Greek Nirvana on Zante
Folks - some of you know what it's like. You're on your own for the first time in a fair wee while and long to go abroad for sun, swimming and general relaxation. But none of your friends have time to go on holiday when you do and every destination seems to be aimed at couples, families and kids. And you are on yer tod. Well, I've landed on my feet at the fabulous Lithies Hotel http://www.lithies.gr in the very north of Zante or Zakynthos -- the third largest of the Greek Ionian Islands. Zante is famous for its very photographed Shipwreck Bay (someone told me recently the wrecked boat was actually Clydebuilt?!) and its best avoided "get drunk quick" resort of Laganas near the airport in the south of the island.
One and a half hours north - by bus or hire car -- sits the most northerly hotel, the Lithies, run by the friendly young mum Matina. It's small, relaxed and laid back with lovely wee areas to sit and do a PhD in the sun, free bikes for evening mini-hikes, a quiet pool and a 30 minute walk from the best snorkelling in the island from the foot of the steps at the Korithi windmill near the Blue Caves. All the rooms have a shaded balcony and a mini kitchen area. Most are triple bedded (theres a few feisty young families here) but there are smaller ones too and that makes a stay affordable for lone travellers. But it's the big Matina welcome (inc a gal-friendly welcome pack with a wee brush to detangle your hair) which makes the difference. Already this is like a home from home and I know I'll be back. Matina says August is busy (there are folk here from the Netherlands, France, Brazil and England) but May-July is generally quiet. So I thought I should alert fellow Scots -- July IS QUIET!!!! Maybe a thought for 2017. The Lithies has a five star rating on TripAdvisor too https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g6772390-d1488832-Reviews-Lithies_Studios_Apartments-Korithi_Zakynthos_Ionian_Islands.html Blissfully there is only limited broadband (and none when its windy). So I can't post any pics yet.
Righty. Back to the PhD.