Cruise to the crown jewel of the Ionian Isles
Zakynthos. Zante. Flower of the East. The crown jewel of the Ionian Isles. Whatever you want to call it, you’ll find this small island packs a big punch—from its sheer cliffs in the north to its pristine beaches in the south.
Shipwreck Beach can only be accessed by boat, but it’s definitely worth the trip. A crescent-shaped beach is surrounded by rock walls and looks out on to clear turquoise waters.
In the capital—also named Zakynthos—you’ll see traces of the island’s time as an overseas colony of Venice, though much of the town was damaged by a major earthquake in the 1950’s. The best preserved example from this period is the Venetian castle atop Bochali Hill where a bird’s-eye view of the town and panoramic sea views will have you feeling on top of the world.
Get a taste of country life with a scenic drive around the island. Charming villages, monasteries and truly friendly locals provide intimate insights into authentic Greek culture. History buffs will want to hang around town and check out the Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos and the Museum of Solomos, resting place of Greece’s former national poet.