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You think you’ve seen it all in Greece’s Ionian Islands? If you haven’t visited Zakynthos, you have seen nothing! Travellers who search for cheap air tickets to Zakynthos are eager to visit the island’s dreamy spots, breathtaking views and immaculate scenery. Beaches like Navagio rank among the world’s top, the national marine park in Laganas is the natural habitat of Caretta caretta and you can feel the traditional Ionian character all over the island. Zante is here to steal your hearts with a kantada and a local plate that with astound you palate with its simplicity and pure deliciousness of Mediterranean flavours; will take you to a magical journey into the mysteries of nature and sea life; will offer you plenty of entertainment with some of Europe’s most notable nightlife choices. Plan ahead to find the cheapest hotels in Zakynthos and book your next holiday in this magnificent Ionian island, the “Flower of the East”!
Zakynthos town is the capital of Zakynthos Island. Following the huge earthquake in 1953, the town had to be rebuilt, retaining much of its former Venetian character and traditional element.
Greece’s first National Marine Park was founded in 1999 in Laganas bay. Part of the NATURA 2000 network, the park is the natural habitat of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), also housing other protected endangered species, such as the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus).
A much-loved travel destination and holiday resort, Zakynthos’s southern and eastern shores boast a number of fantastic beaches, some of them organised and some pristine and secluded, all of them unimaginably charming.
Covered for more than half of its surface by forested mountains, olive groves and vineyards, Zakynthos is a green island, like the rest of the Ionian Islands. A fine selection of sights and museums will keep you busy when you're not sunbathing in a magnificent beach or partying all night; those of you who would like to get away from the crowds, can seek moments of adventure or pure relaxation in the northern and northwestern side of Zakynthos.
The airport of Zakynthos (Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Ζακύνθου “Διονύσιος Σολωμός”) is located in the region of Laganas, 6 kilometres from Zakynthos town and is accessible by taxi.
Getting around Zakynthos
Zakynthos is served by an extensive bus network; fares start from 1.60€ and depend on the route, while taxi minimum fares cost 3.30€.
Your holidays in Zakynthos begin in Zakynthos town, at the central Solomou square. Named after and dedicated to Greece’s national poet Dionysios Solomos, the square is the main focal point of the town and is surrounded by some interesting buildings:
- The Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos houses a fine collection of Byzantine religious art from the 19th century, Greek and Byzantine sculptures and icons that were retrieved from the churches that were struck by ’53’s earthquake.
- The Cultural Centre of Zakynthos houses the Historical Archive and the Public Library of the island, one of Greece’s best, housing over 50,000 books. Collections are accompanied by a small exhibition of art, costumes, documents and historic pictures of Zante.
- The Church of Saint Nicholas of the Mole is the only Venetian building that survived the ’53 earthquake. Built in 1561, the church is dedicated to Saint Dionisios, patron saint of the island and houses some of his robes and his blessed icon.
Continue to the second most notable square of Zakynthos town, Saint Mark’s square. This is a location of great historical importance, as it is the place where the legendary meetings of the 18th century’s literary people took place. This is also where the Libro D’Oro, the book naming the noble people of the Ionian Islands, was burnt by the Popolari in 1797, an act that directly contributed to the struggle for independence from the British rule.
The meeting place of the enlightened people, the Casino of Zante, was unfortunately wrecked by the earthquake; its place now holds the Museum of Solomos and Eminent Zakynthians.
On the ground floor of the Museum of Solomos and Eminent Zakynthians, you can find the Mausoleum, where Dionysios Solomos and Andreas Kalvos repose – this is the only Mausoleum in Greece!
The first floor of the museum consists of wings dedicated to Solomos, Romas, Nikolaos and Thalia Kolyva, as well as other eminent figures of Zakynthos. Collections include documents and pictures of the 18th-century Cretan-Zakynthian School, artwork, ceramics and items of folklore art and a splendid collection of manuscripts by Solomos and Mantzaros.
The beaches of Zakynthos are your next stop, with the most beautiful and well-known being the Navagio Beach.
The Navagio (= Shipwreck) Beach was named after the shipwreck that was washed on the shore and has been standing there for 27 years now. Continuously voted as one of the world’s best beaches, Navagio with its white sand and azure water is truly is mesmerising.
Access to Navagio is provided only by boat; alternatively, you can catch a great view of the beach from the Monastery of Saint George Krimnon, in the region of Gremna.
Other notable beaches include the beaches of Tsilivi, Alykes, which is a great choice for windsurfers and leads to the iconic Blue Caves, peaceful Bouka, Keri for diving and family-friendly Gerakas.
The official language of Zakynthos is Greek.