Greece: Ion Island Hopping

Alright Zakynthos. Time to go. It’s been interesting. All in all I think I got an unfairly negative first impression of this little island. It only got better with time. Laganas is not my favourite place in the world, but everywhere else is great, I promise!

Regardless of the weird stuff (like casual knife fights), I had a laid back and comfortable two weeks spent in the sun with good people. I swam through caves, saw sea turtles, went to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and did a very minimal amount of work for free keep (and sometimes food). No complaints.

I’m on to Kefalonia, but not in the way I’d have expected. Before arriving in Greece I pictured myself doing a bit of island hopping and solo travel. I imagined it being as easy as jumping on some cheap and frequent boats like Southern Thailand. Maybe I’d find a cheap flight or two.
That is not the case.

Firstly, I struggle to find another WorkAway on other islands. I try CouchSurfing, but obviously in areas with lower populations, there are less couches up for grabs too. The cheapest accommodation I can find is 30€ a night, which is definitely a little steep, but what really makes it impossible is that I’ll also need a car or scooter. I’ve recently discovered that my Canadian license is useless here, so even if the extra 20€ per day were manageable, I’m not even legally allowed to drive. This is limiting.

To save on costs and because she’s great, I invite my WorkAway host, Abi, to come with me. She’s lived in Zakynthos for 5 years and has never visited her sister island! Realistically it’s a perfect time for her/us to be leaving anyway, because it’s a bit of a full house right now. Her friend Scott is visiting from England and sleeping on the couch, she’s accepted another WorkAwayer, a woman from Brazil who shares my room, AND Abi’s Mum and brother are due to arrive in a couple days for a visit. Where will we all sleep in this 2 bedroom flat?!
Boom. Solution. We won’t. Abi invites her Mum and brother to join us in Kefalonia. Probably the most random travel companions I’ve had, but just like Abi, her mom and 13 year old brother are chill af.

Sorting out the ferries to Kefalonia is unnecessarily complicated. I have about 20 tabs open on my laptop with different companies, schedules, trip advisor instructions, and maps, yet I still don’t really know what we need. You’d think there would be lots of direct transport to the island a quick hour North, right? Wrong. Almost impossible to do online. I suggest you go to the office in Zakynthos town and get them to sort it for you a day or two before. It’s right at the end of the port, before Solomos Square, next to the Strada Marina Hotel. It’s big and bright, they offer tours and stuff too, you can’t really miss it.

Here’s my kinda-sorta guide for getting from Zakynthos to Kefalonia. 

ll post once I can make sense of the whole thing.Long story short we do sort out tickets, rent a car, and get on our way. We book some accommodation 300 meters from the port for convenience (and because it’s really the only thing left on but when we arrive in Kefalonia, it turns out we’ve landed in a different port… on the other side of the island. My 20 search tabs didn’t prepare me for this.

Luckily Maps.Me is always there to save the day and routes us to our hotel. It takes us on some dodgey roads though, and we get stuck behind some sheep for a bit. It’s pitch black out, which is lovely for stargazing but bad for potholes. We hit one so hard the car radio literally falls right off. I didn’t even know they could do that!

Half an hour later we make it to our hotel, where we are met with warm smiles, and a lot of confusion. Apparently they were out of space and had rejected our booking but we never got that e-mail. Just the confirmation from
I don’t know. All I know is that we have nowhere to sleep. It’s high season on a relatively small island and we are 4 people. Odds are not stacked in our favour. I slept in a sleeping bag in a park a couple weeks ago, so I’m not too bothered but I can’t imagine anyone else wants to sleep in the car for two nights. I’d be stoked on the savings actually…We drive along the port and stop to ask hotels if they can squeeze us in for a night. By some miracle, the FIRST place we ask manages to accommodate us…for not just one but both nights! It’s not outrageously expensive; only 10€ more than where we thought we’d be sleeping, and a better location. Booking online is always such a waste of time. We get a sea-view apartment directly in front of the port (where we SHOULD have arrived) for 70€ per night. Not bad. My little pseudo-family adventure is off to a good start!
Photo from our hotel room – and the port where we expected to arrive.

Today’s Spending:

5€ – lunch
11€ –  dinner
7.50€ – my share of car rental (30€ per day)
17.50€ – my share of accom. (70€/night)
7.50€ – my share of car fee for ferry (31€)
9€ – ferry ticket
Total: 55.50€   YIKES.

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