We visited our local Nefis Travel office where we met the irrepressibly amiable Bev.
She encouraged us to sign up for two VIP tours: the Back to Roots & Uptown Downtown.
The two tours served up a healthy dollop of the real Zakynthos experience.
Our charming and entertaining guide was the highly motivated and multilingual director of the tour company, Jackie Boots-Glavas.
Jackie worked hard to keep us entertained while we travelled, communicating primarily in English and courteously in her native language to the Dutch people on tour.
The first tour took us through several the mountain villages until we reached the Vertzago Country museum which charted over a century of everyday life on the island.
Next we stopped at a traditional market shop where Tasia and her mama offered a plethora of traditional crafts and confections for sale.
This is meant to be a 'breakfast' stop, but you are advised to eat your normal breakfast before setting out.
Admittedly the samplings are fresh and delicious and will leave you desiring more.
We then proceeded to the ancient chapel within the fortified Monastery of Saint George before grabbing a panoramic view of the famous Shipwreck Bay, where the vividly azure waters really do sparkle even when the sun is obscured by cloud.
The talented Jackie is truly becoming an island celebrity.
When she wasn't singing traditional Ionian kantades
alongside our host after lunch in an old hideaway taverna in Giri, she was regaling us with local botanical lore, tales from ancient Greek mythology, historical snippets from Zakynthos' Byzantine and Venetian periods, and the island's pivotal role in the struggle for Greek nationhood.
After all our adventures, it was pleasant to relax in one of several terraced cafes overlooking the picturesque port of Keri with views of Turtle Island, before returning to our resorts.
The second tour is really just a local hop to nearby Zakynthos town.
Jackie first introduced us to a local beauty spot with exhilarating views called Lofos Strani, where the poet Solomos composed the verses that were later incorporated into the Greek national anthem.
We were then transported a couple of miles to the magnificent Church of Agios Dionysios to view the impressive icons, murals, iconostasis and the solid silver casket containing the island's patron saint.
All this culture can make you ravenous and so after a short stroll around Solomos and St Mark's Squares we stopped at a quaint taverna providing live Greek bouzouki music and singing while we ate.
Fully fed, watered and entertained we returned to our resorts by coach several hours later.
So impressed were we by the friendliness and efficiency of everyone at Nefis Travel, we booked further tours to see the Turtles, Olympia and Kefelonia with the same company all of which were highly enjoyable and undoubted highlights of our two week holiday in May 2011.