Zakynthos - Do & See
For most visitors, the main attractions are Zakynthos’s beaches – which include some of the very best in Greece – and its cheap, cheerful and unsophisticated nightlife.
Church Of Agios Dionysios
This small church, built in 1925, contains the silver-encrusted sarcophagus of St. Dionysios, the island’s patron saint. It survived the 1953 earthquake – proof, say devout islanders, of the Saint’s miraculous powers.
The main attraction here is the collection of fine Orthodox icons and wall-paintings from the churches and monasteries that were leveled by the earthquake in 1953. A model of Zakynthos Town prior to the quake shows what the town looked like pre-1953.
This modest museum celebrates the life and works of Dionysios Solomos, the Zakynthian author and poet who penned the Greek national anthem, along with other notable islanders.
Monitis Panagias (monastery Of The Virgin)
Virtually the only historic building left standing intact on the island, this monastery near the northwest tip of the island was the home of St Dionysios, who, before being canonized, was the abbot here during the 17th century. His cell, with his few possessions, can still be viewed.
Round The Island Cruises
Excursion boats leave daily (buy tickets the night before at the quayside or at your hotel) from all the island resorts in summer. They take trips to the Blue Grotto, a marine cave carved out of the white limestone cliffs by thousands of years of wave action, and to the so-called ‘Smugglers Wreck’ – the rusting hulk of a Syrian cargo vessel that ran aground in the 1980’s on a spectacular white beach overlooked by towering cliffs – it is almost impossible to reach except by sea.
The spectacular ruins of ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, are located only an hour away from Killini, the small port on the Greek mainland opposite Zakynthos. There are several ferries and hydrofoils daily in summer, taking around 90 minutes, so a day trip is possible.
Travel agents in Zakynthos also offer escorted coach tours to Olympia.
There are no direct ferries from Zakynthos to other islands – but you can island-hop by seaplane with a new service operated by AirSea Lines. For prices and bookings: