the sixth of the Ionian islands, west of the Coast of Ilias.
being shaken by earthquakes Zakynthos is still the
"Flower of the Levant" (Fiore di Levante) praised by
the Venetians for its gentle climate, its luxuriant flora, its
fertile soil and the charm of its inhabitants.
The island, which is 403km2 - 156sq miles in extent, rises in
the west in a chain of limestone peaks reaching 756m 2 480ft
and levels out to the east in a fertile plain producing
olives, citrus fruits and good white wines (Delizia, Verdea).
The tar deposits in the south near Keri were used in antiquity
for caulking ships.
of fine sand, particularly at Laganas (hotels, taverns) and
Argassi.Measures are being introduced to protect the turtles which
have chosen the beaches around Laganas Bay as breeding ground.
Cultural centre: From 1489
to 1797 Zakynthos belonged to Venice which maintained an
oligarchy of nobles inscribed in a Golden Book; this was a
period of intense activity.
When Crete fell to the Turks in 1669 many artists moved to
Zakynthos and contributed to the lonian School of painting
which combines the Byzantine tradition and the Venetian
Local architecture was also marked by the Venetian influence:
arches and bell towers separate from their churches...
the late 18C and early 19C Zakynthos became a breeding ground
for poets, whose work was a blend of the Hellenic and Italian
cultures: Ugo Foscolo (1778-1827), a master of romantic
Italian literature, who campaigned for the independence of
Italy and died in England.
Dionysos Solomos (1798-1857), educated in Cremona, who became
the poet of Greek independence and was the author of the Greek
National Anthem - "The Hymn to Liberty" - translated
into English by Rudyard Kipling.
Andreas Kalvos (1792-1867), who travelled to Zurich and London
with Foscolo and also supported the Greek struggle for
independence in his poetry.
Nowadays, the poets have been succeeded by popular singers who
perform the famous local barcarolles (minores).
Wonderful beaches in the gulf of Keri, Lagana, Porto Roma,
Argassi, Alikana, Alikes, Banana, Mavratzi, Kalamaki, Tsilivi
and in Vasiliko.
Night Life: Restaurants,
taverns and discos can be found in the city and in many other
By plane from Athens to
Zakinthos there are flights every day.
For more information contact Olympic Airways in Athens tel.
(210) 961.6161 and Olympic Airways in Zakinthos tel. (26950)
By boat from Killini to Zakinthos there are many
ferries every day (duration:1,15'). For more information contact the Coastguard of Killini tel.
For information on how to get to Zakinthos by bus, contact
KTEL in Athens tel. (210) 512.9432.