Zakynthos is the third largest and the most southern of the Ionian Islands. Also known as Zante, the Island has heavy rain during the winter and lots of sunshine during the summer.
The result is a fertile island covered in pine trees, olive groves and rich vegetation; thus, apart from tourism the main source of income is from agriculture. The Island was nicknamed Fior di Levante, Flower of the East, by the Venetians because of this.
In contrast to the interior, the coastal areas offer rocky cliffs with sea caves and picturesque beaches, including Yerakas beach where caretta caretta sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. There is also the famous shipwreck on the beach in Smugglers Cove on the west coast and this provides one of the most stunning sights in Greece. Most of the beaches have golden sand and crystal clear water which allows for a variety of water sports in addition to swimming.
Throughout the Island there are pretty little villages where you can take in the local atmosphere and have a bite to eat and a drink in the local Tavernas.
There are also the larger towns and resorts such as Zakynthos and Argassi. Zakynthos town is fairly modern, the old town having been destroyed by an earthquake. Here you can enjoy some shopping, visit the museums, the monastery of Agios Dionysios or take a boat trip from the port. Two hills of Zakynthos Town are famous. The first is Bochali on top of which is the Venetian Castro with its wonderful view. The second is Strani, here Dionysios Solomos wrote the Ode to Liberty, this then became the Greek National Anthem when it was later set to music.
Flight time: 3-4 hours from UK
Time difference: 2 hours ahead of UK
Driving: right hand side