Zakynthos is one of the Greek Ionian Islands located off the west coast of the Peloponnese. The island is one of the greenest and most beautiful in the archipelago and boasts some superb sandy beaches. It’s the beaches of Zakynthos that make the island a magnet for tourists from all around the world. The busiest seaside resorts rival those of Corfu in terms of their frantic nightlife and all-action beach scene. But if you venture further afield than the main resort areas you’ll find some lovely secluded coves, dramatic mountain scenery and unspoilt inland villages.
Fly directly to the island’s international airport, six kilometres south west of the capital Zakynthos Town. There’s at least one daily flight to and from Athens and regular bus services connect the island capital with the mainland port of Patras.
The number one sight in Zante is the “Shipwreck” beach also known as “Navagio” in greek. It stands as the most photographed area with access only from the sea, cyan waters, white sand and an actual Shipwreck “placed” on the beach since the 60’s. Arrive here with a caique or a sea taxi. A must trip is at Marathonisi, a breeding ground for Caretta-Caretta protected by the National Marine Park of Zakynthos. Arrive here by boat and have in mind that there is no electricity or any other human intervention.
You may even find yourself swimming alongside the beautiful loggerhead sea turtles which use the soft sand of the south coast beaches as their nesting grounds. Sadly the turtles, which have been migrating to these shores from Africa for thousands of years, are now one of Europe ‘s most endangered species primarily because of the ravages of mass tourism.
The tourists themselves will ultimately have to take responsibility for the demise or survival of these delightful creatures. Rules such as the ban on visiting designated areas from dusk till dawn during the breeding season should be strictly observed.
Visit the Lighthouse of Keri and gaze the wonderful colours of the sunset. Take a walk at the Bohali neighborhood, placed 2 klm from the city, and enjoy the panoramic view. An other natural sight are the Blue Caves, visit them with a guide and have the chance to swim in the fluorescent blue sea.
Don’t leave if you haven’t pay a visit at the Solomos and Kalvos museum on St. Markos square. It is devoted to the two great National Poets. The National Marine Park of Zakynthos covers many areas of the island that have characteristics of the Mediterranean Ecosystem. Visit it if you want to know more about the Caretta-Caretta.
Try Zakynthos’ local products and delicacies. Famous for its oliveoil, wines, tasty cheeses and sweet snaks like “mandolato” and “pasteli”.
If you hire a car or sturdy motorbike you’ll be able to explore the island’s pretty inland villages and impressive western coastline with its dramatic cliffs and breathtaking sunsets.