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A few words about Zante:
Zante (ΖΑΚΥΝΘΟΣ in Greek), 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.
Zante 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:
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 Zante;
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 38,957.
The most famous Zakynthian is the 19th century poet Dionysios Solomos, the
principal modern Greek poet and author of the national anthem of Greece. His
statue adorns the main town square.
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 Zante 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
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.
on January 31, 2005, an earthquake rumbled not far from the island. It
tremored in the sea at 5.6 on the Richter scale at 02:30 (UTC/PMST), 04:30
(Eastern Europe-Eastern African time).
The Zante currant, a small sweet seedless grape is native to the island.
Island length: 40 km
Island width: 20 km
Highest point: Vrachionas, 758 m
The sites of interest including Shipwreck Bay, Cape Skinari and the blue cave.
The western part of the island is accessible and has a panoramic view of the
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. Beaches are in Porto
Limnionas, Porto Vromi and Porto Zoro.
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