Zakynthos sits in the heart of the mesmerizing Ionian sea, it boasts a wonderful natural landscape and magical beaches. Exploring the island, you’ll discover picturesque hilltop villages, traditional monasteries and dreamy natural landscapes.
The Venetians, who ruled Zákynthos from 1484 to 1797, called the island “Fioro di Levante” (flower of the East) as there are over 7,000 species of flowers on Zákynthos. Their architectural influence has left its stamp on Zante despite the damage sustained due to the seismic activity in the area. After the ravaging 1953 earthquake and the ensuing fire, a number of historical buildings and churches burned to the ground. Consequently, the significant treasures these buildings were housing perished. The town was rebuilt according to a plan where strict anti-seismic specifications applied and, to a large extent, respecting the town’s former architectural structure.
One of the main attractions on the island is the scenic Navagio (Shipwreck) beach. Many pictures and postcards have tried to capture its beauty. Only accessible by boat, Navagio beach has magical turquoise waters, white sand and is backed by dramatic towering cliffs.
Apart from Shipwreck beach, though, there are many wonderful beaches you should visit, such as Laganas, Gerakas, Vasilikos and Spiantza. On the island great care is taken to protect two endangered animal species namely the caretta aretta sea turtle and the monachus monachus seal, some of these beaches are where the endangered Caretta-caretta sea turtles lay their eggs every spring and summer.
The city of Zakynthos is the capital of the island and at the same time the island's port. The main Town has many hidden gems to explore. Saint Mark Square, the Venetian Castle, Solomos Square and the Post-Byzantine Museum are some of the best places to visit.