Zakynthos is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands that cover an area of 410 km2. The island of Zakynthos was named after Zakynthos who was the son of Dardanus, a legendary Arcadian chief. It has been inhabited since the Neolithic age as proven by archaeological excavations.
The island was mentioned by Homer in his Iliad and Odyssey where he stated that the first inhabitants of the place were Zakynthos, the son of King Dardanos of Troy. He and his men first arrived at island around 1500-1600 B.C. Great Imperial King Arkeisios of Kefalonia soon conquered the island. King Ulysses was the next to conquer Zakynthos.
The island of Zakynthos has a varied landscape having fertile lands in the southeast and steep cliffs in the mountainous terrains on the coasts of the west. It has a mild Mediterranean climate and abundant winter rainfall that provide the island good vegetation. Currants, grapes, olive oil, and citrus fruits are the main products of Zakynthos.
The capital of the island is Zakynthos which is also called Chora – a common value in Greece when the name of the island – is also the name of its principal town. Zakynthos has a population of 38,957 as recorded by the census.
The most famous Zakynthians is Dionysios Solomos, a nineteenth century poet. He is the primary Modern Greek poet; he wrote the national anthem of Greece. The statue of this famous poet serves as a decoration in the main town square. Explorer Juan de Fuca and Italian poet Ugo Foscolo were also famous Zakynthians born in the island.
Zakynthos has only one airport, Dionysos Solomos Airport. The airport is located in the southwest and it connects flights from the island with other airports in Greece. The island also has a National Marine Park of Zakynthos where Caretta caretta or loggerhead turtles are being found in the bay of Kalamaki. These turtles are endangered species due to the certain pollution they laid out on their breeding grounds.
Zakynthos’ port has a ferry that connects the mainland and the port of Kyllini. The village of Skinari and Argostoli of Kefalonia are being connected by another ferry. The island’s total length is calculated forty kilometers, while its width is twenty kilometers. The highest point of the island is Vrachionas that has a range of 758 meters in height.
The interesting sites found in the island include the Shipwreck Bay, Blue Caves and Cape Skinari. The west of the island can be accessed and provides a sight of the sea. To overlook the shipwreck, visitors may go to the observation Anafontria to get a good look of the sea. Keri is a mountain village located at the far south end of the island. This village has a lighthouse in the south and a view of the southern part of the Ionian Sea.
Tourists enjoy the campsites and beaches of Zante, which include a stretch near the village of Keri. The island has abundant cliffs and arches that are popular beyond Zakynthos itself. The beaches are found in Porto Limnionas, Porto Zoro and Porto Vromi. The Zante currant is a small seedless grape known to be local favorite of the island. To find suitable accommodations, take a look at our Zakynthos hotels guide.
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