The most southerly of the Ionian Islands has a varied landscape, the west is characterised by striking mountain scenery and is largely uninhabited and the east is packed with fertile plains, picturesque bays and long sandy beaches. Zante is a beautiful island, with many varieties of pretty colourful flowers that seem to blossom all year round.
The island captured the hearts of the Venetians who ruled here for many years and who nicknamed Zante ‘Flower of the
The famous poet Edgar Allen Poe, in 1837, wrote a poem entitled "Sonnet to Zante" the last line states "Isola d'ora! Fior di Levante!" which means "Island of Gold, Flower of the East".
Any visitor is sure to be enraptured by the islands charms and to agree with Poe that it is indeed an island of gold and certainly an ideal holiday destination.
Zante has much to offer any visitor, from splendid sandy beaches, the unique chance to see endangered wildlife in the form of Caretta Caretta turtles and Monk seals, impressive monasteries and churches with fine frescos and icons, as well as the famous Blue Caves and the best known sight on Zante- Shipwreck beach one of the most photographed places in the world.
Zante Town is the capital of the island and was built amphitheatrically up to the hill of Bohali, famous for being the location where Dionysios Solomos found the inspiration to write the poem which later formed the lyrics to the Greek National Anthem.
The capital had to be rebuilt following a devastating earthquake in 1953; however it was reconstructed with respect to its previous architectural style and character, and has a quaint old style charm.
The Venetians ruled on Zante for many years and many of the buildings have a strong Venetian influence. There are several interesting museums in the town well worth a visit, such as the Byzantine museum and the Solomos and Kalvos museum. In Solomos square there is a fine statute of Dionysios Solomos and near this square are numerous cafes- ideal for refreshment and a chance to bask in the glorious sunshine.
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