Swimming the turquoise blue at Porto Limnionas – Zakynthos

July 19, 2012 by  

As you leave the green plain on the south side of the Greek island of Zakynthos, the land rises into dry, mountainous terrain that makes up the northern half of the island. The road snakes through scrub and low pine trees, rising gradually higher, until you reach the top and start descending towards the rocky cliffs of the northern shore.

Heather at Porto Limnionas, Zakynthos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Heather at Porto Limnionas, Zakynthos, Greece

My Greek niece Sophia had promised to show us one of her favorite swimming spots at Porto Limnionas. We follow her car through the mountain villages with old stone built houses that survived the 1953 earthquake and down narrow tracks fringed with brown waving grasses. The ground is too rocky for the olive trees to grow here and the low pines are blackened from last August’s forest fire. It feels so remote that we’d never find this place on our own yet as the sea and cliffs come into view we arrive in the middle of nowhere at a packed car park in front of a taverna.

We walk down and see a finger of narrow inlet with limestone cliffs, where the sea is intense turquoise, broken up by patches of darker blue, where seaweed clothes the bottom. Overlooking this protected inlet are terraces with sunbeds shaded by rush-covered sunshades and the odd pine bush stunted by the wind. Down below a path has been made with steps down to the sea and a flat platform of the rocks that make a terrace to jump into the water. My daughter and her friends are already in the water, making a circle of bobbing heads that rise and fall with the swell.

Porto Limnionas, Zakynthos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Porto Limnionas, Zakynthos, Greece

It’s a windy day and Sophie calls to warn me to swim well away from the rocks as I jump in.  I launch myself off the rocks and the salt water wooshes up my nose, making me splutter – it’s either sink or swim here – nothing in between, no sandy shallows to lie in. I can see people with masks and snorkels exploring around the rocks and sea caves on the far side of the inlet and some are even clambering up the rocks and jumping from the top of the cliffs. To get out is a little more tricky than to jump in as the wind is up and the swell is crashing over the rocks where I entered and then sucking the water back. I choose my moment and grab a short piece of tree stump to haul myself out.

Porto Limnionas, Zakynthos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Porto Limnionas, Zakynthos, Greece

We settle on our sun loungers, the girls in the sun, me in the shade, to watch the water in the cove frothing white over the rocks. The crickets in the pines are chirping away loudly, I turn my head to see one on the side of the pine tree and it returns the attention by flying into my hair. I comment on how noisy the crickets seem but Sophia tells me that the Greeks consider the sound of crickets soothing, “When we hear the crickets, we know that summer has come” she says. We go up to the café and sit on the shady terrace, drinking iced tea and eating Greek salad and chips but Sophia has oven-roasted pork – the Greeks like to eat their main meal at lunchtime.  After we’ve finished the waiters bring us a mixed plate of melon – watermelon red and cantaloupe green and we take it down to eat overlooking the sea. I try to soak up all the warmth of the sun, the turquoise water frothing white over the rocks and the scent of pine and oregano as a memory in the bank for when I get back to Bristol.

Taverna Porto Limnionas, near Agios Leon, Zakynthos, Greece. Tel 26957 72072

If you want to seek out the hidden spots like Porto Limnionas where the tourists don’t normally go, then you will need to hire a car and we booked ours through the Car Hire comparison search engine,  Carrentals.co.uk that enables you to search for the best car hire deals on-line.

More places to swim on Zakynthos

A turtle spotting boat trip on Zakynthos – video
Welcome to Windmill Bay Hotel in Argassi on the Greek island of Zakynthos – video
Teenage thrills at the waterpark on Zakynthos

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Comments

9 Comments on "Swimming the turquoise blue at Porto Limnionas – Zakynthos"

  1. EscapingAbroad.com on Fri, 20th Jul 2012 1:40 am 

    Wow.. it looks absolutely beautiful in your photos! Greece is one of the top places I want to visit.
    EscapingAbroad.com´s last blog post ..My Las Vegas Experience

  2. Barbara Weibel on Fri, 20th Jul 2012 8:01 pm 

    Heather,, this sounds like my idea of heaven. I am really keen to explore Greece, especially the islands, and especially afer reading all your articles about them.
    Barbara Weibel´s last blog post ..Puja to Honor a Deceased Relative in Nepal is a Celebration of Life

  3. Heather on Fri, 20th Jul 2012 9:23 pm 

    @Barbara I told you I wouldn’t be spending my time with the party crowd in Laganas – seeking out places like this are much more my scene

  4. mraaron on Mon, 23rd Jul 2012 10:01 am 

    This was a fantastic blog, and I will be sad not to be reading it every day religiously!!! If anyone needs a new addiction, check out this new travel blog.

  5. Trousers to travel from Anatomie | Heather on her travels on Thu, 2nd Aug 2012 9:50 pm 

    […] provided me with the trousers and top for the purposes of this reviewMore things to do on ZakynthosSwimming the turquoise blue at Porto Limnionas – Zakynthos  A walk in the olive groves on Zakynthos – video Visiting St Denis monestary on Zakynthos […]

  6. 10 gorgeous beaches and places to swim on Zakynthos - Greece | Heather on her travels on Mon, 6th Aug 2012 10:07 pm 

    […] things to enjoy on ZakynthosWhy Agios Sostis is perfect for a relaxing holiday in the sun Swimming the turquoise Blue at Porto Limnionas on Zakynthos A turtle spotting boat trip on Zante in GreeceThis article is originally published at […]

  7. Driving around Zakynthos, Greece | Heather on her travels on Wed, 15th Aug 2012 11:01 pm 

    […] a lover of natural swimming rather than the artificial thrills of waterparks, then you will love Porto Limnionas, on the rocky, arid north-west coast of Zakynthos. You will definitely need a car to find this […]

  8. Get in your car and drive! The bits of Zakynthos you won’t see from your sunbed_Go Time Travel Blog | Go Time Travel Blog on Thu, 16th Aug 2012 4:26 pm 

    […] of waterparks, then you will love Porto Limnionas, on the rocky, arid north-west coast of Zakynthos. You […]

  9. Where Heather travelled in 2012 - a year in photos | Heather on her travels on Sat, 29th Dec 2012 4:17 pm 

    […] Want to read more? 10 gorgeous beaches and places to swim on Zakynthos Get in your car and drive! the bits of Zakynthos that you won’t see from your sunbed Swimming the turquiose Blue at Porto Limnionas […]

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