World Travel GuidesZakynthos, Greece

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Zakynthos is the third largest of the Ionian Islands in Greece. It is also called Zante in English and Italian, as well as Zacinto in Italian. In this Zakynthos Travel Guide, I want to take you to explore it from the comfort of your desktop.

Zakynthos covers an area of 410 square kilometers (158 square miles) and is located on the western coast of Greece. It was named after Zakynthos, the son of a legendary Arcadian chief, Dardanus. Today the island has become a major tourist destination in Greece.

Famous shipwreck beach in Zakynthos, Greece
Author: Alexignatiou (GNU Free Documentation License)

The main town in Zakynthos is also called Zakynthos, or Zakynthos Town. Among the Greek, it is often known as Chora, meaning simply "The Town". That's a usually way of calling towns that bear the same name as the prefecture. Much of the Venetian-style buildings in the town were destroyed in the massive earthquake of 1953. Today much of the town has been rebuilt. At the centre of it is the Agios Dionysus Church, which look very much like the Piazza de San Marco in Venice.

The island of Zakynthos has a population of 38,600. Much of it is still green and unspoilt. The northern and western coasts are barren and mountainous. Most of the farms and vineyards are found in the centre, where one can find lovely Greek villages in a landscape that has still not been touched by tourism. A name produce is Zante currant, a small seedless grape that grows on the island.

Mizithres Rocks, Zakynthos
author: Christaras A (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Wildlife of Zakynthos

Zakynthos has a variety of wildlife. Unfortunately many species are endangered or on the verge of extinction. In the Zakynthos National Marine Park, loggerhead turtles (Caretta careeta) can be found in Kalamaki Bay. Female turtles come to shore along the southern coast to breed at the beginning of June. Each adult female is capable of producing a hundred and twenty eggs which are the shape and size of ping pong balls. After an incubation period of 55 days, the hatchlings emerge from the eggs and make their way into the sea. Only one in a thousand turtles eventually make it to adulthood.

Tourist Sights on Zakynthos

Shipwreck Bay
Perhaps the most famous tourist site in Zakynthos is Navagio, better known as Shipwreck Bay. This isolated sandy cove is banked in on all sides by towering limestone cliffs and the azure-blue sea. On the sand is the wreck of the ship Panagiotis, which is believed to be involved in some smuggling activity when it got into trouble and washed ashore in 1981. Since then, it has become an icon of Zakynthos.

Blue Caves
Another famous tourist attraction is the Blue Caves, located to the east of Cape Skinari on the northern part of Zakynthos. The caves are the result of erosion which carves out natural arches in the cliffs. Reflection of the deep azure blue sea against the cave walls give them a bluish color, and hence their name Blue Caves. The color is strongest in the morning when the light is brightest.

Cape Skinari
Cape Skinari is the northernmost tip of Zakynthos. The view here is gorgeous. You can see the calm waters of the east merging with the rougher sea of the west.

Agios Dionysos Church, Zakynthos
author: Christaras A (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

How to go to Zakynthos

Zakynthos can be reached by direct charter and domestic flights. You can use our booking engine to find and book flights to Athens, the capital of Greece. From there, you can fly via Olympic Airlines to Zakynthos.

You can also take a ferry from Kyllini on the Greek mainland. The fare is €6.50.

Photo Album

  1. Zakynthos Photo Album

Location Map of Zakynthos

View Zakynthos in a larger map

Location Map of Zakynthos

View Zakynthos in a larger map

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