I am a fully fledged English mare, however I feel I have a certain connection with Greece. When I was very young I know my parents were fans of the Greek Islands. When they named me, it was after the Greek word meaning Life. I’m pretty sure that once, Mum said we were invited to a Greek shindig around one of my early birthdays, and it was like spending time with our extended Greek family. But then I could also have watched too much of Peter Andre’s My Life and had a vivid dream of my long lost Greek cousins, munching on Souvlaki and sloshing it down with Retsina. (Eugh!)
Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to visit one of the islands, even if it was considered the least Greek (and more party-spectacular) of the islands. I hear Ibiza isn’t all boobies, bums and well fit tums though, the North is said to be a pretty relaxed hippie paradise. So I went to Zante with an open mind.
A few hours after take off we arrived at Fawlty Towers. Just kidding. It was worse.
But this is not the main event. Alykanas is the main event. What a beautiful little town. So sparse, village-like even. The beach was just a short walk away, and when you got there you had the choice of bountiful restaurants, bars and swimming pools. Or of course, you could get in the sea, as most people do at the beach.
A ‘shipwreck’ wasn’t far from the beach and provided a lot of safe entertainment… and crabs. If you have really small kids though I recommend you go with them as some areas were quite deep. As for other activities, the sun was beaming every single day (we visited in October) so sunbathing was on the cards mostly. However, we hired jet skis and a big slide pedaloe thing too. HOURS OF FUN I TELL YOU.
The town itself didn’t witness a lot of traffic. It was sleepy for most of the day. But come night time? Horse and carts! EVERYWHERE! I love love LOVE horses, and my first thought was “Please don’t be bags of bones.” I was glad to see that they were all well looked after and they weren’t driven around willy-nilly in the day time death heat. Such a charming thing to see in the evenings. No cars, just horses.
For Mum’s birthday we hired a jeep and explored the island. Guy and Jodie were out SCUBA diving with sea turtles and wrestling jelly fish (this was prior to my learning to dive). We started in Alykanas and worked our way around the coast. We came across strange little stalls selling olives and nuts, sheer cliffs and even scarier hills. We wound up and down little roads, came across beach after deserted beach, each one littered with caves and pebbles.
But then we hit the jackpot. This location is considered one of the greatest beaches in the world (as declared on Worlds Best Beaches, so it must be true). Navagio Beach. What a view. Only accessible by boat, so we were unable to truly visit it, but the viewing platform satisified us.