After a whirlwind weekend of emotions, pure bliss, and fairytale moments, we were emotionally spent to say the least. The next couple days allowed us a chance to catch up on sleep and begin packing for our honeymoon, a.k.a. ‘muaj mjalti’ (honey month).
We left Kucove at 4:30 am on a bus bound for Greece. The bus stopped several times to pick up fellow travelers. The sun was up and blazing by the time we reached the Albanian-Greece border. After a grand total of 9 hours we arrived in Patra, Greece and were transported by van to the travel agency where we purchased boat tickets. Out boat wasn’t set to depart for four hours so we found a trendy coffee bar to relax and escape from the heat.
When we finally reached the island and made it to our hotel in Tsilivi, Zakynthos we were beyond exhausted and very pleased to find that our room had been upgraded to a suite! Sweet!
We spent the next two days enjoying the all-inclusive amenities: buffet meals, poolside bar, complimentary pool towels, snacks, and library. Nothing but sunshine, sunscreen, and relaxing. It was such a relief to find ourselves in our own little paradise.
After we recovered from our long travels to the island, we got ambitious and booked some tours. Our first tour was a morning boat trip to explore the northwestern side of the island, including Shipwreck Beach. This popular tourist attraction, also known as Navajo Beach, is home to a an abandoned freightliner that ran aground in 1980. The story goes that the ship was smuggling contraband cigarettes and alcohol when a storm drove it into the cove, where it has stayed ever since.
Our second boat excursion was with the infamous Captain Spiro, a local expert on all things Zakynthos. He took us to the southern tip of the island where we found sea turtles. Such amazing creatures! Did you know that they can hold their breath up to 30 minutes? As a result, they do not often surface for air, but we did manage to see two when they came up to get a breath of air. We relaxed for a bit on Turtle Beach, thus named because it is shaped like a turtle and coincidentally a popular place for turtles to lay eggs. We were also taken to the Blue Caves where we had the chance to dive in and explore. The last leg of our trip was spent at St. Nicholas Beach, where we enjoyed a Corona with Salt & Vinegar Pringles, the perfect combination! Give it a try!
I think my favorite excursion was the day we rented a four-wheeler and took a spontaneous roadtrip along the coast. With nothing but swimsuits and some snacks, we set out late morning and beach hopped around the island. We stopped for lunch at Banana Beach, enjoying mussels, seafood pasta, and prosecco. The beach was stunning and we couldn’t help but spend some time soaking up the sunshine. As the sun started to go down, we made our way back up the coast, stopping in Zakynthos town for pistachio ice cream. We had heard about a village nearby that supposedly had an amazing view of downtown and the ocean so we used our best navigating skills and found a sign marked ‘Panorama’. Panorama turned out to be the name of a hillside bar with, no surprise here, a spectacular view of the city.
We also played mini golf, drank cider, went to an ABBA tribute show, walked the beach, got to know some of the hotel staff, enjoyed air conditioning, bought cheesy tourist beach hats, and spent quality time as newlyweds.
We give our newlywed stamp of approval on this beautiful Greek island! Zakynthos is the perfect mixture of relaxation, adventure, comfort, and culture!