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Among the most beautiful and popular islands of the Ionian Sea, Zakynthos (Greek: Ζάκυνθος [ˈzacinθos]) or Zante (from Venetian) is a vibrant holiday destination. Located south of Kefalonia, it is renowned for the crystal shorelines and the intense nightlife, attracting young people from all over the world.
The capital and main port of the island is Zakynthos Town, beautifully decorated with architectural elements from the elegant Venetian and Neoclassical style. Here, you may enjoy an evening stroll along the narrow paths and bask in the spectacular views of the waterfront.
The second largest village on the island is Maherado, a stunning mountainous village located 10 kilometers south of Zakynthos Town, which has managed to maintain its unique charm and not be overwhelmed by tourist development. It is home to the Church of Agia Mavra with its impressive Venetian belfry and collection of fine frescoes and icons, among which the miraculous icon of Agia Mavra stands out. The center of the village is dominated by the majestic Agios Nikoloas Church, while the Monastery of Yperagathou in close proximity also captures tourists eyes.
The traditional village of Keri is spotted 21 km south west of Zakynthos Town, atop a verdant hill, captivating guests with its homey feel, as it retains a strong traditional character with many stone built houses and narrow streets. The main attraction of the village is the Panagia Keriotissa, a stunning church with an impressive bell tower. Standing bellow the village, this particular place of worship houses an icon which is believed by locals to have miraculous powers.
One of the most celebrated shorelines on the island is Navagio, with the golden sand and exotic blue waters. Here, one can have a swim at the wide sandy beaches in the company of sea turtles, go snorkeling or scuba diving between rocks and in underwater Blue caves. This magnificent display of natural beauty was created by wave erosions and excursion boats get through the cave’s arches. Furthermore, you can take a sailboat out and rejoice in the marine air or go out surfing.
The mountain-areas are ideally suited for trekking-tours. Splendid beaches in Zakynthos are also Vassilikos, Gerakas, Spiantza and other jewels, to be discovered on the southern side of the island. Due to their soft sand and clean water, these beaches frequently become breeding spots for the loggerhead sea turtle known as the Caretta-Caretta.
Enjoy the great weather on the sunniest island in the Mediterranean, and let yourself be swept away by the rhythms of Zakynthian life, joining the hospitable people of this island for a holiday you shall never forget.
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