The island of Zakynthos is one of the seven that compound the wonderful Ionian Islands of Greece, or as the Greeks call them, Eptanisa. Zakynthos consists of large fertile land parts, its the perfect example of a Mediterranean climate with vast production of olive oil, citrus fruits and of course grapes. Mentioned by Homer some thousands years ago, the island still maintains unalterable its long Byzantine and Medieval 2past, although it is mostly known among the foreigners for its wonderful beaches and as the only place on earth were the loggerhead turtle, an endangered species today, resides.
Zakynthos boasts 125 kilometres of coastline and sandy beaches all over. The scenery of plains changes dramatically as you move to the west coast, where numerous steep hills and cliffs, as well as naturally made arches carve the undersea caves that are visited by the locals and tourists daily.
Zakynthos is a triangular shaped island, its two mountains shape the famous Lagana Bay, where caretta caretta, the loggerhead turtles reside. The beaches there are ideal for families and actually in this part of the island you can see thousands of tourists and families enjoying the warm sun and the sapphire waters that characterize the Ionian Sea, while admiring the unique phenomenon of the birth of these little turtles. In June and August, the female turtles come to the beach and lay their eggs during the night. They bury their eggs, which are approximately 1000 each time, for 50 days. The tourists flock in Lagana to see the birth of the turtles as well as their effort to reach the sea. The same turtles return to the same spot every year, for 30 years almost to give birth to more little caretas.
While Laganas is a family beach hub during the day, at night it becomes a large dancing and entertaining venue, where youngsters gather, drink and dance till the next morning. Argassi, a close by beach and village is a little quieter but still has many clubs and bars. Both these villages feature a large number of holiday resorts and hotel complexes that accommodate the tourists, who are mostly Europeans, although Asians and Americans are discovering this island the last few years, as well. Although there are many car rentals, the transportation system on the island is excellent and tourists can take the buses in order to visit all beaches or famous hot spots.
Food and shopping in Zakynthos is also a common activity for both locals and tourists. There is a wide selection of local cuisine, locals are notorious for their cuisine and the usage of natural ingredients. Virgin Olive Oil abounds in the island is of course the base of all dishes. Restaurants like Vardiola and Mikro Nisi gather the local and foreign celebrities, and definitely for a reason.
When travel to Greece, especially Zakynthos don’t miss the guided walking tours in the town, a visit to the Museum of the National Poet of Greece, Dionysios Solomos, and of course take your time to enjoy a stroll on the waterfront in the main town, it is wonderful.