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Holiday review July 2014

Ebbw Vale, United...
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Holiday review July 2014

We set off to start our holiday to Zakynthos at 10 AM on a Friday morning. While we were driving to Bristol airport we chatted about how nice it was to be driving there during daylight. We normally have flights between 6 – 7 AM so we are leaving home at 2:30 AM. All went well at checkin, we had lunch and did some shopping at the dutyfree shop.

We boarded our plane at 13:45 and took off on time at 14:25. We soon climbed above the light cloud and I could see the sun streaming in on the other side of the aircraft (I was in seat 7A). About 50 minutes into the flight I noticed that the sun was now shinning in through my window and as I mentioned this to my wife the pilot came on the PA. He said that since leaving Bristol they had developed a speed indicator problem. He also said that he could safely continue to Zakynthos using the backup system but the company had told him to return to Bristol for repairs. We landed back at Bristol at 16:05. The pilot came into the cabin and again addressed us over the PA. He said that he had 4 or 5 backup systems that would have allowed him to safely fly onto Zakynthos but for operational reasons he was told to return to Bristol. He went on to say that Zakynthos airport was due to close about 2 hour after our scheduled arrival time (19:55) and the company did not want the aircraft stuck in Zakynthos overnight. We were taken to the Mercure hotel in Bristol where we had a nice buffet dinner and then we walked down to the quay side and sat drinking a bottle of wine on a lovely summers evening.

The next morning we had an alarm call at 03:15, were collected at 4 AM and we were back at the airport by 04:30. We checked in and had free breakfast. It was just like my previous trips to Bristol airport. This time my cases were almost 2Kg heavier as we had to put the duty free champagne that we had bought in our cases.

We arrived at Zakynthos some 17 hours and 17 minutes late (according to the note Thomson gave us), picked up our hire car and drove to Vassilikos doing a quick shop at the supermarket in Argassi. Very little has changed except there is a new bakery shop just across the road from Joanna’s minimarket.

This was our 6th visit to the Lemon Garden and we had a 1st floor apartment which we had not been in before. It was perfect. The pool was most refreshing and the garden was full of lemon trees with ripe fruit, cucumber plants and tomatoes plants. That night we ate at Galini, great food and I managed to get a few photos of the full moon rising over the sea. The rest of the week we spent going to Dafni, Plaka and Gerakas beaches except for a day when we went up to Anafonitra to visit some friends who own a craft place. We are always greeted with “welcome home”. Damitri said that things were better this year, up about 20% up but fewer Russians and British. Most nights we ate in Galini or Babis but on the Thursday night, as it was our wedding anniversary I had asked our friends who have a taverna at Dafni beach if we could eat there. We were setting off at about 19:30 and I said I haven’t got my camera. My wife said you would need that tonight. We arrived at 19:45 and just as we were finishing our meal, just after 21:00 I noticed something coming out of the sea. It was a turtle coming ashore. We called Antonis (who owns the place with his family) and he asked the turtle conservation people if we could go onto the beach. With their guidance we kept out of the turtle view and came up behind it. We stood no more than 6 feet away as it dug a nest and layed it’s eggs. About 10 minutes later it finished and scooted off back to the sea. Definitely the highlight of the holiday even if I didn’t have my camera.

We spent our last day on Gerakas beach and as I was putting our cases in the car at 18:00 I noticed that our rear back light was broken. On arrival at the airport I told the Hertz agent who, after examining it said “you will have to pay”. I made out a damage form and was told to ring them the next day. It cost 94.40 Euro! Luckily I have my own top up insurance, so most of this week has been spent sending them paper work and preparing a claim against Thomson. Who know, if they pay out I can have another relaxing holiday in Zakynthos.

Milton Keynes...
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1. Re: Holiday review July 2014

hope you get your comp sorted out.glad you enjoyed what must have been frustrating start to your well deserved holiday.

CARDIFF U.K.
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2. Re: Holiday review July 2014

Lovely reading Phil and I'm well jealous about your turtle experience. What a shame about your flight problem to start your holiday but still you got there and enjoyed your holiday. Thesedays I opt for the Sunday Bristol flight especially for the Sunday evening flight home as the airport in Zante is virtually deserted then.

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3. Re: Holiday review July 2014

Sounds like the chance to see the turtle close up was a kind of compensation in itself.

we just came back from our first visit to Zakynthos - Stayed at the bay hotel in Vassilikos - so your google map was a great help to see where things were. Also took note of some recomendations you made on this forum and had nice meals at Babbis and Galini, so cheers for that.

Bristol, United...
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4. Re: Holiday review July 2014

Sorry you had problems with your flight. We also flew from Bristol but luckily had no problems. We paid an extra 20 Euros at the car hire place to cover sctraches and bumps which was worth it given the way they drive over there.

We have just returned from Vaskilios and it was a nice holiday despite problems with flies and wasps. We stayed in villa Pyrgos Movrabelo which was stunning and really quirky as it used to be a windmill. It sleeps 4 and has it's own pool, sauna and hot tub. It also has air con which is a must in August!! It also has fly screens on all windows and doors. You get 3 linen changes and a cleaner that comes in most days. It is listed with James Villas who are a great agency.

Definately hire a car and see the island. Go to Kerri bay for the turlle spotting boats. Nice beach bar at Banana beach and a few nice tavernas. Don't bother with the Turtle sanctuary at Gerakas beach though. There were no turltes there!!

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5. Re: Holiday review July 2014

Is July a good time to visit Vasilikos? How crowded does it get?

Milton Keynes...
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6. Re: Holiday review July 2014

Im sure Phil who stays in Vasilikos will advise you but i visit Vasilikos now and again and have to say it is certainly never crowded.Such a chilled out place to stay.Not for everybody but if you want peace and tranquility then this rather than Zantes busier tourist resorts is the place to stay.

Edited: 03 May 2016, 21:40
England
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7. Re: Holiday review July 2014

July will be busy as the season is getting into full swing. However Vasilikos is never overcrowded in any sense of the word!

Vasilikos is a beautiful area, pace of life is slower than other resorts and more 'Greek' than many places. It is very spread out and has beautiful beaches offering something for everyone, from quiet and chilled out to water sports, with everything in between.

You'll also find many tavernas serving fresh food, often grown themselves organically.

Whereabouts are you staying? Then we can be more specific with advice.

Milton Keynes...
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8. Re: Holiday review July 2014

Not only Phil but should have said Saganaki as well.Brilliant post and describes so well what the area has to offer.

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9. Re: Holiday review July 2014

Thanks for the info Zantepete nad Saganaki14. I haven't yet decided where exactly I'm going in Zante, so right now I'm just looking up my options.

Ebbw Vale, United...
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10. Re: Holiday review July 2014

I think the others have said it all about Vasilikos. We were there 2 years ago July 11 - 18 and didn't find it too crowded except at the more popular beaches like Gerakas. Even then it wasn't huge numbers just that the turtle conservation people had manged to have a limit on the number of beds on the beach. On our last night (the 17th) we had our evening meal at Antonis Taverna on Dafni beach. We were sat just at the back of the beach and just after dark we noticed movement on the water edge. We called Antonis and were delighted see a turtle come ashore, dig a nest and lay it's eggs. A magical sight and guess what I didn't have my camera!!!!! This year we will be there the wast week of June and are bringing my sister who has never been to Zakynthos before. The only thing I would say about staying in Vasilikos is that to make the most of it you need a car. We pick one up at the airport as a taki fare each way is 1/3 of the cost of a weeks rental. Driving is easy and to challenge yourself you have to drive to Dafni.

If it's of any help this is a google map of a lot of the tavernas, apartments, hotels etc in the area.

https://drive.google.com/open…

and this one is a general one of the island showing places we think are worh visiting

https://drive.google.com/open…

Phil

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