Having booked three nights in a beach resort area, Tsivili, to have those beach days, we wanted to get away from the package holiday side of Zakynthos and see the real island.
The villas are located about 20 mins from Zakynthos town and about two kilometres above and along the coast from the little port village of Limni Keri which is a great centre for renting little motor boats or jump on a boat trip to the Keri caves and more importantly the island in the bay that the turtles breed on. As we were out of breeding season, we did not see any turtles but the island has a beautiful little beach accessible only by boat and is backed by the cliff wall. Amazing place to tie up on our 3 hour jaunt around the bay in our hired boat.
Limni Keri itself is small but has plenty to offer with a number of restaurants and a few bars, a great bakery (for the villa breakfast) and some small supermarkets. There is also a beach here but the beach 5 mins below the villas is much more interesting. Down a path from the road near the villas, you come to the shore which turning left and around a jutting rock you get to a lovely stony beach that feels isolated bar the occasional boat that rocks up.
Keri itself is up the hill road from Limni Keri and is worth the trip in the evening to see the sunset at the lighthouse above the Keri cliffs.
As for the villas, they really allow you to enjoy this area as the views from the villas over the bay to the turtle island is amazing - to wake up to and in the evening enjoying a drink on one of the balconies in the villa. The villas are reasonably newly renovated, have a balcony from the living room, one from the upstairs bedroom, a seating area outside the front door and two around the pool. They seem to be co-ordinated with the sun as throughout the day the sun is shining on one of these meaning that you have no excuse or reason to leave the villa. There was a jacuzzi bath which I wasn't aware of in booking and the villa throughout is finished to a high standard. The pool is lovely - deep at one end and less so at the other and with two areas around to relax at.
Immediately near the villas there is two tavernas within walling distance - one up the road to the left and one to the right. The one up the road to the right is much better and has amazing views over the island in the bay behind which the moon rises each night. La Bruschetta is a highly recommended restaurant along the road from the villas to Limni Ker which you could walk to and back during the day but may be too dark a walk in the evenings as no lighting along the road.
A hire car is best for this villa and I believe essential to getting out to see the rest of the island which is relatively small and so easily covered in a day. Drive to the viewing area above Shipwreck Cove as it is probably as spectular as seeing it from a boat.
We stayed in villa 412 which was the lowest and so had no villa in front but as the villas are built on a hillside, the other villas have uninterrupted views also. Just to note, each villa structure has two accommodation options which can be combined for a larger group. The main villa has the pool, has a bedroom on the mezzanine and a living room with a convertible sofa below. Below the villa with a separate entrance is a two bedroom one level apartment that is quite spacious and has its own outdoor area.
For the price, these apartments are well worth it and the location and type of stay you'll experience here is a more authentic experience that that offered by the package holiday areas around Zachythos Town. Laganas is the party package holiday area and is far cry from Limni Keri - tacky, false and woeful. Give me here any day - will definitely be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Exensian Villas & Suites. A green paradise, which will make you want to return every time you need to have a rejuvenating, tranquil, relaxing, calming and high quality of experience. Our four traditional and luxurious stone built villas are appointed with private pools on the beautiful green hillside ! Exensian is located in Marathias, 20 km northwest from Zakynthos city center, approximately half an hour drive.Beautiful interiors, wonderful decor & breathtaking surroundings! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Exensian Villas & Suites Greece/Marathias, Zakynthos