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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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With a name like Zakynthos, you know that you are visiting a part of Greece. This small island with its beautiful green vegetation is surrounded by the Ionian Sea and it is the southernmost island in the archipelago chain. The island is actually a short distance from the north-western tip of the Peloponnesus and it has also been called Zante or ‘Flower of the East Wind’. It was a widely visited destination for Greek tourists long before it became one for international visitors.  

The island has a varied geography that ranges from mountains to beaches to flat countryside and rolling hills. There are natural springs all over the island and these contribute to the beautiful green landscape. Wild flowers bloom here on the sunniest island in the Mediterranean. The coastal cliffs and beaches are rife with places to explore and wonderful flora and fauna to see. The island is home to sea turtles, and being able to watch these magnificent creatures in their own habitat is exhilarating.

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Cruise Companies that sail to Zakynthos

Why visit Zakynthos ?

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Flower of the East Wind

There is something on Zakynthos for everyone

The sea turtles that inhabit Zakynthos are actually Loggerhead sea turtles, endangered in the Mediterranean for years. As you enjoy snorkelling and diving around the island, don’t be surprised if they accompany you on your journey. Conservation here is taken seriously and as a guest to the island, you will want to respect the turtles’ nesting grounds and habitat. Fishing, sail boating, and of course, swimming as you soak up the sunshine are just some of the things this island offers you.  

You can also enjoy hiking and walking the many trails that criss-cross the island proper. You will want to visit the Venetian fortress on the island, which is supposedly built on the wall of an ancient acropolis. Earthquakes affect the area and this fortress has been rebuilt numerous times over the centuries. As a matter of fact, many of the cultural monuments of the island were destroyed during the earthquake and the following seven-day firestorm in 1953. The town can be seen in miniature the way it was before the earthquake struck in the Museum.  

The Museum is the home of artwork from the Byzantine and post-Byzantine era and it is located in Solomou Square. The Museum Solomos and Kavlas contains a variety of different artefacts from around the island and it contains the remains of two national poets, Dionysios Solomos and Andreas Kalvas in the mausoleum located in the grounds. Lower down in the museums are significant manuscripts written by both men as well as a large portrait collection. The museum also holds a library, period furniture, photos and archaeological collections.  

There are numerous excavations going on that are revealing more and more about the island all the time. The first fossils found on the island date back to the pre-Neolithic time and with the Roman conquerors of the ancient times, there are many more settlements to be discovered. Visitors to the island can enjoy many different things, and there is something on Zakynthos for everyone.

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