ZAKYNTHOS & KEFALONIA

Two Islands In One Holiday.

I’ve decided to change it up with this post, I said I wanted to include my travel experiences in my blog which is why I named my site Wonderglam and after a few messages asking about my trip to Greece last year I thought I would write a blog about my experience. 

Two Greek islands in one trip because why not! For starters, no we did not go to Zante for the standard ‘girls holiday, 18-30, let’s get drunk every night and end up in a ditch somewhere’ trip, if you didn’t know, Zante has a lot to offer other than the 2 for 1 watered down cocktails. So much more.

We booked our trip in the last week of August 2017 and as expected it was luckily more quieter when we went than if you were to book from May to mid August. We did stay in Laganas as my friends and I were on a budget and felt the apartments near Laganas were much cheaper. The hotel we stayed in was called the Ionis Art Hotel through Thomson which is on the strip but luckily more towards the beach end.

Ionis Art Hotel

The hotel looked really nice on the photos, I personally liked how each room had a different theme. Ours was the Japanese style room which had a red and black theme. The room was spacious for the three of us and had a double bed with a single too, bathroom with bath and shower, full wardrobe and shelves, tv, sound system, mini fridge, hairdryer and safety deposit. As a warning you do have to pay extra for the tv, air con and safety box when you arrive. 

When walking around the hotel I notice it seemed clean at all times and the corridor was decorated with beautiful art. The pool was big enough to fit most of the guests and had music playing at a reasonable sound in the background. We was very lucky to get a pool view from our room as I feel if we was facing the strip we might of had a noisy room. 

The staff of the hotel were really professional, lovely to talk to and always had time for a chat or to give us advice. When we left they gave us a little gift each to say thank you which I felt was a lovely gesture. 

The Strip 

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So, I get it, you hear Laganas and automatically picture young adults falling over drunk in the street. We however wanted to give the strip a chance to show the nice part of Laganas and I’m so glad we did. One place we particularly loved was Carpe Diem which is a restaurant towards the beach, their cocktails are more expensive I believe it was €12 or so for a cocktail but they tasted amazing and they used proper alcohol. The food they served was really good too, healthy and delicious options which is what you want when you’re surrounded by fast food chains lol! The interior decor was beautiful, quirky designs, low lighting and even the odd funny quote picture (check out the one in the restrooms). The staff were always friendly and never rushed you to go. 

 

Other lovely places are along the beach. We had a beautiful evening meal overlooking the sunset with yummy cocktails and wine. One of the restaurants also offer a really tasty iced coffee when you need a pick me up during the day, and you also get a sunbed when you purchase food or drinks. 

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The stalls that provide the day trips are worth talking to as they are so much cheaper, there is one at the bottom of the beach on the corner that we went with for two of our trips. The Thomson trips were priced extremely high for the boat trip to the shipwreck. We managed to visit the shipwreck from above, and go to the cove for much cheaper than Thomson were offering for just a boat trip there (panoramic views not included), it was a smaller boat so more enjoyable and personal. 

The Shipwreck. 

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Wow, what an experience. We left quite early in the morning and decided to go above first. As you are driving around the island on the coach you can really take in the fields of olive trees, small tranquil towns with the little cobble streets and the hills with goats walking around freely. We stopped off at a cafe near a spa and the view was breathtaking.

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As we made our way to the top we drove past the blue caves and all you can see in the distance is bright blue water, it was beautiful. Once at the top they ask you to be careful and not go over the edge as it’s dangerous. We managed to get some amazing photos like the ones you see all over the internet that make you dream you can see the shipwreck in person. real life. When you are above the shipwreck looks tiny too but honestly it’s huge! 

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Once we spent some time taking photos above, we got back onto the coach to take us to the harbour to get the boat to Navagio Beach otherwise known as the Smugglers Cove. The harbour was such a cute place hidden amongst rocks. When you turn the corner and enter the cove it’s was like a dream. The shipwreck is a place I’ve wanted to see for a very long time after seeing photos and hearing stories about it so to actually finally see it in real life was incredible. 

 

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I’m not going to lie, the cove was packed and as it’s a sun trap most people had taken up all the shady spots under the wreck. We took many photos, and got talking to someone from Canada! The wreck is Huge, people were sitting underneath it, climbing on top, standing next to it for photos but yet there was still areas where no one was around. We was only there an hour as the time slots for the boats and to be honest if we was there any longer you might burn as it literally a trap. Please remember your suncream! The boat came to collect us, stopping at a few caves on the way and then we got the coach back to the apartment. I would honestly recommend this trip and ask the stalls in your local town for their deals as I personally think the smaller boats (20-30 people) are the more enjoyable ones. 

Turtle Island 

Yes, a whole island for turtles, It’s even shaped like one. Cute right? We again booked this trip with the same company as shipwreck and I think it was €20 or so (it’s been a long time so please don’t quote me). The trip takes you to Keri so you can snorkel, I personally can’t swim so while the girls were in the water I was taking photos of the surrounding which were white rocks, crystal sea and a tiny white beach. 

 

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Once we had been there, we then went to turtle island which is where baby turtle nests are, they are cornered off and you can’t enter the areas as they protect their turtles. Instead you can walk around the beautiful island, sunbath and even grab a drink from the boat shop. Sometimes turtles swim nearby if you are lucky to see them. 

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Once you’ve spent time on the island, you go to turtle spot. The boat we were on had a glass bottom so you can look down to see any, we was lucky to see a couple however these trips run regularly and at one point there was about 8 boats (huge and small) surrounding one little turtle. 

The trip is really fun for a day out off the island and the turtles are really cute so I would recommend this. As mentioned before I recommend asking for prices from the local stalls. 

Kefalonia 

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The one you’ve been waiting for, two Greek islands in one trip and Kefalonia in a day. A whole tour of an island in day. How amazing is that? 

We had to leave early in the morning, I think it was about 7am to get the coach to the dock. The boat was a nice size with a top deck and a bottom deck with a bar and could fit about 30 to 40 people on it. The sun was shinning beautifully bright as we sat on the top deck ready to set off, the atmosphere was really chilled and everyone was smiling. 

The journey should of only taken an hour but unfortunately due to a shocking event we ended up in a horrible storm in the sea. The sailor couldn’t see Kefalonia to dock so we had to brave the storm. It was such an awful experience as I can’t swim and just panicked, people weren’t well and even the fridge behind the bar fell, but the crew were so professional and kept everyone calm, before we knew it we were finally on land and happy to of reached Kefalonia. By the time we had got off the boat and onto the coach it was sunny again. I think it was just one of those freak things that happens as even the tour guide said this had never happened before. 

Once on the coach we could start our tour of the stunning island. The first place was to the largest church monistary Moni Agiou Gerasimou which is dedicated to the patron saint. It was beautiful, high ceilings with art painted across and high chandeliers. Make sure you are covered when you visit this as the nuns will get upset if you have your legs out. There are robes you can wear there to look around. I also lit candles for my passed loved ones.

 

 We then went onto the Drogarati Cave which is 60m underground. The cave was discovered 300 years ago when a strong earthquake caused the caves entrance to be seen and then opened to the public in 1963. You have to walk down many stairs to get there but once down it’s worth seeing. It’s huge and makes you think of other hidden places there must be around the world that people haven’t discovered yet. 

 

If you visit Kefalonia, the one place you need to visit is the Melissani Cave. You would of seen images on the internet of places to visit. Deep into the ground is a cave that has a lake which is pure turquoise-blue and has forest surrounding it. You get on a boat and travel around the lake, the legend is that Melissani was the Cave of the Nymphs . I was blown away how incredibly peaceful and tranquil this cave is. 

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We then stopped for lunch at Agia Effimia a beautiful traditional fishing village that had boats and yachts lined up, palm trees and crystal blue water. We stopped there for an hour for food at a really lovely restaurant and quick walk around the village. 

 

Driving along you hear many interesting stories from the tour guide including this legend that a young man called Kefalos, a refugee from Athens, arrived in Kefalonia and defeated a group of people called Tafi who lived in the western area of the island.Once Kefalos had became King, he had four children called Pali, Sami, Krani, and Proni who all received a portion of the island each.

There was a place we stopped off to see Myrtos Beach which is famous for it’s mile and a half long white dazzling pebbles that cuts deeps into a sheer cliff. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go down to visit the actual beach on our trip, but it is 100% worth visiting if you ever get the chance.

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The last place we stopped was a City called Argostoli which is the capital. This City is meant to be known for having many turtles appear so we wanted to find some. We walked along the marina and managed to spot a couple. They kept popping their head up and then diving back into the water. 

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After a full day in Kefalonia we made our way back to the dock to go back to Zante. The water was calm luckily and all we could see is the sunset laying on the water. If there is a moment in life when you feel at peace and lucky it would be watching a sunset. It was such a good day and definitely worth the journey to see a gorgeous island. 

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Considering we was only in Greece for a week, we managed to experience and see many beautiful things. Greece is such a stunning country with many islands and landmarks to visit. I am very lucky to be going back this year to The Sporade islands and can’t wait to share my experience. 

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