Zakynthos, Greece

Zakynthos is the largest of all the Greek Ionian Islands. It’s land area is approximately 410 square kilometers and the coastline is 123 kilometers long. It is also the southern most of the Ionian Islands. According to legend, Zakynthos derives its name from the son of Dardanos, the King of Troy. Dardanos’ son, Zacynthus, built the first city on Zakynthos. The beauty of the island is unsurpassed, with its emerald green sea and mountains abundant with pines. The hospitality of the island natives is also unsurpassed, as is their music. The town of Zakinthos is the first thing that you will see upon embarking on Zakynthos.

Zakinthos features lovely arcaded streets and spacious squares with buildings and unique and friendly houses. On Solomos Square you will find the Museum of Post Byzantine Art. Here are found treasures from Zakynthos’ historic churches. Churches to see while on the island include Agios Dionysios, the Zakynthos’ patron saint, and Agios Nikolas tou Molou, which features a beautiful 17th century Byzantine belfry. A Venetian fortress sits high on a hillside guarding the town. Only the gate, outer walls, and the battlements still stand, but from atop the hillside, you can see a wonderful view of the harbour below, as well as the landscape surrounding the town and beautiful beaches for miles.

On the nearby hillside of Lotus Strani. This is where Solomos Dionysius, the father of modern Greek poetry, composed the Hymn to Liberty, which became the Greek National Anthem. Other destinations for sightseeing ventures include Shipwreck Bay, Cape Skinari, and the Blue Caves. Keri, located on the far south end of the island, is a mountain village and features a lighthouse that provides a panoramic view of the southern area of the Ionian Sea.
While there are majestic and beautiful pine covered mountains that extend to the sea to form the bay of Laganas, there are also wonderful beaches that offer golden sand and a beautiful view of the clear emerald sea.

There is one airport located on Zakynthos, the Dionysos Solomos Airport, which connects flights with other airports in Greece. Just southwest of here, you will find the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, where loggerhead turtles are protected in the Bay of Kalamaki. Loggerhead turtles, or Caretta Caretta, are an endangered species.