Zakynthos Island (Zante), "Fioro of Levande" (Blossom of East) is one of very few destinations in Greece, offering vacation in multiple, different levels and rates, covering even the most demanding visitor's needs. Laganas' intense nightlife, Bohali's top gastronomical level, the huge cultural, folkloric and religious heritage someone can meet in museums and temples in Town, the plenty archaeological and geological monuments in hinterland, the rich flora and fauna, with it's "trademark" the "Careta – Careta" sea turtle and the Sea Lilies in Laganas Gulf, the innumerable pine forests placed all over the island and the nine kinds of orchids, the picturesque beaches, some of them cosmopolitan, some of them secluded, sandy on the East side, rocky and inaccessible on the West side, are the main "brush strokes" of this idyllic "painting" called Zakynthos. You can start your day with a visit at Dionysios Solomos Museum, at the Public Library and at Agios Dionysios Church, then explore the hidden beauties of hinterland, with the centenarian pine forests and self-sown plants, like sage, then enjoy the blue warm sea water across the innumerable beaches, others multitudinous, like Argasi, Banana, Laganas, Tsilivi, others less crowded, like Agios Nikolaos, probably the most beautiful in Zakynthos. On dinner time you can choose Bohali, where local kitchen is ideally combined with top level gastronomical inspirations and you can end your day with a cocktail in a cosmopolitan Laganas club or in a lounge café or bar-restaurant in Argasi or Agios Nikolaos. Whatever you may choose, Zakynthos (Zante) will compensate you. Book now your ferry tickets and prepare yourself for a journey, that will leave indelible pictures and memories inside you.
The Zakynthos Port
You can reach Zakynthos Port traveling by ferry from Kyllini and Igoumenitsa as well as from Bari, Italy. On the first case, the ticket costs less than Greece's other island destinations. Due to the fact, that during summer Zakynthos has a lot of visitors, it'd be better if you could schedule some weeks earlier your arrival date. You can save money and time and avoid discomfort and stress, by booking ferry tickets for Zakynthos online via Aktoploika.gr. The trip from Kyllini lasts 1 hour and from Bari about 12 hours. If you decide to travel by car from Athens to Kyllini, have in mind that the trip lasts about 3 hours and from Patras about 1 hour. You can also get to Zakynthos by air, from "Eleftherios Venizelos Airport". During summer there are also plenty of charter flights from several European cities. Zakynthos' Port reaches all the security and leisure standards. When one arrives there, he can see the Central Square, with plenty of shops around it, carriages waiting for a short journey in town or in Bohali, pedlars that welcome visitors with a piece of pasteli (local candy) and the Agios Dionysios Church overtoped.
Connection With Other Ports
Besides Kyllini, Igoumenitsa and Bari, Zakynthos is also connected through sea with Kefalonia Island, by small boats, sailing from Pesada to Skinari Port (on the North side of the Zakynthos Island) in an about 1 hour trip and from Sami (Kefalonia).
You can now book ferry tickets online for Zakynthos (Zante) via Aktoploika.gr. If you plan to travel during July and August, it's best if you have booked several days or weeks earlier to avoid hitches. You should also know that round-trip/return ferry tickets come with a considerable discount.
The bus station is located next to Zakynthos Port. There, you can check the notice board and be informed about destinations, departure times and ticket prices. Passengers usually buy their ticket inside the bus. This is the cheapest way of moving in Zakynthos. You will also find taxi stands in Town and in almost all villages, if you prefer a faster and refreshing way of moving. Another popular way is "sea cabs", small boats, located in several places, that'll take you to places you can't reach from the land, like the "Shipwreck" (Navagio), the Caves, Marathonisi Island etc. At the end, probably the most popular way is renting a car, a scooter or an "off road scooters" (mostly in Laganas Village). In this case, you should book one some weeks earlier from your arrival, because during summer these vehicles are blown away.
Visitors, that arrive at Zakinthos Port, can easily move to any place in the island, using the local buses (KTEL), that connect Zakinthos' small towns and villages. The buses' station is located at the Central Square, where buses to Laganas, Argasi, Vasiliko, Planos, Alikanas, Katastari, Volimes, Anafonitria, cross the island perimetrically or through the mainland. This is the cheapest transportation way, as the tickets cost from 1 to 7 euros per person, depending on the destination. Schedules are more often during summer, at least one per hour, covering sufficiently the visitors' needs. You can buy your ticket even in the bus, from the driver or the conductor. You can visit www.ktel-zakynthos.gr for more tickets, or even book your ticket online.
Zakynthos: an island full of contrasts!
Zakynthos Island (Zante), was named "Iria" by the Ancient Greeks and "Iliessa" by Homer, but it owes it's current name to Zakynthous, a Prince of Frygia, who was the first that resided there. Zakynthos' geographical location is the main reason for it's warm Mediterranean climate, with plenty of sun most of the time of the year. According to this, Zakynthos' flora consists mostly of Mediterranean trees and plants, olive trees, pine trees, citrus trees, currant plants, herbs like origan and sage, and many kinds of flowers, some of them rare, like the insectivorous Urticularia at Herodotus Spring, or Sea Lillies at Laganas Gulf. But what makes Zakynthos famous worldwide, concerning the world's ecological issues, is "Careta-Careta sea turtle" at Laganas Gulf, where this rare kind can find a resort for reproduction and survival.
That's the reason, why in the specific beach of Laganas umbrellas, seats or any kind of human activity, that can disturb turtles, are prohibited. But this doesn't have effect for the rest of the island, where everyone can choose between sea games and sports in the famous beaches, most of them located on the east and south part, light or heavy walking or even trekking through plenty of paths in hinterland, visiting many cultural and archaeological sightseeings in Town, exploring popular or unknown natural monuments on the north side, intensive nightlife at Laganas, or even relaxing in isolated small paradises all over the island.
The Church of Agios Dionysios, the Agios Georgios Castle, the Dionysios Solomos Museum, and the Zakynthos' Historical Registry are some of the main sightseeings in Zakynthos Town. In Laganas Gulf you should visit Herodotus Spring and Marathonisi, a small island, that makes visitors feel isolated from the rest of the world, like modern "shipwreckers". And as we speak about shipwrecks, we can't pass away Zakynthos' second "trademark", the famous "Wreck" (Navagio), located on the north cape of the island, with a magnificent beach, surrounded by steepness huge rocks, and a shipwreck of an old ship laying at the middle of it.
Don't forget to take a romantic afternoon walk at Bohali, Zakynthos' haven, where lost memories take flesh, as knights, barons and castles debouch through the colors of Zakynthos' sunset.
You can taste Zakynthos' specialties, like the famous Verdea wine, olive-cheese, "mantolato", "pasteli", "fritates", at local stores, outdoor benches or at local festivals, taking place in many villages during summertime, where folkloric cultural stays alive.
- Definitely visit Kampi in Shiza Cape. The Ionian Sea's view will take your breath away. In Fokia Bay you'll be able to see seals coupling each other, as they do every year. In Maries, Kampoi and Exo Hora, three small villages, you can buy local wefts, carpets and tablecloths.
- Enjoy a daily cruise in Marathonisi Island, across Limni Keri Beach. It's a kareta-kareta turtles reproduction place, so boats aren't allowed to drop anchor by the coast. You have to swim the last meters to get there. Do it and you'll probably see some kareta-karetas swimming next to you.
- Gerakas is Zakynthos' southest beach, hiding many secrets. If you like walking and you feel lucky, you may find some natural clay and have a "spa" or a face treatment. The cape on the edge of the beach has large a quantity of clay, but trespassing is not allowed due to the many landslides. So, give it a try, inspect the area before the cape and you may get lucky.
- Zakynthos' taverns and restaurants offer a large variety of Greek Cuisine specialties, but if you want a break from that, there are many Italian as well with high-quality meals.
- Walking, dining and enjoying a cocktail in Bohali are things everyone has to experience in Zakynthos. You'll be part of a fairy-tale, you'll feel the cosmopolitan aura and you'll definitely come get back soon.
Protection laws and regulations about protected genres of animals are very strict. Be sure to conform in places with turtles and seals and don't leave garbage, because fines are too high.
Laganas City is a crowded place with an intense night-life, where things get out of control some times. If you have children, avoid it, especially during evenings and nights, and be very careful when you move there, because accidents on the roads are frequent.
Everyone that comes to Zakynthos spend a day to visit Navagio Beach (Wreck Beach). It's a marvelous landscape, but if you wish to arrive there from the land, it's better to cancel it, as there were many accidents on the big rock over the last years. Choose a boat to get there by sea and better stay away from the rocks.
Happy Holidays in magnificent Zakynthos!!!