Zakynthos by Scooter: a harrowing tale

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Drew and I have been without a car for about two years now, so it is a luxury we don’t miss when we travel.  Yes there are some places for which a car rental seems fairly necessary for enjoying your destination.  Easter Island for instance requires either a whole lot of time bicycling…or a car rental.  Shorter trips too sometimes make a car rental seem necessary like our week-long visit to Puerto Rico.

For everything else, there are scooter rentals.  Ok, not everywhere offers scooter rentals, but most of the places where a scooter makes sense, a scooter can be found.  And most places just require that you have a valid driver’s license.

Zakynthos by scooter is dusty and thrilling.  Our host Niko connected us with a scooter for a great price (roughly $16 a day) and that little thing took us everywhere.  Granted sometimes it protested, giving us feeble energy on some of the steeper hills but overall it was the perfect way to see the sites of Zakynthos.

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Having said that, Zakynthos does have quite an interesting terrain for scooter exploration.   The roads are mercilessly winding the closer you get to the coastal sites and there’s an ever-present white dust coming up from the hot, dry ground.  The cliffs are invigorating and terrifying all at once and it’s hard not to submit to an unreasonable fear that the breaks will quit working for no reason and send you sailing over the deep blues of the Ionian sea.

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The views from our little two wheeled machine were stunning. With our scooter we visited Porto Limniones and jumped from the rocks into the deep waters of the cove.  We visited the lighthouse in the town of Keri to watch the sun set over the white cliffs.  We zigzagged down into the valley to take a boat from Porto Vromi to see the skeleton of a ship wreck on the Smuggler’s Beach hidden between cliffs.  We  descended the cliffside to the little offshore island of Korakonisi just in time to hop across the rocks and climb to the top to watch the sun set.  Without that scooter we would have been much more restricted as all of these little treasures are located down fairly long and isolated roads.

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