Zakfari Jeep Safari - (Zante Excursions)

Roderick J  (23 August 2002)         

We were on the Buses at the Wreck day, (the Luton Town FC fans). I knew when I booked that this would be the highlight of our holiday, and we weren't disappointed. Paul's a skilled and charismatic guide, and the locations visited were well chosen, so that we were tempted to re-visit some of them later in the holiday in our hire-car. The only down-side was that it was a squeeze to get 12 in the back, even with some of them being children, but that didn't spoil our enjoyment. Thanks to all at Zakfari, hope to be back sometime.

Oscar Hotel - (Accommodation in Laganas)

Roderick J           

Got back yesterday, the hotel is spotless and well-run. Two-bedroomed apartments are very spacious, but are close to the main road, and the traffic never stops, bikes roar up and down 24 hours a day. Staff were very friendly, (hello Costas), just a shame that their hospitality was abused by some of the guests who thought it Ok to booze till 3.30 in the morning, singing and shrieking, despite being politely asked to leave several times. Pool is good, and snackbar serves a variety of stuff from Greek salads to Chip Butties, and good value. Entertainment was pretty mediocre, and doesn't start till too late (10.30 pm). Courtesy bus to beach was very useful, as it can be a long walk in 90 degree heat. The closest couple of tavernas were not too good, but the third down on the right, Paradise, was superb - we ate there three times and it just got better and better. All in all, a nice hotel, one of the best we have been to.

Bee Garden - (Restaurants in Laganas)

Roderick J  (23 August 2002)         

We ate here on our 2nd night, and loved the food and the promptness of service. We had starters and a selection of main courses to share between us. The Hot and Sour soup was brilliant, as was the Crispy duck and the pork dishes. A bit expensive, but well worth it as we left virtually nothing. I don't normally rate Chinese food, but this place is quality.

The Isles Greek Restaurant - (Restaurants in Laganas)

Roderick J           

One of the best 3 restaurants we found on the island, the others being Paradise, and Michaelo's in Kalamaki. Staff were all very polite, and the speed of service was good. I can recommend the Green pepper Steak, and the roast beef and lamb are good also. A kilo jug of wine costs about 4.80 euros (3.10), and contains about 10 glasses of wine. Liked the complimentary drink at the end, and the views of the moonlit sea were something else. No more expensive than anywhere else, but the food is so much better. (Our bill for 3 courses plus drinks for a family of 4 came to 52 euros, (35). Anyone who goes to Laganas and spends their time in MacDonalds or similar, and doesn't go to the Greek Islands seriously needs their head testing.

Michaels Place - (Restaurants in Laganas)

Roderick J  (23 August 2002)         

Food was great, although perhaps a little too English for us, it was well cooked and presented. The chicken fillet in pepper sauce was excellent. Because it's towards the busiest part of Laganas, it can get quite crowded in the evenings, but the staff seem to cope OK. The prices do seem to be higher than elsewhere, and I don't think these were justifiable, but a nice place, and you could certainly do a lot worse.

Paradise - (Restaurants in Laganas)

Roderick J           

Just a word of warning - there is a restaurant about a mile out of town on the main drag, on the left, called Paradise, which we thought was superb, and I have read other comments by people who thought the same. Don't confuse this place with the Paradise on the beach front, which was very average. The Paradise on the drag is well worth the walk.

Zougras - (Restaurants in Laganas)

Roderick J  (23 August 2002)         

What a disappointment! I had wanted to go here to experience the Greek singing, but it didn't start till late, so we missed it. The food was OK, but from a supposedly "traditional Greek" restaurant, I expected better. The beef stifado was probably the best thing we had here, and the Schnitzel. Yogurt with honey was all 99.99% yogurt, with a tiny dribble of honey. Worst of all was the service. Only 4 tables occupied, including ours, and yet it took them half an hour between courses to clear our dishes away, the rest of the time the staff just seem to stand around doing nothing. I was left with the distinct impression that they only like serving fellow Greeks, and the English are not really welcome. So a 6 out of 10 for the food, and 1 out of 10 for the service. Price was cheap to average, but would not go back.

Michaelos - (Restaurants in Kalamaki)

Roderick J           

This place is fantastic. I had pre-booked by phone, as I was told it could get busy, and was glad I did. Although a way out on the Zante Town road, it's worth the walk. A lovely welcoming atmosphere, and the food was incredible. Try the mixed starters for 2, a selection of 12 different starters from squid rings to Village sausage and fried aubergines that all four of us tucked into. The moussaka was enormous, but very light and fluffy, the beef in herbs with pasta comes in its own individual dish and was very tasty. Unusually, the desserts were varied, we chose banana ice cream, chocolate cake, creme caramel and yogurt with honey and nuts(delicious). Service was prompt and reasonably friendly - they give special attention if its a birthday or special occasion. Prices seemed cheaper than elsewhere too, so we tended to eat more!! Another nice touch was that we were not automatically brought out a plate of bread, for which we would be charged, but instead were offered a choice; we opted for garlic bread which was good value. If you're staying in Kalamaki, you must go to Michaelo's. If, like us, you stay in Laganas, it is well worth the drive.

Laganas Beach - (Beaches in Zante)

Roderick J           

Laganas beach was better than I expected, particularly if you head left at the bottom, towards Kalamaki, and walk 200 yards. Good for beach games, and safe for kids to swim. Quite a few dog-ends lying around, and some broken glass, but at least there are hundreds of sunbeds, so even in August you should be able to find some that are available. Cost around 7 euros for 2 beds + shade for the day. Lots of beach bars, and the sand is good for building castles etc.

Ionio Beach - (Beaches in Zante)

Roderick J           

A really good beach for relaxing on. Virtually nothing in the way of refreshment facilities, only one smelly portaloo, but just nice soft sand, decent waves for the kids to have fun jumping over, not too many visitors, mainly Greek families.

Dafne Beach - (Beaches in Zante)

Roderick J           

Beware, Dafni is quite difficult to find, and devilishly difficult to drive down to, the road is littered with bumps and pot-holes. It is a private beach, and mainly frequented by locals. Either pay for the owners' sunbeds and shades, or pay to erect your own. A bit of weed as you enter the sea, but once in, there are lots of moss-covered rocks with fish swimming around, that are great for underwater exploring, and in the middle of the bay is all sand, and very safe. A nice beach to go if you want somewhere a bit quieter. Two beachside tavernas and a bar.

Gerakas Beach - (Beaches in Zante)

Roderick J           

A very pretty beach, with good safe swimming, but beware: get there early as a)parking is a nightmare, if you get to the end of the track and the carpark is full you have to do a 58 point turn with cars and bikes coming at you from both sides in order to go back the way you came and hopefully find a space in a field somewhere. Also, if you get there later than 10 in the morning, you will not get sunbeds or sunshades, and trust me, this beach gets very, very hot in August with no shade. At one end of the bay are clay cliffs where the locals go to smear their bodies with clay. Don't know why, but it was good fun, anyway! A few nudists, one enormous sumo wrestler type we encountered has, I fear, put my daughter off men for life.

Kalamaki Beach - (Beaches in Zante)

Roderick J           

A very good beach, only spoilt by the disgusting number of cigarette butts that lay everywhere you looked. I made a point of taking mine away with me, or keeping together and putting in a bin at the end of the day. Why are some people so thoughtless? Didn't see one turtle all two weeks of our holiday.

Direct Holidays - (Tour Operators in Zante)

Roderick J  (23 August 2002)         

Second time away with Direct Holidays, and we find the reps very average. This year, some that we encountered didn't seem to know anything, or didn't show any interest in us, or were just plain unfriendly. It's a shame, because everything else about the company has impressed me.

Blue Caves and Shipwreck Cruise - (Zante Excursions)

Roderick J           

Just to back up what others have said: don't book through your holiday rep, do it yourself. Golden Dolphin run a motorboat from Alikes, but when we wanted to go, the sea was rough, so they were running from just north of the next headland up. We drove there, parked at Makrys Yialos cove(shingle beach), and paid at a little stall there (not Golden Dolphin) Only charged us 9 euros each for an hour and a quarter long trip that took us into a couple of the caves, and left us the rest of the day to do something else. Better than spending 4 to 6 hours on a sun-baked boat with dozens of others when the end result doesn't really justify it. OK the caves are pretty, but not worth a 35 euro trip. As for the shipwreck, go there by car, and take photos from the cliffs (but not with little kids - very dangerous). And DON'T stand on that rickety platform above the wreck - a disaster waiting to happen.

Oscar Hotel - (Accommodation in Laganas)

Katie J           

I arrived home yesterday, having had a brilliant stay at the Oscar. I am only 13 years old but thought the facilities were excellent, especially the swimming pool which is suitable for all ages. The local beach was dissapointing but the courtesy bus which ran you down there 4 times a day free of charge was helpfull. The bar food was good quality, especially the breakfast which even self-catering guests can have, like our-selfs. The only let down was the main road where our appartment was situated. The constant flow of traffic was a nightmare at night time, but it was too hot to shut the windows and keep the noise out.

Bee Garden - (Restaurants in Laganas)

Katie J  (23 August 2002)         

This place was brilliant, although a bit pricey. I recomend the spring rolls for starters and the jasmine tea for afterwards. Service was quick and very friendly. I wanted to go back every night, but mum and dad insisted only if i was paying!!

The Isles Greek Restaurant - (Restaurants in Laganas)

Katie J           

I certainly liked it here and the food was great. Very pleased at the end when the waiter offered us all any drink we wanted on the house!! The only two things i will warn you about is a) it gets very busy and b) if you can, stay away from the toilets!! The ladies one smelt, had flies and wasnt up to quality at all!! However, if your desperate, im sure you can hold your nose!!

Michaels Place - (Restaurants in Laganas)

Katie J  (24 August 2002)         

I recommend the chicken curry!! Very nice restaurant with quite quick service when not too busy. Not much else to say, just that its worth visiting.

Paradise - (Restaurants in Laganas)

Katie J           

THIS IS NOT THE ONE SET BACK ON THE BEACH!!!!! THERE ARE SEVERAL IN LAGANAS CALLED PARADISE BUT THIS ONE IS A SHORT WALK FROM THE OSCAR HOTEL. Very good and we wnt there three times during our stay. Excellent food and great service with really friendly waiters.

Zougras - (Restaurants in Laganas)

Katie J  (24 August 2002)         

I recommend the spaghetti napolitana which is a managable size portion and then the idea of a pint of juice is great!! However, not all was good. Service VERY slow, even though not busy, and deserts not up to standard. Supposed greek singing, and we watched eagerly as they set up the stage and instruments. However, it got to 10.10 and dad asked when the entertainment would start. "oh, much later", she stated, as if expecting ot to get busier before it could start, but by half ten, no busier and no entertainment, so we left.

Ionio Beach - (Beaches in Zante)

Katie J           

It was fairly quiet here so that was good, but the sand was not particually soft, and as you walked to the sea, there were alot of stones, shells and pebbles that hurt your feet. The sea was a bit littered, with old pieces of fishing net and crisp packets floating here and there. Cheap for sunbeds though.