Also known as Zante, Venetians called this island ‘The Flower of the East’ on account of its rich flora, pine-covered mountains, aquamarine waters and stunning white beaches. Zakynthos’ shores happen to be home to Loggerhead Turtles, which breed here during the summer months. Prior to a huge earthquake last century, the island was also a jewel of Venetian architecture and islanders have taken particular care to preserve the remains of this legacy in the main port, Zakynthos Town.
Its wide arcaded streets, neoclassical buildings and sweeping squares are home to several excellent museums. At night, it hosts a dynamic music scene. North of the capital, bustling seaside resorts offer watersports, lively bars and plenty of opportunities to relax in the sunshine. Elsewhere, Byzantine churches, orchards, rocky coves and impressive sea caves have kept their superb natural beauty.