For a start I’m going to unapologetically use the island’s Greek name as opposed to the Italian name widely used in the UK, presumably as party-goers in Zante might not be able to pronounce Zakynthos by the end of the night. We, being predominantly sober parenty types, and great pedants, would be doing more nappy changing and toddler pacifying than clubbing. Click here for the Wikipedia page if you’ve never heard of either.
So, we managed to have another beach holiday this summer simply because Husband works too much. He managed to convince his client to bill by the hour, and given he was working all hours of the day and night, he earned some sweet time off. Whoop whoop, a second summer holiday! Never having been to Greece, and always meaning to go, we booked another Thompson holiday at one of their family resorts, this time to Zakynthos. I’m going to leave it at ‘the hotel was ok’ and the kids had fun.
Weasel’s Favourite bit? Thompson the Dog. He hangs out at the resort, meeting and greeting, and most likely requiring medical attention after standing in the 30 degree heat. His night time dancing and ‘singing’ during T-Time live kept Weasel happy, even if there wasn’t table service to keep her parents similarly entertained with wine. We were definitely spoiled in Majorca. Weasel quote of the holiday: “I love Thomas the dog. He’s my friend. He lives in a hole, he bought it, because his house is too small. I hope he doesn’t eat my shoes. Or my turtle.” Anytime she saw him off the stage, she was terrified. I love toddlers. The Ninja couldn’t give a flying crap about Thompson the dog, but did enjoy dancing (whilst being held upright, now that is a workout) and the the pools. Asked on the way home, Weasel claimed that ‘riding the horsies’ was her favourite bit. Whilst there are horses riding up and down the main strip, keeping the toddlers constantly entertained, we never rode on one.
Our Favourite Bit? Baklava (I am much jigglier now. I brought home a whole 3 pounds of baklava, all on my tummy. Impressive.) would be up there on my list. But the Play Away Pirates excursion rocked too. A twisty coach ride (which thankfully the Ninja, who puked banana purée and a bottle of milk EVERYWHERE on the coach to our hotel, slept through this journey), and a boatride to Smuggler’s Cove and pirating adventure were well-worth the money. Weasel didn’t notice the 1000 skinny, thong-clad holiday makers that pulled up after us and stayed for like half an hour, taking up most of the beach. She was having a good time making a pirate hat & sword, having her face painted and shouting in caves for Captain Smelly Belly. And the shack where our coach parked even had Hello Kitty ice cream. What more could keep a nearly 3- year old happy?
Looking for Captain Smelly Belly in the caves
Practicalities of the pirate excursion: Do not bring a pram like 2 people on our trip did. They are useless on the coach, boat and sand, so there’s not much point. There are ok-ish loos (for a shack) at the departure port, but no food or loos at the cove. Swim suits and the ocean solve the latter and pack some lunch for the former. We were lucky a Thompson rep handed us an umbrella at the hotel and said we’d need it. When the sun comes up over that cliff, there’s suddenly no shelter for the little ones.
Verdict: Weasel & the Ninja would happily go back, they’re toddlers and there was a pool so what would you expect. I would go back to Greece and potentially Zakynthos, but would go for less of a budget hotel. Mama needs wine brought to her sun lounger.