Every Greek island has its own individual personality and flair. With Zakynthos, people asked, why are you going there?! We’ve seen both reasons people do want to visit and don’t want to visit. There are parts of Zakynthos that are extremely touristy. It looks like a Greek version of New Jersey- including strip joints, fast food chains and half-naked attendees. It’s getting a name now for being a “party island.” Apparently, many British high school grads rush there to party all night, sleep all day. Fortunately, we managed to escape the bottle-ridden spray-tan stained path and have a good time.
Shipwreck Beach (Overlooking View)
We spent Ryann’s birthday visiting the most photographed place in all of Greece. More so than Santorini! Trip Advisor’s home page uses it a lot as well as almost every travel agency in Europe. And as it turned out, it was for a good reason. Great way to ring in 26!
After Devin cooked Ryann a delicious birthday breakfast, we were on our way. We knew of two different ways to do this:
a.) Take a boat tour (stops at Blue Caves and others along the way)
b.) Park at the overlook for the view.
As usual for us, we decided to skip the tour group crowd and went for Option B. We left behind the rowdy crowd that would’ve occupied the beach, trading in for a relaxing and intimate time together. How romantic! We stopped for coffee along the way and walked along the cliffs above to get different viewpoints. Lucky for us, we timed it right so the beach was nearly deserted. We can’t imagine Option A being any better- the view was amazing and a “do not miss” for sure!
We’ll be honest with you. There’s no need to lie. You do not come here with intentions of actually visiting the lighthouse. We don’t even have a picture of it. It’s tiny, worn down and frankly, an underwhelming eyesore. But!!!!! Don’t cross it off your list just yet. We obviously didn’t know any better and went, and did see a very pretty view! We went early in the day with still a full itinerary of sights to see, so we didn’t exactly stick around but we’re sure you could climb around and see more than we did. Maybe pack a picnic?! Or some beers!
We briefly stopped here to find everything closed on a Sunday. Keep that in mind! Sundays= Ghost town. It’s alright though, it was nice along the coast. There were some semi-fancy restaurants, many boats in the bay, and children running around with squirt guns. It was at least worth the drive by in our opinion!
Unless you own a Tapout or an Affliction tee or chase guys who do, this is not a place for you. While searching high and low for a laundromat (good luck), we stumbled up on the armpit of Zakynthos. This embodied all negative aspects of the island in just a few square kilometers. This was the only place we saw that had a McDonalds, Subway or other chains. We did find a laundromat here, diy attached to a gas station. We pulled up and witnessed shirtless bros putting nicotine-soaked smelly club clothing that still has throw up from the night before on it into the washer. Sexy. We decided against it. We turned around and left as quick as we came.
We stayed in a little town which didn’t have much except for one restaurant, a church and a small grocery store. It seemed very “off-the-path.” In fact, it was. We ate lunch at a local restaurant where the waitress asked us why are you here?! She was very surprised and interested to know. We introduced her to the concept of Airbnb, where she finally understood how we could’ve found the town.
The house itself was beautiful. The only neighbors were roosters and one curious, hungry cat. The hosts were in midst of renovation, deliberating what to refurbish next. Part of the house was decorated in a contemporary and modern style, while the other maintained a more traditional, cave-like typical Greek home. Very interesting architecture and style.
As evident in the picture, the garden sitting area was cozy and enchanting. It’s exactly what you’d wish to have to entertain guests. Devin did just that! He “entertained” by cooking up another delicous asado for Ryann’s birthday. Hands down, BEST yet on the trip! So, it’s safe to say that the meat in Zakynthos is absolutely delicious and appetizing. It was a perfect spot for us.
Zakynthos- leave it or love it? If you have enough time left over after enjoying Santorini and Crete, definitely go!