Zakynthos in general

Panoramic view of the town and port of Zakynthos, Greece.

The island of Zakynthos has an area of 402 square km. It is the third largest island of the Ionian Sea and it is located 9.5 nautical miles south of Kefallonia and 8.5 nautical miles west of Peloponnesus. It has an irregular lengthy shape with a maximum length of 34 km and a maximum width of 23 km. The total length of the coastline is 123 km. There are caves formed in several areas of the island but the most interesting of them are in the north part of the island and are named Blue caves because of the magnificent color of their waters. The island is a place of nesting fro the famous turtle kareta – kareta. There is a sea park in the area fro this scope. The climate is Mediterranean and one of the sunniest in Greece. It is the second sunniest place in the country after Cyclades complex of islands and it is famous for its beaches.

According to Thucydides in the ancient times Zakynthos was occupied by Achaious and was later indepented with a democratic state. It did not take part in the Persian wars. In the Peloponnese war they allied initially with the Spartans and then with the Athenians (430BC). After the defeat of Athens (404BC) there was an oligarchy imposed by the Spartans. In the 4th century BC it was under the Macedonia ruling of King Phillip the second and during the Hellenistic times it took part in the Aitolic coalition and against Macedonia. IN 150 BC the Romans occupied the island and after the Roman state was divided it was a part of the Byzantine Empire. The Francs dominated the island in 1185 AD and their dominance lasted 3 centuries. In 1479 AD the island was taken by the Turks but Venetians reclaimed it in 1485 AD. As soon as the Venetian state was occupied by the French the inhabitants embraced the principles of Democracy and Equality (1797AD). After 15 months the island was taken by Russians and in 1807AD by the French again and finally in 1815 by the English. The island was included in the Ionian state under British protection. In 1863 it was united with the Greek state and followed the fate of the rest of the Greece ever since. In 1953 a severe earthquake struck the island but it was then restructured during the following years.

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