Thursday , June 17 2021

Zakynthos Town

Zakynthos Town is the main town on the island and is full of things to do. It boasts a beautiful harbour where visitors can walk and admire the variety of boats, catch ferries to the mainland or take local boat trips to local sites. The sweeping semi-circular harbour brings the beautiful Ionian waters right up to the main town giving meaning the sea is never far away despite being in town. The buildings of Zakynthos Town are all relatively new due to having been rebuilt after the Great Ionian Earthquake in 1953 when much of the town was lost. A few of the original buildings still do stand though and there are plenty of glimpses of past Zakynthos if you know where to look.

At Solomos Square visitors can find the quaint church of St Nicolas Mole, the Cultural Centre and Municipal Library, and The Byzantine Museum. Also in the Solomos Square area, close to the 15th century church of The Lady of Angels, behind the OTE building, is the Roma Mansion Museum, a house and museum dedicated to one of the oldest and most important, families on the island who played a part in many events including both World Wars. These are great places to uncover the varied and interesting history of the island. There is also St Mark’s Square thought to be medieval in age, where the respected tombs of Andreas Kalvos and Dionysios Solomos can be found. Close by is the incredible and imposing Church of St. Dionysios, who is the patron saint of the island. His sacred relics can be found inside the church and every year on two occasions during litany he is taken from the church with processions and festivals taking place in his honour. There are monuments to Mayor Karrer and Bishop Chrysosthomos, who both helped to save the lives of the entire Jewish population in World War Two, at the site of the old Jewish Synagogue in Tertseti Street. There is also a Jewish cemetery in Zakynthos town dedicated to past residents of the faith that’s a peaceful and interesting place to visit. Overlooking Zakynthos Town in Bochali is the old Venetian Castle, with plenty of reminders of past life scattered amongst the trees and the views from inside the defensive structure out over the town and across to Laganas Bay are stunning. Just below the castle sits an old English Cemetery built for past wealthy residents and army soldiers, sadly due to the instability of some of its structures access to the site is limited. A famous site just outside of Town is Strani Hill, where the Poet Dionysios Solomos wrote the Greek National Anthem, a moment of the great man stands there in his honour.

Zakynthos Town is full of hotels, bars, restaurants and shops. One of the most popular shopping areas is Alexandra Roma where you can get almost anything you need from local traditional products, to clothes, Jewellery, shoes and much more! There’s a Cinema in Solomos Square showing all the latest films as well as a new Theatre with lots of great entertainment, and in the summer months an open air cinema operates allowing visitors to watch films under the stars! Zakynthos Town also has places to hire bicycles, visitors can also take a trip on the tourist train or catch a KTEL bus to other resorts from the bus station if they want to get out of town and explore further afield. There is a also a reliable taxi service run by the Radio Taxi Association who will also transport visitors around the island too. For those who are just looking to relax there are plenty of options in town to sit and relax whilst enjoying Greek life as it continues on, as Zakynthos Town is full of bars and cafes, as well as tavernas and restaurants, serving plenty of fresh and delicious traditional food. 

At Kryoneri there’s even a small pebble beach for those who want to stop and take in the view across the harbour or fancy a swim!

Whether it’s history, shopping or relaxing with friends or family, Zakynthos Town has something for everyone, with great transport links to other parts of the island for anyone who also like to get out and explore too.

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