It's a little difficult for someone to write about the place he was born, he lives and loves... it's something like a composition with a subject 'My town'. My town, island to be accurate, is very beautiful. Altough I can't be factual Zante is considered to be one of the most wonderful places in Greece. I will try to demonstrate the truth of that through the pages of this site. So have a sit in front of your computer, put on your favourite music and follow me to zante paradise.
Zakynthos, sometimes called Zante in English, the third largest of the Ionian Islands, covers an area of 410 km² (158 sq mi) and its coastline is roughly 123 km (76 mi) in length. It is located on the west side of the northwestern side of Peloponese with a least distance of 9 nautical miles of Ilia's municipality coastline and 15 km of Kyllini's cape. Zakynthos island is 100km far from the biggest closest town of Patra and 300 km from Athens. Zante has got 6 municipalities which are Elation, Alykes, Arkadion, Artemision, Zakynthos and Laganas, as you can see in the map below.
The island is named after Zakynthos, the son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin. Zakynthos has a thriving tourism industry and is one of the top tourist destinations in Greece.
Zakynthos has a varied terrain, with fertile plains in the southeastern part and mountainous terrain with steep cliffs along the coasts on the west.
The mild, Mediterranean climate and the plentiful winter rainfall endow the island with dense vegetation. The principal products are olive oil, currants, grapes and citrus fruit.
The capital, which has the same name as the prefecture, is the town of Zakynthos; apart from the official name, it is also called Chora (i.e. the Town, a common denomination in Greece when the name of the island itself is the same as the name of the principal town). According to the 2001 census, the island has a population of 38,957.
The Venetians called Zante "Fior di Levante", which means "The Flower of the East" and they didn’t only mean the flowering landscapes that surround it, but mainly the flourish in the arts and letters.
Deeply influenced by the Venetian domination, Zakynthos has acquired a special and unique style. Particular homeland of Dionysios Solomos, Gregory Xenopoulos and Andrew Calvos was influenced by all major European countries, assimilating them into a particular cultural mix.
Place blessed by God, Zakynthos combines a rich cultural heritage with an unspeakable physical beauty. Born from an earthquake, Zakynthos emerged from the bottom of the sea, forming an irregular triangle.
The smooth and sandy beaches in the Southeast part of the island give place to vertical, steep, often rocky beaches of the Northeast part of the island, sending into a trance with the inconsistency that defines it.
The much photographed shipwreck, the picturesque mountain villages, the impressive caves of Keri, the Blue Caves, but also the beaches of Vassilikos where the turtles (caretta - caretta) have chosen for their procreation, the summer resort of Tsilivi, Argassi with its cosmopolitan evenings and the historic Bohali are just a few of the places, that will steal your heart forever.
You could hardly escape from the farces (mantsies) that the Zakynthians get up between themselves and the others. They are people of good cheer and optimistic, but also famous for their hospitality and chattiness. You will certainly be impressed by their singing pronouncement, but generally by the heavy presence of the song in their lives, which during the years have resulted in the creation of local art forms like cantades, serenates and "arekia", which is a four-part folk song.