Perhaps the most famous flower of the East, the “Flower of Levante”, as the beautiful Zakynthos is rightly described, it is one of the seven magnificent Ionian Islands, very close (just 18 nautical miles) to the coast of the Peloponnese. World-famous for its ecosystem, as the spawning place of the protected Caretta Caretta turtles, the island manages to preserve its natural beauty, azure beaches, verdant forests and bugarini and jasmine scented air, despite the tourists that visit it, especially during the summer months.
Zakynthos town has several points worth discovering, including the aristocratic Solomou Square, hosting the statue of our Poet Laureate and beautiful buildings, such as the Byzantine Museum, the church of Agios Nikolaos at Molos (1561), the Public Library, the Cultural Centre of Zakynthos, the Museum of D. Solomos and Eminent People of Zakynthos, with the graves of Dionysios Solomos and Andreas Kalvos, the Catholic Church of St. Mark and the old Church of Our Lady of Angels.
You can take in a panoramic view of the town's magic from Bohali hill. This picturesque old neighbourhood, clad with olive trees and pines, is built on a semicircular plan on a peak, 2 km from Zakynthos town. Walk on the cobbled streets, visit the church of Zoodochos Pigi with its Byzantine icon of the Virgin and wander in the Venetian castle, which once protected the island from the pirates and Turks, as well as Strani Hill where Dionysios Solomos wrote the “Hymn to Liberty” [the national anthem of Greece] in May 1823.
Outside the town, there are countless options, either for relaxing in tranquil beaches and villages or for fun in busy resorts, bustling with young party-goers. Its beautiful traditional settlements include Keri, with the church of Panagia Keriotissa, Agalas, with the church of Our Lady of the Angels, Maherado, with the church of Agia Mavra boasting a magnificent carved belfry, the villages Louha and Gyri, with small stone houses, Volimes, Kampi and Anafonitria in the northern part of the island. Take time to explore the beautiful countryside and picturesque villages, try local dishes and get to know the hospitable residents.