Welcome to Zakynthos
Zakynthos is the third biggest island in the Ionia sea, the first and second being Kerkyra and Kefalonia respectively. Also known as "Zante" or "Levante's Fioro" (Flower of the East), it is the place where our national poet Dionisios Solomos was born as well as Andreas Kalvos. This is also the birthplace of kantades (type of serenades), operettas, and the island the Caretta-Caretta turtles call home. The long beaches with tirquaz waters, the small bays with the crystal-clear waters, the lushly green mountain tops, the Venetian buildings and the various other sites make this island one of the most popular destinations in Greece.
Reference point of the island is Zakynthos town, reborn from its ashes, after the disastrous earthquake in 1953 and the big fire that followed. If you take a stroll you will have the chance to have a closer look at some of the buildings that survived, scattered around town, and take some wonderful pictures.
Some of the places definitely worth visiting are Agiou Dionisiou Square, with a church sharing its name, coastal Lomvardou Avenue or Strata Marina as the locals call it, Solomou Square where you will find the Library and the Historic Archive, the Post Byzantine Museum and the Agios Nikolaos of Molos church in the eastern part of the square. In Agiou Markou Square you will come across the Solomos-Kalvos Museum and the catholic church of Agios Markos. Finally, walk up to Bohalis hill and Zakynthos Castle from where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the town and the Ionian sea waters.
Outside the town, the most interesting place is without a doubt the Navagio Beach, with the white sand, the crystal-clear tirquaz waters and the skeleton of the shipwreck buried in the sand. The most important natural site on the island is the Laganas Bay, in the southern part of the island, with the National Sea Park of Zakynthos, where the Caretta-Caretta sea turtle finds a safe place to lay eggs.
The lacy beaches make Zakynthos extraordinary. With sand or pebbles, with beach bars and water sports or without, long beaches or tiny bays, secluded or not, the options are endless. The most famous beaches, besides Navagio and Laganas Bay, are the beaches of Argassi, Alykanas, Alykes, Ammoudi, Kaminia, Dafni, Agios Nikolaos Vasilikos, Limni Keri, Xygia, Porto Vromi, Porto Roma, Limnionas, Marathonisi, Agios Sostis, etc.
The culinary tradition of the island is also very interesting, with many exquisite local specialties such as rabbit stifado (rabbit with shallots), aubergines skordostoupi (aubergines with garlic), sgatzeto (intestine soup) and stuffed pancetta cooked in the oven, while among the local products the mandolato and pasteli (sweets with nuts and honey) as well as the ladotiri (local cheese) stand out. You will have the chance to taste these unique flavours in one of the many taverns and restaurants found on the island.
Below, you will find useful information regarding not only your trip to the island but Greece generally, such as currency, weather, useful phone numbers, etc.