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Monday, November 4, 2013

The Beautiful Island of Zakynthos in Hellas (Greece)

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The Beautiful Island of Zakynthos in Hellas (Greece) - Ionian Sea - Hubert Schober and Kedley Oliveti Base Jump over Navagio Beach

Zakynthos or Zante (from Venetian) is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. Zakynthos is a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and its only municipality. It covers an area of 410 km2 (158 sq mi) and its coastline is roughly 123 km (76 mi) in length. The island is named after Zakynthos, the son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin.

Zakynthos is a tourist destination, and has clubs and bars, and hosts events including The Rum and Raybands Boat Party, Total Karnage and The White Party. The island's nickname is To fioro tou Levante (it:Il fiore di Levante, en:The flower of the East), given by the Venetians.

What to See

Town and Island Panorama
The Beautiful Island of Zakynthos in Hellas (Greece) - Ionian Sea - Town and Island Panorama

The most famous landmark of the island is the Navagio beach. It is a cove on the southwest (northwest near village of Anafonitiria) shore, isolated by high cliffs and accessible only by boat. The beach and sea floor are made of white pebbles, and surrounded by turquoise waters. It is named after a shipwreck (MV Panagiotis), which sunk on the shore around 1980. The ridge area from Anafonitria has a small observation deck which overlooks the shipwreck, and there is a monastery nearby. The unique and stunning visuals of the location are a favourite for BASE jumpers, and each year a major event in the BASE calendar is held at Navagio, around the end of August.

Numerous "Blue Caves", are cut into cliffs around Cape Skinari, and accessible only by small boats. Sunrays reflect through blue sea water from white stones of cave bottoms and walls, creating interesting effects. 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. The whole western shore, from Keri to Skinari, contains numerous interesting rock formations, particularly arches.

Northern and eastern shores contain numerous wide sandy beaches, many of which are packed with tourists in summer months. The largest resort is Laganas, whose beach stretches around 10 kilometres (6 miles). Small Xigia beach in the north is noted for its underwater springs rich in sulphur, which gives it a characteristic odour.

Bochali hill above the Zakynthos town contains a small venetian castle, and offers panoramic views onto the town. Strani's hill, located on the other side of Bochali, is the place where Dionysios Solomos wrote Greece's national anthem.

Marathonissi (also known as "Turtle Island" because of its turtle-like shape), an islet near Limni Keriou (the beach of village Keri; also known as Keri Lake) is a small paradise, with tropical vegetation, turquoise water beaches and sea caves.

Some Photographies of the Beautiful Island of Zakynthos

Ionian Sea - Navagio Beach
The Beautiful Island of Zakynthos in Hellas (Greece) - Ionian Sea - Navagio Beach

The Beautiful Island of Zakynthos in Hellas (Greece) - Ionian Sea - Navagio Beach

Hubert Schober and Kedley Oliveti Base Jump over Navagio Beach
The Beautiful Island of Zakynthos in Hellas (Greece) - Ionian Sea - Hubert Schober and Kedley Oliveti Base Jump over Navagio Beach
Photographer Dimitrios Kontizas

Ionian Sea - Morning View
The Beautiful Island of Zakynthos in Hellas (Greece) - Ionian Sea - Morning View

While Ios and Kos are associated with partying and Rhodes and Crete with families, Zakynthos is something in between. Most of the beaches and towns are on the south and east coasts, as the west and north coasts are extremely mountainous often with cliffs dropping many hundreds of feet straight into the sea.

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