The island was named after Zakinthos, the son of king Dardanon of Troia. Homer named the island "Iliessa", that is "foresty", because its mountains are quite green. The islanders campaigned to Troia under Ulysses' command, as Zakinthos belonged to Ulysses' kingdom. In ancient times, Zakinthos gained power and founded colonies around Mesogeios, such as Zakantha in Spain. Then it suffered barbaric raids and later came under the ownership of Venice in the middle of the 15th century AD. In the 19th century, the English conquered the island which was finally united back with Greece in 1864.

The Venetian architecture is apparent, not just in the capital, but throughout the whole island. The tall church towers with their bells and their sharp pyramidal roofs, the alleys decorated by continuous arches on the left and on the right, create a somehow different picture.


You may leave your boat in Zakinthos port and go by road to visit the villages in the interior of the island. These little villages are marvelous, especially the ones in the western part of the island such as Exo Chora, that provide a very nice view of the Ionian Sea. Don't forget to eat rabbit with tomato, the specialty dish of the island and also to drink the local wine "Verdea". Other things to taste are the special cheese in oil and the sweet "mandolato".

The well known protected species of sea turtles Caretta - Caretta are using the sandy beach of Lagana bay for reproduction, by leaving their eggs each June.









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