Zakynthos (Zante) is one of the Ionian Islands. It is reachable by air (duration of flight is 50 minutes from The Athens International Airport) as well as by sea (ferryboats from Kyllini, Peloponnese – duration of travel less than 2 hours). Kyllini is located 80 kilometers south of the port of Patra that links Peloponnese to Italy.
The island is famous around the globe for the extraordinary beauty of the beach “Navagio” (meaning Shipwreck – named after the ship that grounded on the beach in early 1980s) that combines sheer cliffs with white sand and turquoise waters. Despite its remoteness and the fact that it is accessible only via small boats, “Navagio” is one of the most photographed beaches of the world.
Due to its diverse underwater environment, Zakynthos and especially the region “Keri” is considered a paradise for those who love scuba diving, as it offers the chance to explore caverns and tunnels. Furthermore, lovers of marine life are attracted to the island in order to see the beach of Laganas Gulf, where sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach. Laganas beach is considered a protected area and belongs to the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.
Zakynthos is the birthplace of many intellectuals, among them Dionysios Solomos, the Greek poet who wrote the “Hymn to Liberty” that became the national anthem. Also, the island has a long music tradition of serenades, love songs that were sang by men, expressing their feelings under the moonlight.
In ancient times Zakynthos was part of Odysseus’s Kingdom, while during contemporary history the island incurred many years of Venetian, French and British domination, until 1864, when it was united with Greece. The history of the island interweaves with earthquakes and this is why the building regulation is very strict.
The patron saint of the island, Saint Dionysios is considered a remarkable example of forgiveness as according to tradition he saved the murdered of his beloved brother. His body remains intact and rests in the church of Saint Dionysios in the capital of the island.