Zakýnthos (Ζάκυνθος, also known as Zante), Greece, the third largest of the Ionian Islands, covers an area of 410 square kilometers and its coastline is roughly 123 kilometers in length. The island is named after Zacynthus, 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 varied terrain, with fertile plains in the southeastern part and mountainous terrain with steep cliffs along the coasts on the west. Zakynthos town coordinates are: latitude 37.79139/37°47'29 N, longitude: 20.89528/20'53'43 E.
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 39015
The Caretta caretta loggerhead sea-turtle (see the Marathonisi island in the Laganas Bay with a shape that reminds a turtle)
The island has one airport, the Dionysos Solomos Airport (on former GR-35) in its southwest which connects flights with other Greek airports. Further southwest is the National Marine Park of Zakynthos where loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) are found in (the bay of Laganas). Caretta caretta is an endangered species. Every year beginning in June the female turtles come to the southern beaches in order to bury their eggs in the sand. The breeding times takes approx. 55 days. The babies slip themselves into the sea, and the survival rate is very small for the males. A pregnant turtle lays about 1,000 eggs.
The port of Zakynthos has a ferry connecting to the port of Kyllini on the mainland. Another ferry connects the village of Skinari to Argostoli on the island of Kefalonia.
This paradise on earth suffered severe earthquakes in 1953, which destroyed almost everything on the island. These were not the only earthquakes in area, but the most dramatic ones in recent history. Only three buildings were left standing in place after the disaster: the St. Dionysios Cathedral, the National Bank building, and the church of St. Nicholas "tou Molou" (of the Quay). A few other buildings in outlying areas have avoided complete destruction. Since then Zakynthos has been rebuilt to a very rigid anti-earthquake specification, and has withstood several serious earthquakes with minimal damage.
Mining is also common on the island, where a small mountain located in Zakynthos' west side was mined during the 1990s, though it is no longer in use. Today, mining still continues, but now with two quarries on the mountain range in the western part of the island.
The Zante currant, a small sweet seedless grape is native to the island.
Island length: 40 km
The sites of interest including Shipwreck Bay, Cape Skinari and the blue cave.
The ridge area from Anafontria has an observation deck and a ship wreck and with the monastery.
Keri is located in the far south of the island. It is a mountain village and has a lighthouse in the south. It includes a panorama of the southern part of the Ionian Sea.
Zante has campsites and beaches including a beautiful one near Keri with a length of a 100 m surrounded by cliffs. The island also offers a numerous amount of arches and cliffs which are famous. One of the arches are underground. Several documentary shows were filmed around that part of Zakynthos/Zante. Other campsites include Camping Alykes (http://www.zanteweb.gr/camping/alykes/). Beaches are in Porto Limnionas, Porto Vromi and Porto Zoro.
Other includes a junior/quaternary soccer team (D Division) named APS Zakynthos
Greece Interstate 35, a road linking Zante and Porto Roma and another road linking Zante and Volimes.
The island is served by Zakynthos International Airport. Olympic Airways flies 2-3 times daily to Zakynthos from Athens even in the winter. The flight time is about 60 minutes. There are also flights from Kefalonia on Monday and Wednesday. Approximate airport transfer times to the major resorts are: Alikes Seventy five minutes, Argassi Thirty minutes, Kalamaki Fifteen minutes, Laganas Twenty five minutes, Tsilivi Forty five minutes, Vassilikos Ninety minutes.
Hellenic Ferries run regular services from Brindisi, Italy, while Superfast Ferries sail from Ancona, Brindisi and Venice to Patras, Igoumenitsa and Corfu where travellers can catch connecting ferries to Zakynthos. Blue Star Ferries also operate similar routes. Regular daily ferry services run from Kilini (Kyllini) on the Greek mainland to Zakynthos with around seven ferries Monday to Saturday and three services on Sunday. The crossing takes around 90mins. Buses go from Athens to Kyllini and the journey takes around four hours. A daily car ferry goes from Agios Nikolaos to Pessada on Kefalonia in the summer season.
Roads on Zakynthos are generally good where they serve the main resorts. Off the main roads they can quickly deteriorate into rough tracks. Buses are cheap and efficient with regular daily services from Zante Town to all the main resorts. Detailed timetables are posted in the bus station in Zante Town and passengers pay the driver. The number of daily services to the major resorts are detailed here but are approximate and subject to change: Alikes - 4, Argassi - 9, Kalamaki - 7, Laganas - 13, Vasilikos - 3, Volimes - 2. There are also many All-terrain vehicles (quad bikes) and mopeds on the roads of Zakynthos especially in the main resorts, the majority of these are rented from the numerous hire agencies on the island.
The municipality of Zakynthos (Zakynthion) with a population 16475 is divided in
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