Traveling around the island can be pretty difficult if you don’t have a car. The public transportation does not cover the whole island but just a small part, therefore a lot of tourists rely on organized trips. We did it too and it was a nice experience so I want to share it with you. We bought the island tour, Kefalonia tour (blog article coming soon) and Navagio boat trip. Also, we visited the capital, Zante, on our own using public transportation.
ISLAND TOUR (30 EUROS/PERSON)
I liked the island tour a lot as it helped me to have a full picture of this beautiful island. The narrow and sinuous road with a lot of ups and downs gave me the creeps, especially as we were in a big bus (the driver is a hero, I swear!). However, every curve was showing us other beautiful hidden beach, other small hill full of olives, other surprising view!
I liked that during the trip, the guide explained to us some interesting details about the island. For example, did you know that the eastern part is where the soil is fertile so that the locals can plant vegetables and have olive groves! On the western part of the island, the soil is not fertile, so limestone rocks and pines are predominant (do you wonder now why the unreal Navagio is located on the western part?)
Wine cellar – they will quickly show you the place and the process of obtaining wine. For me it was quite boring as I don’t drink wine. Presenting the wine cellar lasted for 10 minutes and the tasting part for about 20 minutes. You can buy wine after that. A bottle is around 10 euros.
Then, we headed to the northeastern part of the island. On the way, I have captured some shots of the beautiful landscape:
Second stop: Panoramic point above Alykes-Alikanas region. What I liked there was the combination of hills, trees (a very green landscape) with the Ionian sea and coastal part. It is a stop only for photos for 5 minutes.
Agios Nikolaos was the next stop. There, we had 2 options: either to go to the Blue Caves with the agency or wander around the harbor. We chose the second option and stayed at a tavern with other tourists. It was a nice opportunity to get to know each other better.
The part that I did not like was that Blue Caves trip delayed a lot our departure and instead of staying 30 minutes there we ended up staying one hour. (and the next stop was Navagio!)
Navagio panoramic point – I dreamed so much about getting there! The story is: I was in high school and it was a boring summer day. I was scrolling down on social media however nothing impressed me. I came across a spectacular photo which caught my attention: it was a giant rock surrounding a small beach and an incredible blue water all around. I did not know where it was so I searched for more information and I discovered that it was in Greece! (so close to Romania). In that moment, I promised myself that I will do everything possible to get there. It was my secret dream, my motivation. And it caaaaame true this year!
From the moment we got there (when we couldn’t see too much) I felt something special, a good vibe. Then the guide told us “We will stay here until you make some photos from the arranged area”. There was a queue formed in that place and we were not sure if we will have a good angle from there so we decided to walk further, on the next hill. We saw that it was a trail there so we decided to follow it. Then, the adventure started: it was so hot, the wind was blowing, we were running like crazy on the trail which was full of sharp rocks and bushes… from time to time we were stopping to see the view but we were not content so let’s run again, “take care”, “omg I hurt myself”, “wait a minute to take a photo”.
I hurt my feet as I was not attentive to the road. The way until there was 10 minutes long and the view was spectacular! My only regret is that we were in such a rush that we didn’t have time to admire all that incredible landscape. I had only some minutes to breath and enjoy the view. However, it was a nice experience and we were content that we succeeded to get there without having a car.
Lunch break – After all the rush, we received a well deserved break for lunch. The view of the restaurant was very beautiful and the food was delicious.
The next stop was to admire an olive tree of 2000 years old.
Olive oil factory – last stop. They have a wide range of olive oil, body and face lotions. Prices are around 10 euros.
Around 7 o’clock, we were home with a lot of memories and landscapes kept in our heart.
Visiting Zante town on our own
There are regular buses that make the connection between stations and Zante town. The price is 1,80 euros/person/one way. The buses are modern, equipped with air conditioning. All the local people will tell you that the buses are usually late – we were lucky as our bus was at the station just in time. There are no buses on Sundays!
Zante capital: remnants of Venetian colonies. Until getting there, I had no clue that Zakynthos was in the past a Venetian colony (from 1484–1797!) Nowadays, one can admire the rebuilt/restored buildings with their majestic towers, just Venetian style. I said rebuilt because an earthquake in 1953 destroyed almost all the buildings from Zakynthos!
When in Zante, you cannot miss Solomos square:
On our way, I found this beautiful traditional Greek house:
Also, Bochali hill cannot be missed. From there, you will overlook Zante town and the Ionian sea and the view is just lovely!
In order to get there, you can take the taxi (fixed price: 7 euros) or climb the hill (we returned on that road) It is a nice walk, however as it is usually very hot and the trees’ shadows are missing, it’s better only to return on that road. There are no buses until Bochali!
Travel. Enjoy. Repeat.