Known by the Venetians as Zante, and the Greeks as Zakynthos, this beautiful island lies in the clear waters off the west coast of the Pelopannese.
It is one of the greenest in the whole Ionian archipelago, with rolling green hills, covered with olive and citrus groves. Its beaches are no less impressive, with beautiful golden sand, hidden coves and magnificent cliffs.
The rare loggerhead turtles nest in the sands of Laganas Beach. Hire a car and explore the charming villages inland. The island has been inhabited since Neolithic times, and was mentioned by Homer in the lliad and the Odyssey.
Zante was ruled by Byzantines, and later by the Kingdom of Sicily, used as a base to defend the Adriatic seas against Arab pirates.
Zakynthos Town is the island's capital and is a great base for exploring the culture of the island. Visit the stunning Orthodox churches and fascinating castles, stopping to eat at a laid-back taverna. Climb up to the Venetian Bohali castle, walking through fragrant pine forrests, for breath-taking panoramic views of the island. Although the local town beach is pebbly, sandy Argassi beach is just a 10 minute drive away, or you can take a daytrip on one of the boatswhich depart the harbour and stop off at nearby coves. Visit Marathonisi, known as Turtle island, Navagio Shipwreck beach and the spectacular Blue Caves.