Zakynthos Greece, Zante Greece, Zakinthos Greece >> About Zakynthos Island

Zakynthos Greece, Zante Greece, Zakinthos Greece >> NavagioZakynthos... the Fioro de Levante, flower of the East: the island of song, the island of love. This place is truly magic; its gentle, calm landscape wins over the heart, as do its clean, translucent sea and its superb beaches.
Zakynthos is 8 nautical miles south of Cephalonia and 10 nautical miles from Kyllini in the Peloponnese.

It has an area of 402 square kilometers, a coastline of 123 kilometers and a population of 30.000.

You can reach the island by plane from Athens, Corfu and Argostoli of Cephalonia. You can also go by bus or train to Kyllini and then take the ferryboat to the island. Local boats connect Zakynthos to Cephalonia during summer.

Zakynthos Greece, Zante Greece, Zakinthos Greece  >>  Zakynthos view

Zakynthos Greece, Zante Greece, Zakinthos Greece  >> A vase painting showing Odysseus slaying the suitors of penelope (5th century BC)The first inhabitants of the island are thought to have been Achaeans who came from Peloponnese in the 16th century BC. During historical times the island belonged at first to Athens and then to Sparta and later passed on to the Macedonians. The Romans occupied it at the beginning of the 2nd century BC. This was followed by the long Byzantine period. After the fall of Constantinople, Zakynthos fell under the domination of the Orsinis until 1485, when it was seized by the Venetians and remained under them for over 300 years. The Venetians imposed their own laws and divided the islanders into three categories: the nobles who were registered in the Libro d'Oro, the citizens, and the common people. The terrible oppression of the common people by the nobles led to their revolt in 1630, which in the end was bathed in blood.

In 1797, the French Republicans drove out the Venetians, swept aside the nobles and gave the mayors the authority to rule under the supervision of the French Governor. It was then that the common people, celebrating their liberation from the Venetians, and their allies burned the famous Libro d'Oro.

The presence of the French on the island was a brief one. In 1798, the island came under Russo-Turkish domination until the Republic of the Ionian Islands was founded in 1800.

Zakynthos Greece, Zante Greece, Zakinthos Greece  >> An engraved map of Zakynthos (17th century, from the collection of D. Zivas)
Zakynthos Greece, Zante Greece, Zakinthos Greece  >> St. MauraIn 1807, Zakynthos was seized by the French aristocrats and in 1809 by the British, who placed the capital of the Ionian state at Zakynthos. During the British occupation, a great deal of assistance was afforded Greece, which had been in revolt since 1821, despite the opposition of the British.

Zakynthos became a part of Greece with the other Ionian islands in 1864.

Today, Zakynthos is a large touristic center due to its beautiful capital together with its excellent beaches and its unique flora and fauna.

Photos and text taken
from "Zakynthos - Today and yesterday"
(Toubis Editions)
Toubis Editions

Hotels in Zakynthos Island
Message In A Bottle
in a Bottle
Beaches of Zakynthos
Beaches of
Detailed Map
Detailed Map
Practical Information