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Island of Zakynthos
The monastery of Anafonitria (dating to the 15th century) is the best known monastery of Zakynthos, since the locally worshipped saint and protector of the island, Aghios Dionysios, was abbot here. Another two interesting manasteries are to be found in the remote northwestern part of the island; Aghios Georgios (of 1530) which looks like a fortress, and the abandoned Aghios Andreas (of 1640).
The graves of the poets Dionysios Solomos and Andreas Kalvos are housed in the small Museum of Eminent Zakynthians along with many other personal belongings of those two renowned Zakynthos' s spiritual children, whose poems made an epoch.
The Navagio beach (meaning shipwreck) is rightly thought of as one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. It is only accessible by boat and there are daily boats leaving from the nearby Porto Vromi bay. Crytal clear waters break on a dazzling white sandy beach, where the much photographed shipwreck lies half-burried. The rocks descesteeply behind it completing a picture of unique and wild beauty.


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  A warm-hearted and fun-loving people, the Zakynthians' unfailing good humour is best expressed in the kantadhes, sung by a group of four men accompanied by string instrumants. Today, you can enjoy listening to the kantadhes in most of the island's taverns.
The blue caves, at the northwest coast of the island, is a sight really worth seeing. You can go there by one of the excursion boats leaving from the small haven of Aghios Nikolaos or from cape Skinari. If you have your own boat, you will have the chance to discover a number of equally impressive sea caves and remote little sandy bays dotting the west coast.
Map of Ionian Islands
Map of Zakynthos
  The Lagana bay counts among one of the most important breeding - grounds of the Caretta Caretta sea turtle. Unhappily today, a large part of the beach has surrendered to development projects, leaving only some protected niches for the turtles to lay their eggs. Keep in mind that, during the summer months, approach by sea to certain areas in the Lagana bay is forbidden.
Ever since the prehistoric times and the times of Myth, the Eptanisa, as are called the islands of the Ionian sea, have been linked by strong bonds. The islands of Zakynthos, Kefallonia and Ithaca constituted the kingdom of Udysses, while Corfu was a friend and ally of Zakynthos all through antiquity. The Romans (146 BC to 337 AD) granted many privileges to the island, its next rulers though, the Byzantines (337 - 1204) were not able to offer protection to the island which was repeatedly ravaged by innumerable invaders. Zakynthos was later handed over to the Franks (1204 - 1479). The French took possession of the island for a short while (1797 - 1798 and 1807 - 1815) bringing along an air of democracy, which was soon to vanish however, for as long as the British ruled in the Eptanisa, from 1815 till 1864, when the islands were finally united to the new state of Greece (Hellas).
In 1953, a terrifying earthquake shook the islands of the Ionian sea, bringing down nearly all Zakynthos's old mansions and churches. A tremendous effort has been put by devoted archaeologists who managed to recover precious wall-paintings, remove intact icon screens and unburu icons and other priceless items among the churches' ruins. These treasures have been excellently preserved and are now exhibited at the Byzantine Museum in the town of Zakynthos.
The entire southeastern part of the island, from the Alikon bay down to the cape Gerakas, is a tourist's paradise. Large luxury hotels as well as some excellent smaller and cosier hotels, restaurants, clubs, beach bars, aquatic sports and marvellous sandy beaches, attract thousands of tourists each summer.
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