Zakynthos; A place worth visiting!
Situated off the West coast of mainland Greece is the Ionian island of Zakynthos, a beautiful island that’s become a much loved tourist destination not just with Europeans but also with visitors from further afield. With a varied and interesting history, Zakynthos has overcome war, piracy and earthquakes, and now a worldwide pandemic! The island sprinkles its magic on unsuspecting tourists, who fall in love with it and return year after year in their droves. It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of International visitors visit Zakynthos each year and a large number of those repeatedly choose the island as their number one tourist destination, year after year.
So what makes Zakynthos so special?
Welcoming locals, iconic sites and beautiful views are just some of the things Zakynthos has to offer. Many visitors to the island though speak of meeting people who become lifelong friends. These visitors also find a place they think of as their second home, or a place that will eventually become a forever home later in life. It’s the relaxed atmosphere, the camaraderie and ability to arrive in pace you know well and feel like you belong, but that also still has the opportunity to surprise too!
What can I do on Zakynthos?
Remember, we have loads of information of things to do, on our website, for those who want a small taste of what Zakynthos has to offer. There is simply so much to see and do! Zakynthos is an island that has numerous beautiful sweeping beaches that hug crystal turquoise seas. Caves and hidden inlets are dotted around the coastline waiting to be explored. Boat operators run trips to coastal caves, Navagio (Shipwreck beach), and Marathonisi Island. There’s a wildlife sanctuary called Aksos Stone Park and Laganas Bay is a designated National Maritime Park dedicated to the protection and monitoring of endangered loggerhead turtles (Caretta Caretta) that swim and nest in summer on the beaches of Laganas bay.
Zakynthos has thirteen museums, and many historical sites including an English and Jewish cemetery, Monasteries, Churches, an ancient aqueduct, a Venetian Castle, Venetian watchtowers and a Venetian bridge just waiting to be explored! For the more adventurous there’s horse riding, cycling, walking and water sports; including scuba diving. Zakynthos is also an island full of tradition. Festivals take place throughout the year, not only to celebrate Greek Orthodox traditions such as Christmas and Easter, but also to honour St. Dionysios the patron saint of the island, and various other saints. Giostra and Carnival date back to the Venetian era and are still celebrated by islanders every year. The island has some old villages, with locals whose lives are still steeped in the traditions of their ancestors. Ancient olive groves and vines still produce harvest, grapes and wine, with museums dedicated to the processes where visitors can even buy produce to take home as a small souvenir.
The current situation
As with the rest of the world, Zakynthos still has some cases of Covid, and is still, currently, in partial Lockdown. A vaccine programme is however in operation for residents and is continuing to be being rolled out as quickly as possible so that as many Zakynthos residents get vaccinated for the summer as possible. Residents have had a really tough eighteen months, their season was short in 2020 causing hardship to many. They are hopeful that with the increase in vaccine uptake and case numbers lowering, things will soon be able to slowly open back up so that life can, in time, can return to some kind of normality, albeit with some possible restrictions. We all know it may be another difficult summer and we know our regular visitors have really missed their “Zakynthos fix”. We also know the residents and businesses have really struggled since Spring 2020 and we hope that the world situation will get better so we can all enjoy our summer, take a well-earned break, get our businesses on track and support each other this summer.
So, what will summer 2021 be like?
We’re hopeful that there will be another great summer season for those who want to visit the island this summer but like last year, it’s likely to be a shorter one, starting later than the usual first week of April. There is likely to still be some restrictions in place for visitors such as covid testing, temperature checks for transport use, and masks.
We’re still waiting for final confirmation, and even when things are confirmed there may be some changes to restrictions as months pass in line with current events.
Despite any restrictions, Zakynthians will do their best to give visitors the best possible holiday they can.
There will be a friendly welcome at the islands accommodation facilities. You will be able to hire a car to tour the island to see your favourite places or stumble across somewhere new that you’ve not visited before. Restaurants, tavernas and bars will open their doors to serve you with the freshest food and coldest, most satisfying drinks. The sea will be stunningly clear and the beaches warm and the sun will shine brightly.
Zakynthos is a fantastic island with so many things just waiting to be uncovered. We know that it may still be a strange summer ahead but we are here, we’re looking forward to a bit of normality returning and the sun shining.
So even if things seem tough right now for us all, we are waiting for you and can’t wait to welcome you all back, when it’s safe to do so.
Whatever you do this Summer have a safe and enjoyable one!