Zakynthos is the southernmost and third largest in both size and population of the Ionian Islands. It is situated 8.5 nautical miles south of Kefalonia, 9.5 nautical miles west of the Peloponnese and approximately 300 kilometers west of the capital of Greece, Athens.
Its geographical position ensures easy travel to the other islands and even the mainland of Greece. A short journey across the Peloponnese brings one to the ancient city of Olympia, the birthplace and original venue of the Olympic Games. Due to the islands location, it is an ideal base to link up to the larger cities of Greece such as Patras, Athens and Thessaloniki.
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An island full of contrasts, Zakynthos consists of mainly woodland, with an abundance of pine tree covered mountains and fertile plains.
In the north, east and south numerous picturesque beaches can be found, whereas in the west the imposing, rocky landscape has a number of sea caves such as the famous Blue Caves on the north-west of the island.
The climate in Zakynthos is mild Mediterranean with both heavy rainfall during the winter months and brilliant sunshine in the summer. The rich vegetation is probably due to this, and has resulted in the nickname of Fior di Levante (Flower of the East) by the Venetians.
It is a productive island agriculturally, supported mainly by the cultivation of olives, raisins, citrus fruits. Apart from this, the main source of local income is from the developed business of tourism. The island has a wealth of history as for many centuries it was the crossroads for numerous nations and cultures.
Population 32557 inhabitants (last count in 1999)
Zakynthos mainland 402.080 square km
Islands Strofadia 2.531 square km
Islands Pelouzo & Marathonisi 0.989 square Km
Total of the Prefecture of Zakynthos 405,6 square km.
Total Length of coasts 123 square km.
Postal code 29100
Telephone code +30 26950
Mild Mediterranean (frequent rainfalls, long periods of sunshine)
The most usual winds are the southwest, west and northwest.
Geography of Nature
The north and west part of Zakynthos is the mostly mountainous. The east part is flat.
In the center of the island rises the greater mountain, the Vrahionas, whom highest peak reaches 758 meters. The mountainous ground is gravelly and pine-cladded.
In the eastern part of the island, lies fruitful lowland. The flat ground is fertile and rich in calcium carbonate.
In the south, east and north part of the island lie numerous sandy beaches, while in the west part the coasts are rocky and very often form several Sea Caves.
The Island is very rich in flora & fauna. The frequent rainfalls create a rich, verdurous setting with verdant trees and forests.
These forests are also chosen every year from the migrant birds Trigonia, as their first and last stop. In the south coasts of the island, lies the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, where the unique species of the Caretta-Caretta lives and reproduces. In the west coast lives the Monahus-Monahus Seal.
The residents of island deal mainly with tourism, but also with the rural production (culture of olive, citrus fruits, grape).
Tradition and Culture
Zakynthos has a rich tradition, since the island has been for many centuries a crossroad of foreign people and cultured. Several are the arts that grew up in Zakynthos, the most important of them being poetry, painting, music and theatre.