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Fiore di Levante

Zakynthos, or “Zante”, or the Flower of the Levant (Flower of the East since there are 7.000 types of flowers) according to the Venetians, is one of the Heptanese Islands (Seven Islands). Its area is 406 sq. km, its coastline stretches to 123 km and the population amounts to 41.180 inhabitants.

Zakynthos, which Homer mentions as “Ylyessa”, i.e. wooded, took its name from its first inhabitant and begetter of the ancient acropolis, Zakynthos, son of the king of Phrygia, Dardanus. The Venetian castle was built right on top of the ruins of the ancient acropolis of the island.

This verdant island is blessed with fertile valleys, a temperate and Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and refreshing summers. Its great contrasts and the diversity of the landscape are reflected in a variety of coastline with golden sand beaches and imposing rocky shores. With isolated caves, with deep blue waters in the south-eastern part of the island and even, steep shores and an impressive underwater world in the west of Zakynthos.

The Venetian architectural influence is evident in Zakynthos despite the damage the island has suffered from time to time due to intense seismic activity. After the devastating earthquake of 1953 and the fire that followed, a significant number of historical monuments and temples completely disappeared. This had the consequence that the cultural treasures that were in these buildings were lost forever. The city was rebuilt based on strict anti-seismic specifications and with respect to the architectural features of the city.

The shape of Zakynthos Island is irregularly triangular with the northernmost tip of the island ending at Cape Skinari, while in the south-southeast the bay of Laganas is formed between the two capes, Marathia to the west and Gerakas, or Geraki, to the east. In the bay of Laganas there are three islands, Marathonisi, Agios Sostis and Pelouso, while 37 nautical miles south of Laganas are the Strofades islands.

The bay of Laganas, with its magnificent beach, has been declared a National Park since 1999 as it is a nesting place for the endangered Caretta -Caretta turtle, while the appearance of the Mediterranean seal Monachus – Monachus is not rare.

Zakynthos has everything you could possibly be looking for. Unique nature, beautiful seas, diverse activities, rich culture, dense vegetation, ecology, mountains and valleys and mountain villages. The Shipwreck (Navagio), cosmopolitan seaside resorts, beaches to suit all tastes, vibrant nightlife, fine dining, romantic sunsets to name just a few of the experiences you’ll have during your stay here!

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