Flower of Levante
Deeply influenced from the Venetian domination, Zakynthos acquired a unique style.
A place of Literature and Arts, accepted influences from all the big European countries, absorbing them in a particular cultural alloy. The love for the arts gave birth to big literature people like Dionysios Solomos, Grigorios Xenopoylos, Andrea Kalvos, and also local forms of art like serenades, and “areskia” (quadvoice popular song).
A place blessed from God, Zakynthos combines the rich cultural heritage with the astonishing natural beauty. Made from an earthquake, Zakynthos emerged from the bottom of sea, shaping an erratic triangle. The sandy and smooth beaches at the southeast part of the island give their place to the steep, rocky beaches of the northwest part of the island, fascinating with this contrast that characterizes the “Flower of East”, or differently “Flower of Levante”, as it is called in the west.
The greatly photographed Shipwreck, the impressive caverns in Keri, the Light blue Caves, and the beaches of Vasilikos that the turtles (caretta – caretta) have chosen for their reproduction, the graphic Argasi with its cosmopolitan evenings and the historical Mpohali, are only few of the places that will win you over.
The people are cheerful and optimistic, and are famous for their hospitality, their talking and for their habit to emphasize their words with intense gestures. You will be impressed with their singing accent, and generally with the intense presence of song in their life.
- The buildings of the Byzantine Museum, the Spiritual Center, the Solomos Museum
- The statue of Dionysios Solomos at the homonymous square
- The catholic church of St. Mark, in the hononymous square
- The Venetian Castle build at the position of the ancient acropolis
- The Church of Faneromeni, Lady of the Angels and St. Nikolaos of Mole
- The church of St. Dionysus, Saint of forgiveness and patron saint of the island. Celebrations take place on August 24 and December 17.
- The church of St. George of the Filikoi.
- Strani hill where Dionysios Solomos inspired and wrote “Hymn to Liberty” (Greek national anthem) and “The Free Besieged”
- The new Democracy square that unites the square of Dionysion Solomos with the square where the Libro d’ Oro was burned (St. Markos square).
- The summer cinema “Christos Negas” next to the sea.
- The outdoor Town Theatre, where every summer are organized by the Municipality many cultural events.
- Bochali, a picturesque area located directly under the Venetian Castle.
- At Keri the lighthouse with a view to the steep coasts.
- The monastery of Aghios Ioannis Prodomos
- The monastery of Aghios Georgios Krimnon
- The church of Aghios Nikolaos at Liomenos
- At Macherado, the church of Aghia Mavra with the melodic bells
- The monastery of Panagia Pantochara at Strofades
- At Laganas, the islet of Aghios Sostis
- The Museum of Dionysios Solomos and Eminent Zakynthians.
- The museum of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art
- The Museum of Zakynthos
- the Maritime Museum at Tsilivi
Krioneri, Argasi, Porto Zoro, St. Nikolaos, Gerakas with the sedimentary rocks, Dafni, Laganas, Kalamaki, Tsilivi, Skinari, Spiantza Vasilikou, Keri, Alikes, Alikanas, Limniona bay, Light Blue Caves, Vromi bay where ships take you to Shipwreck, the Shipwreck (Navagio), Makris Gialos, Xigia with the healing waters, Sekania, the reproduction area of the protected turtle species caretta-caretta.
What to shop
- Raisins, the main product export. The raisin cultivation is so important for the island that according to tradition the residents used to say “Only the traitor and the smuggler of raisins deserve to die”.
- Olive oil, one of the best quality in Greece
- Wine, mainly Verdea a traditional local variety
- Mantolato and pasteli (local sweets)
- Ladotyri- Graviera (local cheeses)
- Bougarini (a local fragrant flower that is used to make perfumes, and other formulations)
- Zakynthian colognes
From Athens, Thessaloniki and in summer with direct flights from abroad.
Zakynthos airport “Dionysios Solomos” 0030 26950 29500
From Kyllini port
Zakynthos port authority 0030 26950 28117
Kyllini port authority 0030 26230 92211
From Thessaloniki and Athens through Kyllini port
Athens KTEL (Public Bus Service) – Kifisos station
0030 210 5129432
Area: 405,6 sq km
Zakynthos prefecture administratively belongs to the Region of Ionian Islands and consists Zakynthos municipality and Strofades island.