Everything you should know about Zakynthos Island in Greece

Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos Island, photo by Lloyd Dirks

Zakynthos Island, Greece

Zakynthos, internationally known by its Italian name; Zante, is a Greek island. It is the third-largest island of the Ionian Sea, after Corfu and Kefaloniá. Like all other islands of Greece, this is also a well-known summer resort. The harbor city of Zakynthos is the capital, centered around Solomos Square.

History:

According to Greek mythology, before being called as Zakynthos island, it was known as Hyrie. Afterwards, it was renamed on a man, Zákynthos, who was the first inhabitant of the island. He was the son of King Dardanos who ruled the Kingdom of Frigia. The Ancient Acropolis of Athens is also a tribute to him. A Venetian fort was also built at later times on the site.

Zakynthos was hit by a very high magnitude earthquake the ensuing fire that burned several historical buildings and churches to the ground. Most of the buildings on the island perished. In October 2018, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake again hit the south of island caused no injuries but damaged an ancient monastery.

Zakynthos Flower of the east:

Zakynthos is abundant with nature. The Venetians, who ruled Zakynthos gave a nickname to the island “flower of the Levant’’ due to presence of more than 5000 species of flowers including daisies, poppies, and tulip. Apart from this, there are so many other secrets that lie beneath the beauties of the lush island of Ionian Sea. In fact, it is a natural paradise on earth. There are parks to visit and enjoy the beauties of these flowers like Astonos Stone park and Zakynthos Marine Park. Endangered species like sea turtle Caretta Caretta and the Monachus seal are protected on this island, moreover there are are many dolphins in the clear water of island enjoying their interaction with the people around traveling on boats. History marks that Apollo was such inspired by the beauty of the island that he sang there. The stunning beauty of Zakynthos contributed to the link between the god of the sun and music.

Churches on Zakynthos:

There is no shortage of churches on the island. Remarkable churches on the island are:

  • Ágios Nikolaos
  • Agios Dionysios
  • Agios Markos
  • Ágios Georgios
Navagio or Shipwreck beach in Zakynthos Island, photo by Max van den Oetelaar

Sightseeing in Zakynthos:

Byzantine museum is a very nice museum located in Solomos square that includes impressive pieces of history from the island’s old churches. Stranis hill is two kilometers away from the city that gives a panoramic view. It is the place where Solomos wrote the national anthem.

National Marine Park includes figs and olive trees and many other species of flower. A good place for kids. Solomos square is the central square of Zakynthos. It is the location of the city’s central bus station with many coffee shops and restaurants. Agios Markos square is the main meeting point for visitors. Rouga, a street with impressive arcades starting at Agios Markos crosses the whole city.

 Zakynthos Beaches:

Popular beaches like Agios Nikolaos, Alykanas, Laganas, Tsilivi, Vasilikos, and Kalamaki offer swimming and water sports and the amazing turtle trips.

How to access Zakynthos:

It is accessed by ferries or airplanes. Ferries to Zakynthos only depart from the port of Killini. Airport of Zakynthos is in the region of Laganas.

Facts about Zakynthos Island:

  • It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands
  • One of the most famous landmarks is the Navagio beach or shipwreck
  • There are more than 40.000 residents on the Island
  • The region of Zakynthos has the highest population growth in Greece

That’s about Zakynthos Island, if you liked my post please share the love and can’t wait to read your experiences of this great Ionian Island.

Happy swimming 🙂

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