Xirokastelo of Zakynthos
The compass leads us to the south-east coast of Zakynthos, to the verdant and pine-clad area of Xirokastelo, at a maximum altitude of 400 m, about 11 km from the town of Zakynthos. The serenity of the landscape, dominated by the hill of Agios Dionysios, and a virgin forest with lush vegetation, compose the best setting for peaceful and carefree holidays.
The Vassilikos peninsula, where Xirokastelo is located, is dotted with beautiful sandy beaches and some small pebbled beaches. You will find the first beach for swimming at a walking distance of just 75 metres from the Ionian Hill hotel. The surrounding region features Porto Davia, a small Venetian port, Panagia Skopiotissa (one of the oldest monasteries on the island), and the Exhibition Centre of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, as the island hosts some of the major habitats of the Caretta-caretta sea turtle.
At just 1 km, you will find Argassi, a popular tourist resort with sandy beaches and organised tourism services. One of the area's main attractions is the Domenegini family villa (mid 16th century), near the sea, just before Porto Davia. The impressive tower house, complete with battlements, was originally used for the defence of lords and peasants against the attacks of pirates and was later the secret place for meetings and food and ammunition stacking of the local branch of the Filiki Eteria [Society of Friends], a secret 19th-century organisation whose purpose was to overthrow the Ottoman rule.