Zakynthos (Ζάκυνθος, also known as Zante), the third largest of the Ionian Islands, covers an area of 410 square kilometers and its coastline is roughly 123 kilometers in length. The island is named after Zacynthus, son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin.
Zakynthos has a varied terrain, with fertile plains in the southeastern part and mountainous terrain with steep cliffs along the coasts on the west. Zakynthos town coordinates are: latitude 37.79139/37°47'29 N, longitude: 20.89528/20'53'43 E.
The mild, Mediterranean climate and the plentiful winter rainfall endow the island with dense vegetation. The principal products are olive oil, currants, grapes and citrus fruit.
The capital, which has the same name as the prefecture, is the town of Zakynthos; apart from the official name, it is also called Chora(i.e. the Town, a common denomination in Greece when the name of the island itself is the same as the name of the principal town). According to the 2001 census, the island has a population of 38,957.
The island has one airport, the Dionysos Solomos Airport (on former GR-35) in its southwest which connects flights with other Greek airports. Further southwest is the National Marine Park of Zakynthos where loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) are found in (the bay of Laganas). Caretta caretta is an endangered species. Every year beginning in June the female turtles come to the southern beaches in order to bury their eggs in the sand. The breeding times takes approx. 55 days. The babies slip themselves into the sea, and the survival rate is very small for the males. A pregnant turtle lays about 1,000 eggs.
This paradise on earth suffered severe earthquakes in 1953, which destroyed almost everything on the island. These were not the only earthquakes in area, but the most dramatic ones in recent history. Only three buildings were left standing in place after the disaster: the St. Dionysios Cathedral, the National Bank building, and the church of St. Nicholas "tou Molou" (of the Quay). A few other buildings in outlying areas have avoided complete destruction. Since then Zakynthos has been rebuilt to a very rigid anti-earthquake specification, and has withstood several serious earthquakes with minimal damage.
Mining is also common on the island, where a small mountain located in Zakynthos' west side was mined during the 1990s, though it is no longer in use. Today, mining still continues, but now with two quarries on the mountain range in the western part of the island.
The Zante currant, a small sweet seedless grape is native to the island.
- Island length: 40 km
- Island width: 20 km
- Highest point: Vrachionas, 758 m
The sites of interest including Shipwreck Bay, Cape Skinari and the blue cave.
The western part of the island is accessible and has a panoramic view of the sea.
The ridge area from Anafontria has an observation deck and a ship wreck and with the monastery.
Keri is located in the far south of the island. It is a mountain village and has a lighthouse in the south. It includes a panorama of the southern part of the Ionian Sea.
Zante has campsites and beaches including a beautiful one near Keri with a length of a 100 m surrounded by cliffs. The island also offers a numerous amount of arches and cliffs which are famous. One of the arches are underground. Several documentary shows were filmed around that part of Zakynthos/Zante. Other campsites include Camping Alykes. Beaches are in Porto Limnionas, Porto Vromi and Porto Zoro.
Other includes a junior/quaternary soccer team (D Division) named APS Zakynthos.
Greece Interstate 35, a road linking Zante and Porto Roma and another road linking Zante and Volimes.
- zakynthos.net.gr Complete travel guide for Zante island in five languages
- Travel to Zakynthos Zakynthos Travel Guide
- Zakynthos Net Travel and Destination information on Zakynthos
- Zante Guru Comprehensive Travel Guide to Zakynthos
- Zante Hotels Complete guide to Zante island.
- (in German)
- Greeka - Zakynthos
- GTP - Zante
- HRI - Zakynthos
- History of Zante
- towns of Zante
- traveljournals.net - traveljournals.net - Zakynthos
- villages of Zante
- Mapquest - Zante