It is SUMMER, and I am writing about a beautiful place where I have spent the vacations; Zakynthos in Greece.
Zakynthos ( also named Zante) is a beautiful island, that belongs to Eptanisa, a group of islands in the western shores of Greece. From the seven islands of this group, Zakynthos is the southernmost island of the Ionian Sea, opposite to the western coast of Peloponnese, 10 sea miles from the Port of Kyllini.
Zakynthos, has a charming nature. Homer calls it “Forested Island”, the Venetians “Blossom of the East”, more recent travellers name it “Diamond of the Ioanian Sea”, “Floating Garden”.
According to scientists, Zakynthos emerged from the depth of the Ionian like a ‘sea nymph’. Geologycal transformations that separeted Eptanisa from the mainland, millions of years ago, gave the island a triangular shape, where a mountain range from north to south divides the eastern from the western part, the East being more flat, with fertile soil and sandy beaches, while the West more mountainous with limestone rocks and very steep shores. In the peak of the triangular, is the very famous Cape Skinari, while in the south lies Bay of Laganas, the largest of Mediterranean, 9km in length. From these geological transformations, a vast sea fissure is created in the north-eastern part of the island, known as the “Shaft of the Mediteranian” or the “Well of Inouses”, the deepest spot of the sea, 4,600 meters.
According to mythology, the island was a place of worship for Artemis, the goddess of hunting and nature and her brother Apollo, the god of light and music. The area is surrounded by myths and legends. Near Porto Vromi, there is the Poseidon's Cave, named after the stunning rocky profile of the Good of Sea in the entrance of the Cave. Porto Vromi is a small harbor, which has been in the old days the first port of the island. From here we took a small boat to visit the north and western part of the island, where steep limestone rocks form canions, stone arches and sea caves.
Of a rare beauty are the Blue Caves, where a rare optical effect of Light occurs; the sunrays that are reflected from the white stones inside water through the sea, create an effect that turns BLUE every object in the water, even the people that swim there. We tried ourself and the experience was beautiful. The best time to visit the Blue Caves is in the morning.
Continuing with the boat we visited Navagio shipwreck, a very beautiful coast with white sand and rocks that reach 400 m in height. The place is accessible only by boat and is one of the rare attractions of Zakynthos, placed in all touristic guides and postcards. The coast took this name since 1983, when a ship contrabanding cigarettes wrecked in the beach. Though Navagio is depicted in the touristic guides as a very quite place, what we found was a massive flux of tourists, that chose to visit the beach for few hours, which made Navagio Shipwreck very surreal place.
(In the next Post, the visit in Zakynthos continues in the south and eastern part of the island, with underwater turtle spotting to Marathonsi Island, and in Zakynthos City)