Zakynthos, also known as "Zante", and called "Flower of the East" is the third largest of the Ionian Islands with a population of over 40,000 inhabitants. Homer mentions it as Yliessa but it took its name by the first settler of the island, Zakynthos, son of Dardanus-King of Phrygia. It is world famous for its sandy beaches, clear blue waters and underground caves waiting to be explored.
Some of the blue caves are located near the cape Shinari. They are only 10 minutes with the boats starting from the port of Agios Nikolaos and you can get in some spaces of the cave and admire the stalactites and the rocks. Blue caves you will also find on the coast of Keri, with two huge natural stone bridges called and Arches. The water there is fantastic and the tour is possible by boat starting from Keri.
In Keri, on the edge of a cliff 200 meters above the sea stands a lighthouse, a 9-meter high tower that helps the safe passage of ships. The spot is ideal to enjoy a unique sunset and the stunning scenery.
The central square of the city of Zakynthos called Solomos Square, named after the most famous poet from Zakynthos, whose lyrics are the National Anthem of Greece. Solomos Statue has been erected in the center of the square. Nearby you will find many impressive buildings such as the church of St. Nicholas.
Zakynthos can be proud for its famous, beautiful beaches with crystal blue waters. Some are organized, in others you can do water sports and some of them are isolated and disprosites. During the summer months, in some of the southern beaches (Gerakas, Secania, Laganas) lays its eggs in the marine turtle Caretta - Caretta. If you have young children, we recommend Alykes, Tsilivi and Argassi, while those looking for something more secluded, it worths to search for Amoudi, Daphne and Makris Gialos. Navagio (wreck) is a unique, one of the most famous and award-winning beaches in the world because of its deep blue colors. Access is only by boat starting from the town of Zakynthos, Alykes, Aghios Nikolaos and Skinari. Next to Anafonitria village there is platform from where you can see the beach from above. The characteristic wreck in the middle of the beach, sank during a transport of illegal cigarettes and drinks in 1983.
Located in Solomou Square and opened its doors first in 1960 is the Byzantine museum. With three floors of exhibits visitors have the opportunity to admire the carved images of the Byzantine period, paintings of the 18th century and representations of the city as it was before the earthquake.
Solomos and Kalvos museum
In the small but evocative square of Saint Marcus is the museum that has the name of Dionysios Solomos and Andreas Kalvos, two poets who are real national symbols. In the museum among others you can see paintings, ceramics and sculptures. Also costumes and weapons of noble families of the last century.
You can get in Zakynthos both by air and by boat. International Airport Dionysios Solomos is 4 kilometers from the town and you can go there mainly by taxi. Bus station in the town of Zakynthos is located very close to the port, the tickets are cheap and connects the capital with Argassi, Basiliki, Laganas, Keri Lake, etc. . The taxis prices are fixed for the most popular tourist destinations. Finally there is the possibility of moving with a boat by renting one, or using the taxi-boats to visit rugged areas of the island, such as Navagio, the Blue Caves or Marathonisi.
Depending on the amount you wish to spend, you will find a wide variety of hotels on the island of Zakynthos both in the capital and in the majority of the villages. Most villages are located on the east side, and if you want to explore the southern part, we suggest you select for your accomodation Laganas or Keri.
Nightlife in Zakynthos includes many options for your entertainment both for those who choose to relax and spend a quiet evening, and for those who want more crazy fun. For the first category are offered the city of Zakynthos as well as the village of Vassilikos. It is best to avoid Laganas, Tsilivi and Argassi. In contrast, these are highly recommend for those looking for a more wild experience. There you will find many bars and clubs where the fun last 24 hours a day.
Zakynthos local cuisine is basically mediterranean. Most of the flavors are home-cooked meals. Some of them are: Rooster cooked with spaghetti, Zakynthian stuffed rabbit, and sofigadoura (sheep, braised meat). Sweeten yourself by tasting pastels, fritoures (semolina pancakes) and Zakynthos toast.
Raisin crop is a major economy source for the island of Zakynthos. Large areas of vineyards produce wine in many varieties like Robola Black and White Verdea. Olive oil and olives are also local products. because as you'll see the island is also full of olive trees and mills for the oil beeing traditionally produced. Mainly in the mountainous part of the island you can buy honey from local producers. Based on honey are also Zakynthos' sweets like Nougat and Fitoura.