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Not unnaturally a lot of what happens in Zakynthos is coastal related. Most people visit for the beaches and so it is in the coastal towns that you find most of the tavernas, bars and clubs however much of the island is mountainous and it is well worth spending a day exploring the villages and towns in the mountains particularly on the south side where there are spectacular cliffs falling into the sea. There are plenty of places to eat, many with breathtaking views, and if it is oppressively hot on the beach a day in the mountains is a great way to cool down! For people who like to spend a day doing slightly more active things than lying on the beach "Ambelostrapes” might be a good place to consider. Hidden away down a cart track in Kiliomenos, between Lithakia and St. Leon, is a farm which has horses you can hire to go for a ride and is the centre of a network of tracks which are great for walking, particularly in the spring and early summer when the wild flowers are out and the air is alive with all sorts of butterflies. Furthermore they serve lunches and dinners which really are authentic Greek family cuisine with much of the produce they use being fresh and produced on the farm. This is not sophisticated table cloth and crystal dining, it is fresh food cooked by grandmother in the traditional way and served outside with pitchers of their own wine. The stuffed vine leaves, made with leaves they picked off the vine that morning, are a revelation when compared to what you get at the traditional tavernas down on the coast. One little boy was having his first ride on a horse, clearly the best holiday treat, and "Ambelostrapes” may well be the highlight of your visit to Zante too, and great value.
Another town to visit in the mountains is Louha a peaceful village off the main road with a track you can take through the fields up to the ruins of an old windmill. In the centre of the village opposite the church there is a small taverna which serves excellent food or just a coffee or coke if that is all you want. The swallows nest on a beam in the entrance ignoring the comings and goings of customers, and providing a great spectacle as they fly around catching flies to feed their young.
For a really spectacular view go to Keri, the village high above Keri Port, and follow the signs to the Keri Lighthouse Taverna. The incredibly tall flagpole is a good way of finding it if you get lost. Standing below it and looking up can make you dizzy it is so high - but the real spectacle here is the view out to sea because the taverna is built right on the edge of vertiginous cliffs and has, to make it even more spectacular, built a small platform out over the edge of the cliff for those with the nerves to walk on it. The taverna is often not open for meals, but you can buy an (expensive) coke or glass of wine and enjoy the view along the cliffs and down to the sea 150 metres below.
So if you are going to Zante don't overlook the pleasures of a day out in the mountains, there are things to see and do in them there hills!