This new blog series aims to showcase the most beautiful island destinations around the world, as seen and experienced by our Dushi family members. If you are searching for your next island getaway, looking for inspiration on where to vacay next or planning your island hopping itinerary... This blog series is for you!
Introducing our guest blogger:
From the moment I first met Jiten, I instantly warmed to him. His passion for travel and desire to explore the world really struck a chord with me.
Raised on the paradise island of Aruba, to British and Indian parents, Jiten really does have the best of ALL worlds! With family spanning across 3 continents it's no surprise to see where his wanderlust nature comes from. Jiten and his family moved to the U.K 9 years ago to give him the opportunity to further his studies, leaving his childhood friends behind on his beloved island. As Aruba is so close to his heart, he always visits the island each year to reconnect with old friends, visit family and of course to make unforgettable memories every time he returns home.
by Jiten Melwani
1. What attracted you to book your trip to Zakynthos?
Well first off, Greece. I mean who doesn’t want to go there?! Living in London, we are well aware of the reputation Zakynthos has as a holiday destination. Party till you can’t party anymore, and spend your days on pristine turquoise beaches in the shining sun. As winter descended upon us in London I decided to start looking for a weekend getaway immediately, and I was lucky enough to stumble across some cheap tickets to the island. Didn’t think twice! After doing some research I was packing as many pairs of swimming trunks I could manage.
2. Who did you travel with? Solo? Family? Friends?
I spent the 4 days on the island with my cousin from Florida, Malini. She and I both worked in London and seeing as we were both from sunshine cities, we needed a last dose of some sun before the snow came.
3. What were the locals you met like?
Locals were super friendly. As tourism is a huge part of the industry in Zakynthos (or Zante), you can imagine that the locals speak a good amount of English and they help you in any way possible! Much like the island reputation we know in Aruba.
4. Did you find any sights or activities off the beaten track?
The whole island in general is pretty underdeveloped. So anywhere you go, if you had the guts to go off the beaten track, you’d find some incredible landscapes and scenery. For example once we got recommendations from our hotel receptionist, we found a small outcrop on one of the beaches that had been turned into a tiny paradise island. If you go all the way to the back of the island, you’d have the opportunity to freely swim with the famous turtles there, or “carreta-carreta’ in Greek. One of the days we spent exploring the south coast of the island in a rented manual car which I’m sure had over a decade’s worth of miles on it. And it showed. Every incline of more than 10 degrees or so, and we were stalling, almost rolling back into the car behind us. Luckily though my manual driving skills that got me my British license pulled the old car up those hills in first gear just about keeping the engine from overheating. We were on our way to Navagio beach view, or Shipwreck beach. One of the most famous Greek beaches out there. And boy was the view worth it. Walking along the cliff, the sunset over the Mediterranean sea shone down on the bluest and most beautiful beach I had ever seen in my entire life. White cliffs surrounding this beach made the water reflect the most paradisal shade of blue. And of course with the shipwreck in the very centre of the beach itself, washed up on the white rocks for tourists to walk through.
5. What was your favourite meal?
We spent one of our nights at an amazing restaurant called Panos, in Laganas. Traditional Greek cuisine, dancing, and plate-breaking. Amazing ambience and food was out of this world!
6. What's your top 3 recommended hot spots on the Greek island of Zakynthos?
Banana Beach - crystal clear water, but since the sand is slightly khaki coloured, the water isn’t blue. But really shallow as far as you can swim and if you’re looking to spend a day on the beach drinking cocktails, doing watersports and getting fairly cheap Thai massages, Banana beach is the place for you.
Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach view point at sunset – one of the most unforgettable and beautiful places you’ll ever be lucky enough to witness with your own eyes. Take a camera!
Sunset Michali’s Taverna – a beautiful spot to eat on your way back from Navagio view point- where the sunset continues!
7. What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
For sure the Navagio beach viewpoint- definitely the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever seen in the world.
8. Tell us one fun fact about Zakynthos.
The island’s weather varies so much that it's actually only ‘open’ for 6 months in the year- most of the tourism business don’t run for half the year, everyone moves back to the mainland to their families.
9. Would you like to island hop around the other Greek islands?
Next stop in Greece - the famous island of Santorini! This is a bit more of an expensive island so definitely one for the future.
10. Where's next on your bucket list? Let us know which cool destinations you will be traveling to soon.
Europe is extremely cheap and easy to travel around, so pretty much anywhere that has sun! Namely looking at Porto in Portugal, or the Amalfi coast in Italy.
Jiten's curated top picks of Dushi swag that he never travels without...
1. Aruba Island T-shirt
2. Coconut Sipping Kinda Guy Tank
3. Aruba Island Beach Towel
4. Dushi Unisex Joggers
5. Island Vibes Tank Top
To see more of Jiten's curated vacation outfit inspo click on the image or click here.
Have you ever been to the Greek Islands? Are they on your bucket list?
Let us know in the comments below.
And if you want us to feature your island in the "MY ISLAND" blog series please get in touch: