Jewels of Kefalonia and Zakynthos
Uncover the timeless traditions of Greece
Uncover the timeless traditions of Greece with stays on the Ionian islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos where you’ll experience Greek hospitality, taste delicious local food and soak up the sun on celebrated beaches.
This slow-paced, all inclusive tour offers the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration, with excursions including a visit to the home of Odysseus, a boat trip to Smugglers Cove and panoramic tours of both islands. The highlight of your trip is sure to be a visit to one of the country’s most iconic attractions, the birthplace the Olympic Games, ancient Olympia.
14 Nights from £2,099pp
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• Return flights and transfers
• All transfers and ferry tickets
• Welcome drink reception
• Saga tour manager
• 41 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners
• 14 nights in hotels
• Free bar 11 hours a day
• Boat trip to Shipwreck Beach
• Island tour of Zakynthos
• Day trip to ancient Olympia
• Panoramic tour of Kefalonia
• Scenic boat trip to Ithaka
Fly to Kefalonia, and transfer to the 5-star Apostolata Island Resort & Spa (4Q), for a three-night all inclusive stay (25 miles, one hour). The 166-room hotel is set on a hillside, offering panoramic views. It has two outdoor pools and a spa (treatments extra). The free bar, open 11 hours a day, serves local drinks.
Accommodation is arranged in nine buildings of two storeys, accessible by lifts. The hotel runs a complimentary shuttlebus to the sand-and-shingle beach and the town of Skala, two miles away, and to and from Poros, once a day.
Today you’ll see more of the island during an included full-day panoramic tour that visits two picturesque port towns and the island’s capital, Argostoli.
First, head to the east coast to explore the town of Sami, with its pleasant promenade lined with shops and tavernas. You may recognise the scenery from the film adaptation of ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’.
Continue by coach to Asos, which is overlooked by a Venetian castle set on a mountainous peninsula. You’ll have free time to look around, before lunch in a local restaurant.
Continue to the capital, rebuilt in a classical style following the 1953 earthquake. Perhaps take a stroll along the attractive waterfront promenade. Return to your hotel via the south coast in time for dinner.
Enjoy a day at leisure.
Alternatively, an optional excursions visits one of the island’s most impressive natural wonders, Melissani Cave.
Transfer to the port and take the ferry to Kyllini on the Greek mainland (one hour and 45 minutes). From here, join an full-day excursion to the ancient site of Olympia. Your first stop is at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, home to the helmet that the Athenian general Miltiades, a marble statue of Nike of Paionios dating from 421BC, and numerous sculptured ornaments from the Temple of Zeus. Continue to the main site of Olympia, where the first ever Olympic games were held. Discover the weathered temples and historic ruins of the greatest Pan-Hellenic sanctuary. The site is extensive, so be prepared for quite a lot of walking if you want to see everything.
Finally, visit the Botanical Gardens of Olympia. This relatively new installation is designed to replicate the landscapes of times gone by, and features shady spots to sit and relax amidst the tranquil surroundings.
Return to the port and take the ferry to Zakynthos island (90 minutes) and transfer to the 5-star Atlantica Eleon Grand Resort and Spa (4Q+) for a seven-night stay on an all inclusive basis (5 miles, 15 minutes). The hotel is located in an olive grove on the picturesque coast, overlooking the Ionian Sea. Facilities at the stylish hotel include the main restaurant, à la carte restaurant and a selection of bars. There is a choice of pools as well as a spa, fitness centre and tennis courts. The free bar, open 11 hours a day, serves local drinks.
Enjoy a day at leisure. Make the most of the picturesque surroundings, and relax by the pool.
Spend the day at leisure, or join an optional olive oil and wine tasting excursion.
Today, enjoy an included guided boat trip to the famous beached Panagiotis shipwreck and the crystal clear waters of Smugglers Cove. Join your cruiser at the harbour of Zakynthos and sail north, catching sight of the island’s lighthouse on the Cliffs of Keri and the turtle-shaped island of Skinari which still belongs to the Vatican.
Continue past the Blue Caves before arriving in Smugglers Cove where you can enjoy a swim or stretch out in the sun. On the way home enjoy more swim stops before arriving back in Zakynthos in the late afternoon.
Enjoy a full-day island tour of Zakynthos. Drive to the village of Bochali, boasting impressive views along the coast. Enjoy free time here to enjoy the view and take photos. Next, visit the main town on the island, with its elegant square and bustling harbour, and explore the island’s mountainous interior. After free time to explore, continue to Keri, a village showcasing traditional Zakynthiot architecture. Finally, board a boat for a leisurely sailing trip around the southern coast of the island.
Spend the day at leisure. Perhaps take a trip out to the Keri Lighthouse, perched 300 metres above the sea and providing the opportunity for breathtaking sunsets and a glimpse of the twin pinnacles of Myzithres. These rock formations take their name from Myzithra cheese because of their similar shape. You can also press into the interior and discover forested wilderness and traditional rural villages or visit the rugged west coast, where mighty limestone cliffs plunge into turquoise waters.
Spend your final day in Zakynthos at leisure.
Transfer to the port and take the ferry back to Kefalonia, via Kyllini on the mainland (four hours). Return to the 5-star Apostolata Island Resort & Spa (4Q) for a further four-night all inclusive stay.
Spend the day at leisure.
Today, enjoy a full-day trip to the unspoilt island of Ithaki by boat, including lunch at a local restaurant. The island is lush and green due to heavy winter rains and the beaches of this 19-kilometre square island are stunning. It was first inhabited in the 2nd Millennium BC and was the home of Homer’s hero Odysseus. The island is home to several ancient ruins and is popular for its great walks and hiking. Perhaps head to the island’s capital, Vathy, a quaint hamlet on a beautiful bay. The capital was entirely rebuilt after the 1953 earthquake devastated much of the island.
Spend the final day of your holiday at leisure making the most of your hotel’s facilities.
After breakfast, travel to the airport (25 miles, one hour), for your return flight to the UK.