This guidebook is an ideal companion for motorists who want to tour Zakynthos by car, as well as those planning a holiday walking in Zakynthos. The book combines the best features of our ‘Landscapes’ walking and car touring guides with all the detail you would expect in a hefty general guide, but it is pocket size and in full colour. Coverage includes getting there and getting about; recommended accommodation and restaurants; practicalities A-Z; history; 22 main walks with many variations, all with both hand-drawn and GPS-compatible maps; copious notes on geology, flora and fauna (all illustrated).
I searched everywhere. On the Internet, in libraries, in every bookstore that I could find, but although I found a lot of general guides on the Greek islands, they could only provide a small description of [Zakynthos] and all the common tourist attractions — water park, navaggio, carreta turtles, etc. Having the experience of Paris, when doing some walking tours in the old town was the best part of our trip, we searched for the same thing for Zakynthos, but weren’t really finding anything.
When this Zakynthos (Zante) with walks book opened its pages to us, it was all we are looking for, and even more. I think one of the best things about the book is that the author, Gail Schofield, lives there and knows the surrounding and also that she was a zoology student, so has insights on all the plants and animals that live on the island. A book on culture and architecture is a marvel in large cities, but on islands like Zakynthos, where the main attraction is its savageness, you need to know everything about the environment, beaches and life in general.
I skimmed the book preparing for our trip, and I found interesting the fact that it has hand-drawn maps of every walking tour, a thing that I haven’t encountered that frequently in travel books. The illustrations of plants and animals are also high quality but the best part of the book is the folding map at the end which is by far the most complete map I have found to date. It has all the walking tours and car tours on it so you don’t have to struggle planning them by yourself and if you go on the official site you can also download the GPS waypoints for the walking tours (that of course if you’re not to lazy to enter them yourself from the end of the book). I highly recommend this books to anyone visiting Zakynthos. (RP, Amazon)
Area covered: There are car tours and walks all over the island. Although the main towns can be reached by bus, to really take advantage of the island and to reach most of the walks you will need to hire a car (to save money, hire through your travel agent when booking your holiday or book in advance on the web). If you would like to explore the island’s back roads or cover some of the walking routes by car, the author advises hiring a four-wheel drive vehicle. (But 4WD vehicles are not necessary for reaching the starting points of the walks).
The best months for walking on Zakynthos are from late September to May; summer is far too hot.
For an extremely useful source of information about the island, click on http://www.greekisland.co.uk and click on Zante.