Zakynthos, also known as Zante or Fioro Tou Levante ( = The flower of the East), according to the Venetians, is the third largest island (after Kefalonia and Corfu) of the Ionian Sea and the second in terms of population, with about 41,000 people. Zakynthos lies 8,5 nmi away from Kefalonia and 15 nmi away from Kyllini, the port with which it connects with daily routes Kyllini - Zakynthos throughout the year.
In terms of geomorphology, Zakynthos is mainly divided into the lowland, eastern part which is also the most populated and the highland, western part. The shores of the island in the eastern part lie lower, in smaller extension boasting beautiful, sandy beaches, while in the western part lie higher and they are usually rocky and steep, forming breathtaking sceneries.
On the southern side of the island extends Laganas Bay, into which three little islands are found: Marathonisi, Pelouzo and Agios Sostis. Laganas Bay, with its as magnificent as famous beach, has been proclaimed as a National Marine Park since 1999, being the prime nesting area for the loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta Caretta).
Zakynthos is one of the most popular tourist destinations not only of Greece but of the whole world too. This fact is of course no coincidence. Apart from the significant development of the island in the tourist sector, more important are the sights and the natural beauty of the island, not to mention locals’ hospitality.
The most famous sight of Zakynthos is by far Navagio beach in the north-western side of the island; a beach that is almost never absent from the annual lists of world’s top beaches, in travel blogs – but not just there of course.
Not very far from Navagio, the Blue Caves are found; a truly unique natural sight one is worth exploring. At the National Marine Park in Gerakas, visitors have the chance to get more information about the Caretta Caretta turtle, and it is never unlikely to meet the latter into the sea, during a short boat trip.
In the city of Zakynthos which is the capital of the island, several important landmarks are also found, like the Churches of St. Dionysios and St. Nikolaos, the Solomos and Kalvos Museum, as well as the Byzantine Museum.
Zakynthos also boasts a great musical tradition. Most known and characteristic are considered the ‘kantades’ and the ‘arekies’ songs, with lyrics usually inspired by love and nature, which are sung in quartettes.