Zakynthos is proud of its long and sometimes turbulent history. Over time many influences have molded Zakynthos into the island it is today. The island has a number of good museums that tourists can visit to learn more:
The Aristeon Olive Oil Museum is located in Lithakia and is part of a traditional family olive oil business, the museum gives visitors a step-by-step tour through the process of producing olive oil from the original eighteenth century to the present.
Botega Folklore Museum is located in Orthonies, a small village in the north of the island. A folklore museum, Botega takes visitors back in time to traditions of eighteenth century Zakynthos mountain villages, and the people who used to live and work in them.
The Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos is in Solomos Square and highlights the Byzantine history of the island. Highlights include wooden icons and frescos from the 15th to 17th Century.
The Cultural and Agricultural Museum (also known as the Vertzagio Folk Museum) is in Pigadakia in Alykes. Here visitors can learn all about the traditions and cultures of rural Greece from a traditional house recreation. Some of the items date back to the 16th Century and are very rare.
The Museum of D. Solomos an A. Kavlos is in St. Marcos Square. The museum has items relating to the two artists. It also highlights art, pottery and sculptures and other interesting items relating to noble families that lived on the island.
The Exhibition Centre of National Marine Park is in Dafni, Vasilikos. It is a centre dedicated to the education and protection of the islands famous endangered Loggerhead turtles including their lives, habitat and nesting sites. The exhibition centre also provides visitors with information about the islands traditional fauna and flora.
The House of Foscolo is located in Zakynthos Town. This small museum, built in 2016, is dedicated to Zakynthos’ famous Italian poet Ugo Foscolo, who was born on the island in 1778. The Foscolo House is on the site of his original home which has now restored as a replica.
The Museum of Gregory Xenopoulos is located in Zakynthos Town. Born in the 1800’s, Gregory Xenopoulos was an important figure in Greek history as both a playwright and novelist.
Helmi’s Natural History Museum is in Ayia Marina village. It is a museum dedicated to the highlighting and educating visitors about flora, fauna and general plant and animal life of the island. The museum also has information about the minerals, rocks and fossils on the island.
The Naval Museum (also known as the Milanio Maritime Museum) is in Tsilivi. It highlights the islands maritime history from around the 17th Century to the present day to visitors. Museum displays include the evolution of maritime history, and details about the islands maritime transport.
Roma Museum (also known as the Mansion of the Roma family) is located in Zakynthos Town. A rarity on the island, the Roma Mansion is one of the few buildings that survived the Great Ionian Earthquake of 1953. Originally built around 1660 by the vice-consul of England, the Roma Museum gives visitors a good impression of how the islands aristocracy would have lived.
The Town Hall Library (also known as the Municipal Library) is in Solomos Square and has been the keeper of books, and old papers for centuries. Items have been donated by people living on the island both past and present. Sadly the original library, which held many books and important papers relating to the island was destroyed by earthquake and a subsequent fire. Many Zakynthians have since donated items which helped rebuild the library and makes it what it is now.