The basic geography of Zante
Zakynthos is the third largest of the Ionian Islands
Covering an area of 410 km2. The coastline of Zakynthos is roughly 124 km in length, Zakynthos Island is located west of the Greek mainland, lying northwest of the Peloponnese.
It is the southernmost island in the Ionian cluster of islands. Zakynthos is about fifteen kilometres from Cape Kilini, the harbour where the ferry boat from Zakynthos links to the mainland of Greece.
In all, by sea and road, Zakynthos is about 100 kilometres from the nearest larger city of Patras. Zakynthos is about 300 kilometers, by sea and road, from Athens.
The South, South West, and East regions of Zakynthos consist of lush vegetation and spacious sandy beaches.
These regions in Zakynthos are where you'll find the more popular and developed tourist resorts in Zakynthos.
Along the West coast and up in the Far North of the Island the geography is far starker, with cliffs and fiords dominating the landscape.
On holiday in Zakynthos you can enjoy an amazing selection of beautiful Zante beaches around the coastline of Zakynthos island.
Weddings in Zante take place in beautiful locations
Because of the mild, Mediterranean climate and bountiful winter rainfall Zante island is greener than many Greek islands, with dense and varied vegetation.
This makes Zante, Zakynthos an ideal destination wedding location in the Greek Islands for couples wanting to marry abroad. We, at Wilburn Productions capture Zante weddings in photography and video DVD packages for weddings in Zante throughout the summer. The geography of Zakynthos makes for unique Zante wedding photographs and video.
Because of the rich vegetation, Zakynthos is a very fertile island, with the production of agricultural products important for the economy.
The main food products from Zakynthos are olive oil, currants, grapes, which are used to cultivate wine, raisins, and citrus fruit. Most families work carefully to ensure a good harvest of olives and olive oil each year, not just for family food but also to sell on as produce to the government.
The stable winter population of Zakynthos is believed to be around 45,000 inhabitants, with 15,000 living in the vicinity of Zakynthos Town, also known as Zante Town.
The towns and resorts in Zante
The capital of Zakynthos, which has the same name as the island itself, is known as Zakynthos or Zante Town. Zakynthos Town is also often called Chora by the Greeks. This means Town in Greek, and is often used in Greece when the name of the island is the same as the name of the main town.
The main harbour of Zakynthos is located in Zante Town. There is a daily ferry service connecting to the port of Killini on the mainland. Another ferry from the northern port of St Nikolas connects Zakynthos daily to the port of Argostoli on the island of Kefalonia.
Zakynthos island has one airport, situated in the South West, about 5 kilometres from Zakynthos Town, and just a few minutes drive from the resorts of Kalamaki, Laganas and Argassi. The Zante airport has recently been renovated to a very high standard.
There are a number of tourist resorts scattered around the coastline of Zante
Two of the largest Zante resorts, Kalamaki and Laganas, are neighbours on the South West Coastline. They share the longest beach on the island which stretches from Kalamaki all the way down to Laganas.
The Zante resort of Argassi is one of the smaller resorts on the island, but still bustling in the summer months. Argassi sits on the South Coast of Zakynthos,. Zante island, only a few minutes away from the main town. You will pass through Argassi on the Southern Coastal road that takes you out to Vasilikos.
The popular family-oriented Zante resort of Tsilivi is located on the East Coast of Zakynthos Zante island about 5 kilometres from Zante Town. Tsilivi has a lovely golden sand beach that is very popular with tourists in the summer months.
The neighbouring Zante resorts of Alykes and Alykanas are located on the East coast, about 10 kilometres on from Tsilivi. These resorts are two of the quietest on the island with no nightclubs and only a handful of bars.
There are a number of smaller resorts, such as Porto Koukla and Agios Sostis, scattered around the island, perfect for people who really want to get away from it all!
The National Marine Park of Zakynthos
The Bay of Laganas, and most of the South West Coast of Zakynthos, is the major nesting ground in the Mediterranean for the endangered species of caretta-caretta loggerhead sea turtles. Visitors on holiday in Zakynthos Zante need to take care around the beaches in the Bay of Laganas, to follow the guidelines of the National Marine park of Greece to avoid lying or tramping upon the sand which covers the turtle nests.
Sea Caves around Zakynthos
There are a number of large Sea Caves around the island of Zante. These large formations are fantastic to visit during your Zante holiday in Zakynthos.
The famous Blue Caves of Skinari are located around the Far Northern region of Skinari. The large Sea Caves are big enough for the glass bottom motorboats to take you inside. Once you are in the caves, you will be amazed by the inky blue of the water. A unique process of reflection on the water transforms the sea water here into a deep indigo blue a really amazing Zante experience.
Between the small beach port of Porto Vromi and Shipwreck Bay there are a few more Sea Caves to explore.
If you take a boat trip to Shipwreck to Porto Vromi, they will take you into the caves on the way. These are spectacular formations, but lack the wow factor of the Blue Caves in the North.
The Keri Caves are located around the South Western point of Zante. There are a number of boat trips that will take you to see, and swim around, the Keri Caves. These formations are quite different from the Blue Caves in the North they are dominated by white rock and striking arches emerging from the sea. The waters around the Keri Caves are a sparkling turquoise shade another highly recommended Zante trip to include in your summer holiday here.
Earthquakes in Zante
Zakynthos is one of the main seismic earthquake zones in Greece. A number of damaging earthquakes have occurred here over the centuries - the most recent disaster was in 1953.
Most of Zakynthos Town was destroyed following this earthquake in 1953, not actually due to the buildings collapsing, but from fire that quickly spread through the town, caused by gas burners being used at the time of the quake for cooking midday meals. Zante Island was rebuilt as closely to the original as possible, with heavily fortified buildings that have been deemed safe to withstand very strong earthquakes today.