The last stop on my Ionian island hopping was Zakynthos. We took a ferry from Kefalonia early in the morning. Instead of going straight to our AirBnb on the other side of the island, (that seemed to be a trend this trip that we stayed on total opposites of where we landed and from everything we wanted to do first) we were told ahead of time by some friends that the tours that go to Navagio (Shipwreck Beach and the Blue Caves) could hold your luggage for free. We overheard a travel agent when we arrived at the port and decided that the tour sounded great for both the beach and caves. I believe we only paid 15 Euros for two hours. Getting off a ferry and then going on a small boat immediately for a tour was a lot of water travel for an early morning, but I loved it. I used to get sea sick when I would go on boats, but this summer, I totally loved being out at sea and didn’t get sick at all. I even perfected the art of sleeping while sitting straight up – haha.
Anyway, so we got on the boat and went to Navagio. This beach has been on my Greece bucket list for so long and I’m so happy that I finally got to go especially since only about a month ago, a large piece of rock detached from the side and fell onto people. The videos are pretty scary, so I’m lucky that we weren’t there when that happened. The beach was a lot more crowded than I expected for early morning and by the time we left it was even crazier with the amount of people there. The boat dropped us off and then floated away so it kind of felt like we were trapped on a desert island. That was a little unexpected, but that’s the process – drop people off and then honk when the boat gets back. You couldn’t really swim at this beach because of all the boat traffic. I was honestly okay with not swimming there because I didn’t feel comfortable leaving all my stuff unattended even though the water was so nice. I was also surprised that people were climbing on top of the ship because it was all rust. I also didn’t like how people wrote all over the ship. It just seems that it would be better taken care of. Taking photos without a lot of people in them was also difficult. After about an hour and a half on the beach, our boat picked us up and we were en route to the Blue Caves.
Because our boat was a bit late picking us up from Navagio, (too much traffic) we didn’t have too much time to swim at the Blue Caves. We just had enough time to dive in, swim in the closest cave and swim back to the boat. I don’t think I have ever swam so fast in my life to the boat because I didn’t want to get left behind. I wish we had more time to be there because the caves were so cool! It was a bit scary when a ripple would go in the cave and there wasn’t a lot of head space. The light coming up from the bottom of the sea was so bright. This is probably one time in my life where I should have brought an underwater camera with me, but honestly I didn’t know what to expect from the caves and I loved them!
We relaxed a lot at this place because we were non-stop for almost a month and I loved soaking in the view from my balcony and walking all around the city. We also went to the bouzoukia (show) and saw Elli Kokkinou. She is a well-known Greek singer and her show was sooo good!
We went to so many beaches that I’m forgetting where and what their names were. I know, what a problem to have! I liked this beach that we went to because it wasn’t too crowded and the beach beds were comfortable to chill at all day 🙂
The patron saint of Zakynthos is Saint Dionysius and his body is kept in the main church on the island. They open his tomb only a few times a day and we were able to see his body. He was so tiny and it was a bit creepy to see him, but so cool at the same time.
The parts of the island we saw we very charming. The buses were always packed, but thankfully we didn’t have to use them that much. We did avoid the very touristy party areas of the island because that’s really not my kind of scene. On Sunday, everything really does shut down even where there are a lot of visitors, but it’s kind of nice to walk around because it’s so quiet. We took a flight back to Athens and that about finished our Ionian island hopping trip. I’m so happy that I finally did it and all the months (and years) of planning were so worth it. Traveling with Dina is always the best because we balance each other out and it was fun to mix in another travel buddy, her cousin, Eleni. I highly recommend visiting Lefkada and Kefalonia and of course Zakynthos. I wish that summer break would last forever, but that’s what memories and blog posts are for – I can take a summer break in my mind and laptop whenever I want 😉