Zante 2001 - by Alan Coleman

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I'd like to thank Alan Coleman, one of my Website's many visitors who read my Holiday In Zante report and very kindly he took the trouble to compile a "report" of his own when his family visited Tsilivi. Alan stayed at the same Admirals hotel and judging by his report went on exactly the same flight number as us from the same UK Airport!

He has scanned a map of Tsilivi given out by JMC Holidays which I have posted at the bottom of the report.

His report is reproduced below:

Night flights will we ever learn!!

Flight & Airport

Got to the airport about 22.30hrs on Sunday 12th August 2001 for our flight at 00.55hrs. The flight left on time with a smooth ride. As we approached Zante the captain announced that we had to circle the Airport to wait for our turn to land. There was one other plane already circling ahead of us.

We landed at about 06.15hrs local time and walked off the plane towards the passport control. It is at this point that you notice how small and unsuitable the Airport is for the passenger volumes it handles.

We had to queue on the tarmac for about half an hour to get into the building. There you find that there is only one baggage carrousel and that four flights had just arrived all at once!! At around 08.30hrs we left the Airport for the short journey to the resort, about 30 minutes.

Coming home was worse. Four hours from getting to the Airport until we actually took off, around 45 minutes late. The departure lounge was overcrowded and dirty. The Airport really lets the Island down.

First impressions

First impressions of the Tsilivi Admirals Hotel were good; the staff were efficient and helpful. We were put in apartment D207 which was away from the main building with a balcony overlooking the children's pool.

The room was adequately equipped for self-catering with fridge, oven and grill. Some rooms had kettles. Ours didn't but as with everything else (Pillows, towels, etc.) if you didn't have something as soon as you told reception it was immediately supplied no problem.

Main Holiday

 The holiday itself was very good, the hotel staff were friendly and helpful.

We went to the welcome meeting at 11.00hrs on our first day, usual things about the water and hire vehicles then the obligatory selling the trips.

After that we spent the rest of the day by the pool getting over the night flight. I went to the room in the afternoon for a nap.

The first evening the hotel entertainment was a barbecue with Greek dancing. The barbecue was at additional cost, but if you take advantage of the fact that it is "All You Can Eat" with locally produced wine in plentiful supply with the meal then it is very good value (7500drs=£15 for 2 adults and 1 child).

The show itself was very good with plenty of audience participation, myself included. The local wine is strong and we took to adding some lemonade to it to make it more enjoyable. The barbecue is a theme at the hotel, they would have one every other night for different reasons. Pool parties, more dancing, JMC night and a Fakir Show. Blimey that is some show. It started with Cash Bingo, then out came a man who proceeded to do various displays based around walking and lying on broken glass, also beds of nails and cactus. He then continued to put pins and needles in his face and body and walked around for you to view and take pictures. He finished by having a boulder broken on his stomach. The amazing thing was that at no point did he bleed.

Our days mostly revolved around the pool reading, swimming and playing games. The hotel was supposed to organise the games but they were not very reliable. As well as this we would take a walk along the beach, which was rather narrow, crowded and a bit stony, the small harbour was nice and the village is okay.

One of the days we took a taxi into Zante town (the taxi was very cheap at £4 each way, which considering the distance and time it took was great). The town is interesting with a lot of contrasts between the rich and poor areas. It is also worth the journey just to visit the market. It is massive with every item you can imagine. There were the usual clothes and shoes, with a liberal scattering of rip-off designer items. The biggest surprise was the pet stall with terrapins, lizards, fish and insects for sale.

The main harbour is dominated by a large attractive church, which houses the remains of St Dennis. We didn't go in, as the day we were in town was the day of St Dennis's procession and the area was very busy, but we were told that it is very nice.

A lot of the bars and restaurants show up to date videos in the afternoon and early evenings and we would occasionally spend a couple of hours watching these.

Trips

We decided to take two trips.

The JMC Night (as it had been recommended) and the Sunshine cruise.

JMC Night

I am not normally keen on this type of show as they often get taken over by Rep's with more enthusiasm than actual talent, but this show was really enjoyable and entertaining. Obviously the free wine helped. The food was a selection of local items that we liked and it was well cooked. All in all it was a good night. Whether it was value for money or not is a different matter.

Sunshine Cruise

This was a daytrip out in a boat that set off from Zante town harbour down the coast in search of the famous turtles, unfortunately with no luck on our trip. We sailed south along the coast for about an hour and a half then stopped off at a cove for swimming in the sea. This stop was for an hour then it was back on board for a short trip to the bay where we stopped to go ashore for our lunch (this was provided in the price).

The lunch was the usual barbecue, same as at the hotel. Then we had an hour to relax and enjoy the beach, sea and water sports that were there. That just left a steady cruise back to Zante, slowing down in the area that the turtles inhabit! This was a really nice fun day out and was definitely worth the money.

Eating out

The choice in Tsilivi is vast and we didn't find a bad one. Some were better than others but none were bad.
Three places really stand out in our memory.

Camelot (If you head towards the beach from Popeye's it is on the right) was great value for money. If you go there the very first time do not have a starter, as the main course is massive!! We never managed to finish it.

Koukos was the most authentic Greek cooking and was excellent.

The third restaurant is one that I cannot remember the name of but it was opposite Jokers and Piero's on a corner and next to an electric cart track. The atmosphere in this place was great. You get a welcome at the entrance and waited on attentively, very friendly.

Manos Grill although everyone recommended it, whenever we went up it was always full. On one occasion there was a queue waiting to get in; with they're being so much choice we never went.

Points for visitors

  •  The hotel snack bar is the cheapest we found around for snacks.
  • Check prices if you are shopping in the supermarkets, as they vary from item to item and sometimes day-to-day.
  • The main beaches get very busy but the cove between the two is normally quiet, which is unusual as it has the best sand.
  • The point that you do not notice until you get back is that you are not bothered by people selling time-shares or anything else.

Overall View Of the Holiday

The hotel was good, well laid out and clean. The staff were pleasant and helpful.

The area was very scenic.

On the downside, the Airport was beyond belief.

There was no bus service to speak of, we only saw two busses the whole fortnight.

All in all though, it was a great holiday as it always is with Greece.

© Alan Coleman, August 2001

Map of Tsilivi (Click on the image below to open it full size in separate browser window for printing).

I recommend that you change the "Page Setup" properties "Orientation" setting to "Landscape" in the new browser window,before you print the map, so that it all fits on one page.

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