My friend Rose invited us to join her family for a holiday in Zakynthos, Greece this summer. Christopher and I have been eager to get back to Greece. For about 5 years we went to Patmos every summer before we had kids. For me, Patmos is the most beautiful Greek Island. But then we took Coco there when she was just one, and we didn’t find it so baby/kid friendly. We haven’t been back since, and really missed Greece, so we jumped at the chance.
As far as family holidays go, I’m not sure if I’ve had more fun anywhere. In a nutshell there are two reasons to go to Zakynthos: the beautiful blue caves and hidden beaches accessible only by boat and The Peligoni Club. You don’t stay at the club, you rent a villa nearby, but we spent all day every day there except for the one day we chartered a boat. In addition to tennis and a great kids club, the main attraction of the Peligoni Club is the water sports program run by a surfer-dude crew of cute blonde 18-22 year olds. We water-skied, kayaked, paddle boarded, sailed, ringo’d, and spent more time in the sun than we should have lying on the pontoon watching all the action. The club itself is laid back and chic – a more personal version of classic Greek style, and the food was very good without being great.
At the club, there was an abundance of kids of all ages. I was worried that Coco (age 14) would be too intimidated to make friends but that all disappeared the first night when everyone is seated by age at dinner. Under 12’s eat at 7:30pm, teens at 8pm and grownups at 8:30pm. Each age group sits together at long tables,and the kids are entertained with activities like movies or disco dancing until the grownups are ready to go home. Both Coco and Zach (age 12) were fully incorporated into their respective age groups by the end of the first night and stuck together in packs for the length of our stay.
On the day we went out on the boat we saw beaches more beautiful than I’ve ever seen. We jumped off high rock cliffs into pale aqua water, snorkelled in and out of caves and did back flips off the boat. Despite the most famous attraction – the shipwreck on a white beach surrounded cliffs that are 300 ft high – being crowded by the time we got there at 9am, it’s impressive nonetheless. Its so scenic it’s hard to feel like you’re not in a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. We were a group ranging in age from 3 to 56 years old and we all agreed it was a perfect day.
We are definitely going back!