I’m back from the bright blue seas of Zante!


The bright blue sea surrounding Zante I've discovered something about myself over the last couple of weeks (something I've always suspected, but never had confirmed) and that is my innate skill at choosing to holiday in places with sunny climes, when the weather here in England is hotter! 

At least I don’t feel so guilty for having had such a lovely time away as I know you’ve all had the best of British sunshine here, while I‘ve been swimming in water the colour of paraiba tourmaline, and eating my entire bodyweight in feta cheese and moussaka.

What can I say, other than I highly recommend a trip to Zante – a jewel in the crown of Greek islands that inhabit the Ionian Sea. It’s not that big but has an incredible collection of tiny coves and bays, with crystal clear waters and some sandy, some stony beaches. It’s fairly still in the morning, but as the temperatures climb, soft breezes start to blow and take the edge off the hot sunny days. 

I packed everything but the children, and managed to bring home 7 kilos of excess baggage – souvenirs to you and I. I was £70 sterling lighter for the privilege so have made a mental note to self, not to bring quite so many pairs of shoes next time…

Touring the island and Turtle Beach

Colin and I decided to hire a car, and were soon to be seen tootling around the island in something that was similar to a white dodgem car but slower! Air conditioning consisted of windows open and roof peeled back like a sardine tin, but it was great.

We visited Turtle Beach – where there were 26 turtles with 26 ‘nestys’ as our Greek guide informed us. We met Uncle Doug from Manchester on a tiny boat that took us into the blue caves. And BOY were they blue! He told us this was due to the copper sulphate in the water.

Having managed to get the boat actually inside the cave, we were allowed to swim under a little overhangAlison and Colin inside a cave and into a massive chamber where the water was magically warm and intoxicatingly clear (See photo left of Colin and I just inside the cave). To me, it was one of the highlights of the holiday. Climbing back onto the boat was not as pleasurable, and I fear there was a slight loss of modesty as I tried to haul myself up a very small steel ladder with an equally small bikini on.

Rough waters at Shipwreck Cove

Inspired by this trip we decided to visit Shipwreck Cove – a narrow strip of bright white sand upon which are the remains of a large boat that carried contraband cigarettes. Fatally damaged on the rocks, it was swept ashore where for the last 26 years it has remained – flanked by towering cliffs either side. 

Knowing all this, you would have thought I’d have questioned the sense in climbing aboard a very small wooden boat that was to take presumably the same route as the much larger boat that was smashed against the rocks..? Oh no, not I, nor Colin for that matter. 

Choppy?? The sea was rougher than a badger's bottom, and a great deal wider! We clung on to the very small railing – the only thing between us and the indigo blue swirling and churning waves, which wasn’t easy as I was trying to position myself to get the best of the sunshine… but we made it! 

Shipwreck Cove And yet again the colour of the sea was AMAZING! This photo (left) shows the spectacular shade of turqoise the sea truly is, and the little blob in the centre is me! So it's easy to see why this cove is one of THE most photographed sights on the island. Do let me know if you’ve been there yourself, as I’d love to hear what you think.

Welcome home!

It was so good to see the children when we got home, and Lucy had kept everything shipshape. Sam had eaten well – none of the things I’d put in the freezer for him but oh well - and Jack had mowed the lawn. Bless.  

I diligently worked my way through three loads of washing and half a pound of sand, and then pegged it Alison's washing line out before setting off to get my nails done… just as the heavens opened and poured at least three days of rain over my smalls. WELCOME HOME! 

But as they say, the best thing about going away is coming home and I’m looking forward to hearing your holiday stories later this week too.

Have a great week.

Love Ali xxx


  1. julie July 9, 2009 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Glad you had a great time on holiday. That water looks amazing, when i was in Malta i went to the Blue Lagoon and it was like that, it’s beautiful. You can’t beat that colour.
    My husband and i aren’t going away until September this year, we are going to the north of Scotland.
    Hope you have managed to get caught up with all the washing.
    Look forward to seeing you on air.
    Love Julie

  2. Rhona Fenton July 9, 2009 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, your holiday pictures look amazing so glad you had a lovely time, but tell me am I the only one that doesn’t know, who’s colin, is he your special guy? hope you both had a lovely time because your holiday sounded awesome!
    Rhona x

  3. Cindy Corrigan July 10, 2009 at 7:24 am -  Reply

    Ali, so pleased you had a lovely holiday, you always seem to get such fun and pleasure out of everything you do, whatever calamaties befall you! I thought your tan was fab, hope you didn’t get into trouble from Allison Young.
    Love Cindy xx

  4. alison keenan July 10, 2009 at 11:31 am -  Reply

    Julie, it’s been like Mr. Woo’s laundry here!! Yes finally managed to finish it all and now have a day and half’s ironing to complete :) It was a lovely break and I’m just glad that you had at least one week of sunshine as you won’t be away until September. I’m working on Saturday and Sunday this week, so will see you then. Hope all’s well. Ali xx

  5. alison keenan July 10, 2009 at 11:34 am -  Reply

    Hi Rhona, Yes he is my partner, and a really easy guy to spend time with – hence the success of the holiday. It’s so much easier when you can agree on what you’re planning to do, and in fairness now that i’m happy not to be sitting in the sun all day, I guess I’m easier company too! HOpe you have something special planned for the summer. Thanks for taking time out to write too. Love Ali xx

  6. alison keenan July 10, 2009 at 11:36 am -  Reply

    Hi Cindy, Lovely to hear from you and thanks for the compliments re: tan! I have yet to see Alison Young, but used every single one of Decleor’s Aromasun products to tan safely, so hopefully she won’t be too disapproving :) Yes we did have a great time, and I know how lucky I am to get the chance to visit such a lovely place. Everyone should have the chance at least once in a lifetime. I hope you too will have something special planned for a break. Take care, Love Ali x

  7. pauline cogley July 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Your comments and photographs about Zante are great, the sea and the beaches look fantastic, my favourite island is Kefalonia, we have been there three times now, it is absolutely beautiful, especially in early spring when all the flowers are coming out.
    You are one of the best presenters on QVC, so natural. Keep up the good work, its always fun when you are on.
    Can I be nosy and ask what happened to that Simon Green I think his name was?

  8. JULIE SMITH July 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I wasn’t as brave as you when I went to visit Shipwreck Cove, seeing as there are often a few heath & safety concerns on some of the Greek Islands & probably not a good idea when you can’t swim!! However we did hire a car & visited the beautiful bay from above, it was spectacular, like the postcards, even better actually!! We loved the island & the people,we were brave enough to go on a trip to see the beautiful caves & the blue waters,the guide kept saying “It’s soooo bluuue” think it was the only english he knew,so every time we see waters like that, or anything really that is a lovely shade of blue we use the so blue catchphase!!! Maybe you could use it to discribe some of the beautiful rings you show on QVC!If you do have one in white gold, with a blue stone reminds you of the sea there, I would love to buy !!
    Glad you had a lovely time! Love Julie x

  9. Joanne Green July 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, glad you loved Zante..we are Zante veterans, having been there around 18 times, and we got married there in September 2006. We absolutely love it, me, my husband and my six year old son have spent many happy times there. Unfortunately our son died suddenly nearly 3 months ago, but we have already been back to our favourite island..the lovely memories are everywhere. We’re looking forward to flying out again next week.
    Take Care
    Joanne Green

  10. teresa joy July 12, 2009 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    glad you had such a lovely holiday, my husband and I went there 14 years ago, it is just a beautiful now as it was then. we would love to go back, but what with children and puppies to look after, that’s a long way off. great to see the photo’s, wonderful reminder of times gone by.
    love Teresa

  11. Teresa July 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    Glad you had a good time in Zante.
    I went there about four years ago with my husband and I shall NEVER forget the colour of the sea where the shipwreck is. I was so “spellbound” by the colour that I did not want to leave the view!
    Zante is a lovely place and if you liked that make sure you go to Santorini sometime – it is “out of this world”.
    Best wishes to you.

  12. alison keenan July 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm -  Reply

    My dear Joanne, I am so terribly sorry to hear about your son….I can’t begin to imagine how you are coping with such a loss, but that fact that you and your husband have been able to return to a place where you were all happy together is inspirational. I am sure your memories are a great comfort to you both, and best of all, they will be with you always. Sending you my love, Ali xxx

  13. alison keenan July 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm -  Reply

    Pauline, thankyou for writing, and you’ll be happy to know that Kefalonia is our next destination – even more so now you’ve shared your experiences with me :) As far as Daniel Green is concerned, he decided to return to the States as it was all a little too much working here, with his family over there. Not the shortest of trips to make either! Enjoy the rest of the week, and lovely to hear from you,
    Love Ali x

  14. alison keenan July 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm -  Reply

    Julie, I think your decision not to enter Shipwreck Cove by boat was very wise as you can’t swim!!! It was a heck of a drop from the back of the boat and the undertow was quite strong. That said, the little platform that jutted out from the top of the cliff would have put the fear of God into me, so I was happier to be down below than up above!! So glad you agree with the colour of the water though. I will most certainly use the description when selling jewellery… I think apatite or tourmaline are the colours closest to this, and just as fab! You take care,
    Love Ali xx

  15. alison keenan July 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm -  Reply

    Teresa I’m pretty sure there are places that will have remain unchanged, and with the car we were able to explore most of them. Maybe once the children are a little older, they can stay home and look after the dog so you can go! :)
    Hope you have a break planned wherever it may be, and thanks for writing, Love Ali xxx

  16. alison keenan July 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Teresa, thanks for writing and telling me about your trip to Zante. Happier still that you agree with me about the colour…. just awesome and I too wanted to stay forever. I actually have a picture of it on my phone to remind myself :) I did visit Santorini in the early ’80s and had a great time there. Wouldn’t mind going back, but I do now think Kefalonia is next on the list…. who knows Nicholas Cage may still be there with his mandolin!! Have a great week. Love Ali xx

  17. Mrs E ileen Hurely July 13, 2009 at 7:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali liked your pics of zante we have been there twice came back in july we love it there we stayed in Tsvili, hotel zante maris its right on the beach, it will be good to see you back on the qvc again to see your tan, best wishes eileen x

  18. morag english July 15, 2009 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    hi alison, my husband and i have never been to zante and would be interested to know in what area you stayed and the name of your accommodation. we are thinking of booking soon and travelling in september, but at the moment all the accommodation looks the same – abd a recommendation is always the best way to go. glad you enjoyed your stay there. hope to hear from you soon; regards MORAG

  19. alison keenan July 15, 2009 at 11:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Eileen – Fancy!! As my Nana used to say . Tsivili is the same resort we stayed in, although a different hotel. Not surprised you returned – it’s fab. Found it very easy to tan with the lovely sea breezes and didn’t burn at all – mind you that’s probably more to do with Decleor products than anything else! Excellent. Thanks for writing, and do keep in touch.
    Ali x x x

  20. Teresa July 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    Thank you for replying to me about Zante.
    Pleased to hear you too have been to Santorini.
    I went to Kefalonia last year and we had a great time and hired a quad bike for the two weeks – a great and cheap way to get around the island. We were on one trip and my husband thought he was seeing things as we went past an old house and he thought he saw a goat standing in the doorway! He told me and we turned around and there was no sign of a goat so I thought he must have imagined it or perhaps had “sun stroke” and then we spotted dog in the garden of the house and I said “perhaps if we make the dog bark the goat will appear”. Anyway I did my impression of a dog (I won’t win any awards for animal impressions) and low and behold the goat appeared in the doorway – a couple of seconds later another one appeared! We were in hysterics – it just looked so funny and they were almost human the way they were standing in the doorway and looking at us etc.
    We had many a trip on the quad bike to Argostoli which is the main town and they have some lovely shops (you can visit for research purposes for QVC of course!). I saw a beautiful diamond ring but it was out of my price range so I found another jeweller and had one made for me whilst there at a fraction of the price!. That ring is very special to me as I bought it with money my Dad gave to me for my Birthday a couple of months before the holiday and unfortunately he passed away at the end of April this year and I miss him dreadfully and so the ring is “extra” special to me now.
    All the best Alison and take care.

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