6 things the English girls get SO wrong on the beach in Greece!

On the Greek island of Zakynthos I’ve been enjoying plenty of beach time while on holiday, hanging out with my daughter, my Greek niece and her friends. From behind my (designer) sunglasses I’ve been observing Greek beach etiquette and realising how different it is from a British day out at the seaside. The stylish Greek girls laugh at the English holiday-makers who get it wrong in every way on the beach, so if you want to blend in with the cool crowd on the beach, here’s where you need to know;

On Dafni beach in Zakynthos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

On Dafni beach in Zakynthos, Greece

1. Don’t think that the beach is free

If you’re used to a week in Cornwall you may imagine that on your Greek holiday you’ll be laying your towel out on the sand and unpacking the picnic you brought with you. The beach is free, right? Wrong! In Greece you need to rent a pair of sunbeds which will cost you €4-10 for the day. No self respecting Greek would lay their towel on the sand unless they were in a completely deserted spot with no beach bar. The sand is way too hot for a start and there’s no shade, besides you need that handy table to put your drink and you’d want to relax and chat your friends without getting sand in your hair. Some beach bars don’t charge for sunbeds but you’ll still be expected to order a couple of drinks at the bar. For sun-beds and drinks you probably need to budget €10-15 for a day at the beach.

The Greeks would rather rent a sun-bed than lie on the beach Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Greeks would rather rent a sun-bed than lie on the beach

2. Don’t try to get bronze in a week

The Greeks look on with astonishment at the English girls who lie in the sun for hours, desperate to go home after a week’s holiday with a deep and lasting tan. You’ll never see a pink and peeling Greek girl. The Greeks respect the sun and will either stay in the shade or sunbathe for short periods with plenty of sun-cream and then have a siesta in the hottest part of the day. Why worry about your tan when the summer stretches ahead of you with plenty of beach time to develop that gorgeous brown body.

Order a chilled Frappuccino on the beach in Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Order a chilled Frappuccino on the beach in Greece

3. The coffee comes chilled not hot

Why would you order a hot drink when the temperature is in the 30’s? The Greeks love their coffee too but it has to be chilled. To be like a Greek you need to order a “Freddo” coffee, which is the typical Italian style of coffee such as expresso or cappuccino, but on ice. When the guy comes round to take your order as you lie on the sunbed, make it a Freddo cappuccino, Freddo Expresso or a Freddoccino (iced mocha coffee with chocolate). If you need something stronger then order an iced beer although the Greeks would never drink more than one or two since they’ll be going home for a home cooked meal later on and wouldn’t want to appear drunk in front of the parents.

The pool's lovely at Windmill Hotel in Zakynthos but the Greeks prefer the beach Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The pool’s lovely at Windmill Hotel in Zakynthos but the Greeks prefer the beach

4. Why spend the day at the pool when you can go to the beach?

The Greeks can’t understand why the Brits come on holiday for a week and then lie by the pool rather than going to the beach. You can find a pool in any city or hotel, but when you are on holiday you surely want to make the most of the beautiful beaches and swim in the sea as much as possible. The Greeks believe the pool water is full of chemicals and other people’s sweat, while the sea is natural and healthy. There’s a Greek saying that if you swim in the sea all summer, you’ll be healthy all winter. The Greeks on holiday will also want to see as many different beaches as possible and will hire a car to go and explore the best ones rather than keep returning to the same place. On Zakynthos you could probably find a different beach or rocky cove for every day of the month and still have not seen them all.

The Greeks love the latest trendy designer sunglasses Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Greeks love the latest trendy designer sunglasses

5. Be sure to wear the latest designer sunglasses

The sun in Greece is strong, so the Greek girls understand the importance of a good pair of sunglasses that will protect your eyes. This is an investment purchase, not a bit of 5 euro fun to throw away at the end of the holiday. A Greek girl will buy a new pair of designer sunglasses each summer, depending on the latest fashion, so she has a few pairs in her wardrobe. Last year it was all bright frames, this year it’s oversized rounded frames and iridescent lenses. My Greek fashion spies tell me that in Athens everyone is wearing wooden framed sunglasses, so next summer you’ll probably see them on every Greek beach.

Be sure to wear your sexy bikini on the beach Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Be sure to wear your sexy bikini on the beach

6. Understand the importance of a sexy bikini

In the magazines you may admire those elegant one piece or tankini swimming costumes and think that they are just the thing to cover up any embarassing bulges. But in Greece everyone from the largest to the slimmest, from your daughter to your granny wears a bikini, so leave your one-piece to wear in the pool back home. In the blistering Greek summer a one-piece would just be too hot and inconvenient. And while we’re on the topic of bikini etiquette, the Greeks always wear their bikini to the beach, never change when they get there. Slip on your micro-shorts and a transparent, floaty top to show off your figure and you’ll be considered sexy but not slutty. On the sun bed or in the beach bar you can pose in your tiny bikini, go for a swim, dry off and then cover up again to go home where you’ll shower and change before dressing up for an evening meeting your friends in the bars and clubs.

Now you have all the Greek secrets for a stylish day on the beach where you can blend in with the locals and not stand out like a beetroot. Thanks to Sophia, Nicki, Fruzsi, Ezster, Tolya, Sophie-Anne and Georgie – my beach babes and Greek style advisors.

More things to see in Zakynthos

Shipwrecked on Navagio – the most photographed beach on Zante
Swimming the turquoise blue at Porto Limnionas
10 gorgeous beaches and places to swim on Zakynthos

This article by Heather Cowper is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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My Flopz are on a Greek Island holiday – and I have 3 pairs to giveaway

August 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Europe, featured, Giveaways, Greece, Zakynthos

Summer holiday time is here and my Flopz flip flops are sunning themselves on the Greek island of Zakynthos. I woke up at our apartment at Windmill Hotel in Argassi (my sister’s place) and this was the view as I sipped my morning coffee – not bad huh? I love the fact that at this time of year in Greece you never have to check the forecast, there’s only one setting and that’s full-on sunny and hot, hot, hot. If you’d like to win a pair of Flopz flip flops to wear on your next holiday, read on as I have 3 pairs to give away…

This is the view from our apartment on Zakynthos in Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

This is the view from our apartment on Zakynthos in Greece

I first came across these delightful flip flops when the folks at Flopz sent me a pair to try out on my recent Mediterranean Cruise and they were perfect for sea days wandering around ship and relaxing by the pool as we sailed back to Barcelona. I was also glad I’d popped them in my handbag to wear after after the gorgeous pedi I recently had on another Cruise Day so my nails would stay nice and shiny – read about it here.

I wore my Flopz around the pool on my Mediterranean Cruise Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

I wore my Flopz around the pool on my Mediterranean Cruise

Not only do these Flopz flip flops come in a rainbow collection of colours which you can see below, but the insole is covered with gel bubbles that massage your feet as you walk around. Although I’ve been wearing them non-stop since I got them, they are still looking good and are so stylish that I’m happy to wear them around town as well as to the beach.

flopZ5

Today, we were at one of the best beaches on Zakynthos at Vasilikos, a long stretch of golden sand lined with beach bars like the trendy Banana Baya where I was hanging out with my daughter, my Greek niece and all her friends – oh to be 19 again! As the temperature was in the mid 30’s the sand was scorching hot and you could burn your feet just running to the sea for a swim, so I was happy to have my Flopz to save me from the ouch! factor.

My Flopz on the beach in Zakynthos - that sand was hot! Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

My Flopz on the beach in Zakynthos – that sand was hot!

The sea was lovely and warm, and believe me it takes quite a lot to get me in the water, but I really enjoyed floating around chatting to the girls. Do check out the Flopz coral collection inspired by the exotic locations and oceans of the world.

My Flopz go paddling on the beach on Zakynthos Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

My Flopz go paddling on the beach on Zakynthos

So I know by now that you’re thinking, where can I get a pair of Flopz to take on my next holiday? Well that’s something I can help you with, since the lovely folks at Flopz have given me 3 pairs to give away (and you can choose what colour you’d like too).

About the giveaway

I’m giving away 3 pairs of Flopz Flipflops worth £35 to 3 lucky readers. The giveaway is open to all readers regardless of where you live. The giveaway will run for 2 weeks and end on Monday 1 September 2014. For the full terms and conditions please see the bottom of this article. To enter the giveaway all you have to do is;

Check out the Flopz website and then leave a comment below telling me which colour and size you would love to win and where you’d love to be wearing them.

You can also add 5 additional chances to win by doing any of the following through the Rafflecopter widget below;

      • Like the Heatheronhertravels Facebook page
      • Spread the word about the giveaway on Twitter, for example; I’d love to #win a gorgeous pair of @FlopZuk flip flops in the #giveaway at @heathercowper http://ow.ly/ApJNO
      • Follow Heather on her travels on Twitter @heathercowper
      • Follow Flopz on Twitter @FlopzUK
      • Like Flopz on their Facebook page

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More articles from Greece

Get in your car and drive – the bits of Zante that you won’t see from your sun-bed

10 gorgeous beaches and places to swim on Zakynthos

How to make delicious Greek stuffed tomatoes

The full Terms and Conditions

      • This giveaway is a prize draw/sweepstake
      • The prize is a pair of Flopz flip flops in the size and colour of the winner’s choice, subject to availability.
      • The giveaway is open to all readers in any location
      • The 3 winners to receive a pair of Flopz flip flops will be chosen at random
      • The giveaway ends on Monday 1 September at midnight
      • The winners will be notified by e-mail within 7 days of the draw and must confirm their acceptance of the prize within 4 days or the prize will be allocated to another winner.
      • The prize will normally be posted to the winners within 14 days of them accepting the prize and may be posted by the cheapest method, so this will determine when they will arrive.
      • The giveaway is restricted to one entry per individual.
      • Any duplicate or automated entries will disqualify the entrant from this giveaway
      • Entering this giveaway gives permission for you to be added to the e-mail lists of Heatheronhertravels.com but we will never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.

This article by Heather Cowper is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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Shipwrecks or Turtles? – taking a boat trip on your Greek holiday to Zakynthos

Are you a secret pirate or a nature loving mermaid? On the Greek island of Zakynthos you’ll have the chance to play at being both, if you take one of the boat trips that are a favourite with visitors to the island. As my sister lives on Zante (as it’s more popularly known to the Brits) I’ve had the good fortune to take a holiday in Greece every year and we’ve done a few boat trips in our time. While there are some variations, you’ll typically find a couple of choices depending on whether you want to explore the rocky north or the golden beaches to the south of the island.

Navagio, Smuggler's cove, Zante Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Navagio, Smuggler’s cove, Zante

Visit the Blue caves and Shipwreck beach

If you’ve seen any photos of Zakynthos, chances you’ll have seen the one of Shipwreck cove or Navagio, taken from the cliffs above. This crescent of sand, with a half-buried, rusty wreck and high cliffs on either side, is one of the most photographed beaches in Greece.

To reach Navagio, which is on the north-west coast of the island, you’ll typically take one of the many trips from St Nicholas port or from Makris Gialos, a small beach that is just before St Nicholas port. We started our boat trip at Makris Gialos on a smallish boat which took up to 20 people, had a shaded awning and a powerful motor.

The boat made good headway on relatively calm waters at first and we passed the sea caves, known locally as the ‘Blue Caves’ that the sea has cut into the limestone cliffs. We didn’t stop but powered on around the northern tip of the island, at which point the sea started to become decidedly rough. Around 40 minutes after leaving the beach we were all feeling a bit seasick and were relieved when the Shipwreck beach came into sight.

Navagio or Shipwreck beach on Zante, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Navagio or Shipwreck beach on Zante, Greece

The metal hull of the ship on the sand is supposed to be a cigarette smuggler’s boat that went aground in the 1980s, or perhaps that’s just a nice story to tell the tourists. In any case it adds some interest to a beautiful beach which is larger than it appears from above and can only be reached by sea, due to the sheer limestone cliffs.

On the day we visited the swell was high and although the captain skillfully moved the boat as close as he could, it wasn’t possible to get it right up on the beach. If we wanted to get ashore, we’d have to jump in and swim through the surf which is what we did, although I was knocked over by the force of the waves and ended up with sand in my bikini and water up my nose. We spent around 20 minutes on the beach and I took the opportunity to walk around the ship which was broken in half, making a shady area inside, with a hull that had rusted away into lacy holes.

Shipwreck cove, Navagio on Zante Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Shipwreck cove, Navagio on Zante

We swam back to the boat and powered back the way we had come, with the captain showing no mercy to those of us feeling sick as he opened the throttle and the boat banged up and down on the waves. Things improved once we rounded the headland and entered sheltered waters again, returning to explore the sea caves. The captain nosed the boats into a few of the caves where the water below us was startlingly deep cobalt blue and turquoise. We anchored for a while and had a chance to swim and snorkel around the boat before returning to Makris Gialos.

Boat trip to the Blue Caves on Zante, Greece Photo: Heateronhertravels.com

Boat trip to the Blue Caves on Zante, Greece

This boat trip takes around 2-3 hours and you need to check whether the sea is rough or calm as this will affect your experience. Bear in mind that even if it is calm at your resort, it may still be windy with rough seas in the north of the island. Also consider the size of the boat, as a larger boat may be more stable but a smaller boat will be able to get you closer into the beach. For those that don’t want to brave the choppy seas to the shipwreck beach, you can still do a very pleasant boat trip in a glass bottom boat to the sea caves, with plenty of opportunities for swimming, which will also make a shorter trip. Our boat trip cost around €20 per person and you may be able to negotiate a discount for larger groups.

Boat trip to the Blue Caves on Zante, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Boat trip to the Blue Caves on Zante, Greece

See the Turtles in Laganas bay and swim in the Keri caves

If you want a gentler boat trip for your holiday in Greece, I’d suggest that you head for the southern end of Zakynthos, for one of the boat trips that take you through Laganas Bay and around to the Keri caves. This end of the island is famed for the beautiful golden sandy beaches and the Loggerhead or Caretta Caretta turtles that nest on them. These boat trips are typically sold as an opportunity to see the turtles swimming in Laganas Bay, but you should be aware that their numbers are dwindling so you need to go with a reputable boat owner who will respect the laws of the National Marine Park and not harrass the turtles.

Porto Roma, Zante Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Porto Roma, Zante

We’ve taken this trip twice on different styles of boats which gave a slightly different experience although we went to the same locations on both trips. The first occasion was a half-day trip on a catamaran which had a cabin and plenty of space on deck at the back and front of the boat to spread out. We left from the small beach at Porto Roma which meant that the first hour was spent travelling along the coast with views of the limestone cliffs, until we rounded the point and crossed Laganas Bay to swim in the Keri caves. On the second occasion we went on a much smaller, glass bottomed boat from Agios Sostis close to Laganas which meant that we had a shorter trip of around 2 hours, which was still plenty of time.

Loggerhead turtle in Laganas bay, Zakynthos Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Loggerhead turtle in Laganas bay, Zakynthos

Either on the way out or the way back the boat is likely to take you into Laganas bay which is the main place you will see the turtles swimming in the water. Beware of any boat owners who guarantee you’ll see the turtles as this makes it more likely that the few that are around will be chased and tracked down just to give you your sighting. There are also strict rules about the contact with the turtles, for instance you’re not allowed to swim close to the turtles or to pull them out of the water and a limited number of boats are allowed near a turtle at any one time.

All this means that you’ll probably be able to see the turtles for around 10 minutes before the boat needs to move away. On our first boat trip, we went with local naturalist Yannis Vardakastanis, who runs the Earth Sea and Sky volunteer and information programme with a centre at Gerakas beach, one of the other turtle nesting sites, but on this occasion we didn’t actually see any turtles. On the second trip we did spot one and there were several boats close to it all homing in to take a look, so I felt a bit sorry for the turtle.

Boat trip to Keri caves, Zakynthos Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Boat trip to Keri caves, Zakynthos

The second part of the boat trip takes you to the far side of Laganas bay and under the high limestone cliffs at Keri where there are some sea arches and caves, although not as deep as the Blue Caves on the north-east coast. When the boat anchors, this is a lovely place to jump off into the clear water and swim or snorkel. On the return trip, you are likely to stop at Marathonisi or Turtle island, a small island in the bay that makes the shape of a turtle and is also one of the nesting beaches for the turtles.

Marathonisi or Turtle island in Laganas bay, Zakythinos Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Marathonisi or Turtle island in Laganas bay, Zakythinos

You are not allowed to land on the small sandy beach where the turtles nest, and even if you have your own boat you should not do so. On the opposite side of the island is another small beach and a sea cave where you are allowed to land and this is where you can relax for a while and have a swim. There’s even a boat that comes around selling ice creams and drinks, just like an ice cream van.

If you want to take the turtle spotting boat trip, there are many boats that offer it going either from Laganas resort, from the small marina at Agios Sostis or from the harbour at Keri, and if you’re in one of the holiday resorts you’ll also come across plenty of people selling you this as a day trip with transport to and from the resort. The shorter 2-3 hour trips typically cost €20-25 per person and you can also rent small boats for 6-8 people to take out yourself into the bay, which would be fun if there’s a large group of you and you feel confident handling the boat.

There are plenty more things to see and do on the Greek island of Zakynthos, but it’s well worth doing one of these boat trips while you’re there. It’s a lovely way to see the island and was certainly a highlight of our holiday.

This article by Heather Cowper  was brought to you with Cosmos Holidays, who offer great deals for your next holiday to Greece.

More things to do on Zante

Three days, three beaches on Zante
Get in your car and drive! The bits of Zante that you won’t see from your sunbed
Swimming the turquoise blue at Porto Limnionas

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

Click to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, news and reader offers

HOHT newsletter

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

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