Zakynthos Island offers some of the most beautiful landscapes, for which man can dream. White beaches, clear waters, a huge variety of sea creatures, and many greenness and ability to hide in the shade during the hottest hours of the day. Like the other Ionian Islands, Zakynthos is also very attractive among the lovers of tourism and travelling around the world.
Geography. Island of Zakynthos (or Zante) is situated in the waters of the Ionian Sea, at about 17 km off the west coast of Greece. It is located at 37 degrees northern latitude.
Relief. Zakynthos has a very diverse topography, ranging from flat to mountainous. The highest point of the island exceeds more than 750 meters. Lowland plains and lands are located into the east. Mountain areas are located mainly in the western half of the island. The coastline is indented. There are many bays and peninsulas. The biggest gulf is located in the southern parts of Zante.
Climate. The climate is hot and sunny, subtropical Mediterranean. The winter months – December, January, February and March are pleasantly cool, with daily temperatures of 14 to 16 degrees. April and November are transitional seasons – spring and autumn respectively. The days are very pleasant – warm, but not hot with temperatures around 18 – 19 °C. Summers are long, sunny and hot – starting during the early May with a rapid rise of the temperature and end in late October (i.e. last about 6 months). Summer temperatures range from 24 to 31 degrees in the shade. Coldest month is January (14 °C), and the warmest – August (31 °C). Precipitation varies greatly. From May to late September, when is the dry season, they are scarce. Then accounted for about 20 mm and below per month. The driest month is July, when accounting for about 5 mm. From October to February-March is just to the contrary. In these months can fall from 100 to 120 mm, and sometimes even more. During March-April begins a significant drought.
Nature. Coast of the island of Zakynthos is one of the most beautiful in Greece. The banks are steep and rocky, dyed in white-beige shades. The coastline is indented. The beaches of the north and west are small number, but at the expense of this fact are stunningly beautiful. The beaches are considered to be some of the most attractive in Europe. To many of them can not be reached by road, as they are nestled among the high and inaccessible cliffs and are accessible only by water. If you can get to them, however, will enjoy the azure blue, clean and transparent waters and small round pebbles or sand with a colour of ivory. Most beautiful and famous beach on the island – Navagio, in addition to its unique location is known also with the shipwreck vessel on the shore. In many places the coastal cliffs form unique arches, which can be seen only from the water. In the southern and eastern parts of the island, you will find more accessible and therefore more noisy and full of tourist beaches with golden to light brown sand. Zakynthos has a beautiful diving sites, especially in southern parts of the island. The interior of Zante is fertile. Landscapes are varied. Overall, the island is evergreen. In some places there are beautiful Mediterranean forests and on the other can be found only burned by the hot Mediterranean sun areas. Here grow conifers, olives, citruses and other subtropical plants. In many places can be found vineyards, producing high quality grapes.
Economy. Zante Island’s economy relies strongly to the rapidly growing tourist industry. This entails a high quality infrastructure and high prices of the real estates. Besides the tourism, flourishing on the Mediterranean coast, Zakynthos receives not least dividends and of the agriculture. The production of olives, citrus, grapes and, of course, wine also contribute much to the local economy.
Population and settlements. Zakynthos has a population of almost 40 000 inhabitants. Most of them live in the coastal southern and eastern regions. Almost 20 000 or approximately ½ of the population, lives in the island capital on the east coast of Zakynthos. ½ of the rest population is distributed among all other towns and villages on the island. Traditionally,the interior of the Greek island of Zakynthos is sparsely populated, compared with the coastal areas.
History. Zakynthos island has a different fate than that of the most Greek islands. Unlike those, who are located among the waters of the Aegean, Zante was never under Ottoman rule. It has got into a totally different sphere of influence and for many years was run by Italians and Frenchmen. This has left a strong imprint on the local Greek culture and architecture, and today the capital of Zakynthos is very similar to the Italian or French towns. It combines together three of the most developed and richest cultures in the world in itself. This is sufficient to explain the huge interest of the foreigners to Zakynthos as a tourist destination.