Zakynthos or Zante is a beautiful green Ionian island surrounded by clear blue waters. It is the island chosen by the sea turtles to live. The island with its sandy beaches and unexplored underground caves. If you choose to go to Zakynthos for your holidays, be sure that the island will rewarded you with the sights, the beautiful landscapes, the pace of life and hospitality of its people.
Zakynthos was inhabited from the Neolithic period, 3,000 years BC, the ancient name of the island was Yria. According to another theory it is believed that the first settlers came in Zakynthos in the 16th century from the Peloponnese. According to Homer, the first king of the island was Zakynthos, son of the king of Troy Dardanos. The Romans came in the 2nd century BC and later, the island became part of the Byzantine Empire.
Zakynthos never fell under Turkish rule, but Venetian in stead. In 1800 after the peace treaty between Russia and Turkey was created the first independent state of Greece in the Ionian Islands.
Independence though was only kept for seven years, in 1807 the French occupy the island and later the British in 1809 until 1864 when Zakynthos finally was united with Greece.
There’s many places of historical or archaeological value in Zakynthos. One thing that comes to mind is the Kastro. The Kastro is a peaceful, shady ruined Venetian fortress high above Hora. Zakynthos also has lots of important churches, monasteries and other landmarks that, even if you’re not the religious type, you should visit. Finally, there’s Plateia Markou. It used to be the site of the Romianiko Casino that everyone loved but no one rebuilt after the earthquake. With its rich history and culture Zakynthos not only offers relaxation and peace of mind but also feeds the spirit and mind!
Thankfully, there are plenty of places where you can have delicious meal. The food is simply excellent (just try the leg of pork with chili, you’ll be licking your fingers) and the setting is just so beautiful, it will be a shame if you don’t visit it. Also, some local shops still sell the local specialty, mandolato (white nougat with almonds) – you will want to check it out.
The nightlife of Zakynthos is not only exciting, but it has quite much to offer.