjoyable food. But the view definitely made the hotel. We paid extra for a sea view and it was one of the best decisions we made. The hotel is all-inclusive (it has options for half board too) so we chowed down on lots of food and unlimited cocktails before crashing in bed ready to explore the next day.
Due to the 2 hour time difference we had a lay in before making our way down to breakfast. We decided that on our first day we wanted to explore the Zakynthos Town. The hotel provides a shuttle service to the town and the beach which is amazing. However we walked to the town more than we did get on the bus, but it was a good 20 minute walk up very steep hills (my calves were killing). We explored the local shops, tourist spots and of course had a chicken gyros from Big Boys before heading back to the hotel. That afternoon we laid out by the pool taking in the seriously beautiful view. Nothing beats it.
After a morning of exploring the day before we decided to spend a day by the pool and work on our suntans! The weather was fabulous by this point even if it did begin to spiral towards the end of our trip (it was raining every day). I listened to the Arctic Monkeys new album and finished my book “I Was Here” which I would definitely recommend.
We then chilled in the evening and took a trip to the convenience store to stock up on white chocolate Crunch (my favourite) and some crisps for our trip to the beach tomorrow! Our hotel provided a ‘lunch basket’ if you had excursions planned so we took advantage of this whilst we were away from the hotel. It varied from day to day, we had cheese and ham rolls or beef wraps with a selection of fruit and two bottles of water. I thought it was a really nice touch so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on the all-inclusive food you’ve paid for.
By this point we were ready to go exploring again (after our day of chilling) so we decided to get the shuttle to Tsilivi beach at 11am. We had a wander around Tsilivi and found a great spot on the beach to eat our lunch after dipping our toes in the water. We’re not huge beach lovers so we didn’t spend too long on the beach itself as it was crazy hot and humid. We got an ice cream and took 5 minutes out of the sun when I suggested we visit the water park (one of the best suggestions I’d ever made).
Tsilivi Waterpark is roughly a 20 minute walk from Tsilivi beach and it was definitely worth the walk. I’d read online that after a certain time the entrance fee was half price but I couldn’t remember what time so we mentioned it to the cashier and even though it wasn’t 2:30pm yet, he let us have it. So in total it cost us 18 euros for the two of us which included a 5 euro deposit on a safe that we got back! It was a great afternoon out, I couldn’t recommend it more to anyone. It has a good balance of adult and child friendly rides and an amazing childrens play area.
That evening we had a Eurovision party for two in our room (which of course I fell asleep during) with a few cocktails.
We’d noticed a sign for a train station on our previous days exploring and thought it would be nice to get the train to somewhere else on the island. Upon following the signs to the train station we were led down a dirt path to somebodies house. We never did find the train station, but we did find the Tourist Train instead in Zakynthos Town! It was 6 euros each for an educational narrated train journey; I did enjoy it and learning about the town was wonderful, but I do think it was a tad overpriced. That afternoon we’d planned to walk up to the castle but the heat got the better of me and we had to cool off back at the hotel.
After yesterdays mild meltdown in the heat we decided to attempt to find the Zakynthos Castle again. After lots of googling and searching on google maps we walked up the STEEPEST HILL I have ever seen (and I have been up Lincoln’s Steep Hill) to find that the castle has been closed since the beginning of 2018 due to lack of staff. So, don’t visit the castle, however if you dare to walk, you can just to see the amazing view of the Zakynthos Town and the harbour.
We then walked down and booked an excursion for the next day to The Shipwreck and the Blue Caves. After we went back to our room where I did some writing and a bit of preparation for my Disney CRP.
It was our final full day in Zante and we wanted to make it a great one so we embarked on an excursion for 30 euros. We booked it with an established tour operator in the town and it was great value for money. The weather on the other hand, was not performing at its best for us. It was cold all day (being out at sea) with little to no sun, I was just grateful I’d brought my jacket.
The shipwreck beach itself was absolutely beautiful, the white sand and blue sea really were an amazing sight. But it was such a tiny beach and there was hundreds of people there scrambling to take pictures. The shipwreck itself looked cooler from a distance and I wish we would have gone to look at it from above instead of up close. The caves were also beautiful, but due to it being too cold I didn’t dare get in the water. The cruise itself lasted a good 6 hours and had a great snack selection on board.
Upon arriving into the harbour we were desperate for pizza so spent our last 10 euros on a pepperoni pizza from Big Boys. It was honestly the best decision we’d ever made. That night we had some last drinks and did a bit of packing before check out the next morning.
Our flight wasn’t until 7pm so our pick-up was at 3:30pm. We had to checkout at 12 and weren’t able to use the food facilities in the hotel anymore. Because of this we checked our luggage into the bag hold and made our way into the town for one last time. We made a few dog friends and ventured inside the famous Agios Dionisios Church and I’m glad we did.
The flight with Jet2 on the way back was just as great and the food was also as good as the original flight. I would recommend Jet2 as an easy, affordable package holiday with class. Check out my other Travel blog posts here.
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