Also known as Zante and in Venetian “il Fiore di Levante” (the flower of the Levant). The name of the island comes from Zakynthos, the son of an ancient king, who first inhabited the island. Homer called the island Iliessa meaning full of trees.

The island was occupied by the Venetians, the French, the Russians, and the Turks until it was united with Greece in 1864. Along with the other Ionian Islands, constituted the first free Greek state (1800-1807). In 1628, while under Venetian occupation, a significant event took place; a rebellion of the poor people against the rich that ended with a blood bath against the rebellions.

Zakynthos is the birthplace of many poets and writers, among which is the national poet of Greece, Dionisios Solomos, who inspired by the Greek War of Independence wrote the “Hymn to Liberty” that is the National Anthem of Greece and Cyprus. The music was set by the Corfiot Nikolaos Mantzaros and is the longest National Anthem in the world.

The protected turtle Caretta Caretta, lays its eggs at the shores of Zakynthos and that fact attracts many visitors from all over the world. The rich vegetation of the island (including many unique local plants) and the fauna are protected by Natura 2000.

Discover Zakynthos

  • The church of Saint Dionysios, the patron saint of the island
  • Keri Caves and Lighthouse
  • The Byzantine Monastery of Anafonitria, where Saint Dionysios died.
  • The 15th-century Monastery of Panagia Skopiotissa, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
  • The Byzantine Museum
  • Arkos Stone Park, wildlife, zoo, and archeological site all in one.
  • Aristeon Olive Press and Museum

The beaches

Some of the exceptional beaches of the island :

  • Navagio, the most famous one with the shipwreck
  • Laganas
  • Vrachos
  • Plaka
  • Ammoudi
  • Keri
  • Vasilikos
  • Gerakas
  • Kalamaki
  • Alykes
  • Porto Limnionas

Activities and Events

Apart from the many religious festivals, during summer there are many other things to do on that beautiful island of the Ionian.

Many restaurants offer tasteful Ionian cuisine and numerous bars and clubs fan.

You can enjoy scuba diving, open-air cinema, water sports, karting, horseback riding, archery, and many many more.

Make sure to enjoy the local wine!!

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