Third largest of the Ionian Islands, Zakynthos is sometimes affectionately referred to as the “sumptuous flower of the Mediterranean.” The beauty of its land has long been celebrated – as far back as in ancient myths. According to these stories, Artemis liked to hunt here, and Apollo preferred to rest under the shade of its trees. The island even boasts poetic glory – it’s the birthplace of the famed Greek poet Dionysios Solomos.
But the endless spread of spectacular beaches is this island’s main draw. The shoreline is sprinkled with snow-white sand and rimmed by a pine forest, while its golden cliffs are brightly reflected in the deep-turquoise waters of the sea. The most famous beach on Zakynthos is in Navagio bay with its abandoned smugglers’ ship sitting on the shore. The beach can only be reached by water, giving yachtsmen an insider advantage. The second-most popular beach is Gerakas. It’s worth a stop just to see the caretta-caretta sea turtles. No less picturesque are the island’s other beaches: Laganas, Argassi, Tsivili.
Aside from rest and relaxation, Zakynthos offers island guests the chance to gain some local insight. You can visit the monastery of Agios Georgios, take in the Venetian architecture of capital-city Zakynthos, visit the Askos flora and fauna park a kilometer away from the port of Agios Nikolaos, and admire the many Byzantine churches sprinkled throughout the island.