Saint Dionysios is the patron saint of the island and the people of Zakynthos bow to his holiness and half of the island’s residents are named after him. On August 24 the locals honor Agios Dionysios with a three-day celebration. The imposing church is located in the town of Zakynthos, opposite the port. This building was one of the few that survived the earthquake of 1953.
The patron saint of the island was born in Zakynthos in 1547 and became known as the Saint of Pardon ,as the history says, after his brother’s murderer confessed to him and Agios Dionysios forgave him.
Zakynthian courtyards are blooming, serenades are rekindled in the main town and some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches await you right here, including the famous Shipwreck. Among the places to see in Zakynthos are the church of Agios Dionysios, the hill of Bohali, the Blue Caves and the beaches where the loggerhead sea turtles lay their eggs.
Olive trees and vines make this island land beautiful and offer their rich produce to the locals and the visitors (if you manage to visit in Easter you’ll be amazed by the blooming gardens of the houses in the valley, and by the countryside flooded with colors) while if there’s something truly distinctive about the island is its clear turquoise waters.
The caretta - caretta turtle (loggerhead sea turtle) has chosen Zakynthos as its nesting land, and that’s why there exist fully protected zones.
The island is blessed with a jagged coastline, picturesque villages, a hilly interior and a few of the best beaches in Greece.
“Shipwreck” beach is probably the most photographed beach in Greece and certainly the most famous beach of Zakynthos.
And not without reason. The famous Shipwreck alone is worth the trip to the island. White sand, milky blue waters and towering white rocks. Located in the west of the island, the beach is accessible only by boat. You can also admire it from above, from an iron platform hanging in the void, near the village of Anafonitria.
The story behind the famous shipwreck is that the ship, which was illegally carrying duty-free cigarettes from Turkey, was forced to run aground on the beach in 1983, probably due to mechanical failure. After that began the looting of the ship. As it was abandoned, everyone used to go there, in the beginning out of curiosity, later only for looting. They took everything they could carry. The whole ship got stripped and it stayed there, a ripped wreck to be beaten by the wind, to be destroyed and rusted by the sea and the waves. In the meantime gradually more and more stones piled up around the ship’s frame cutting off surely the contact of the ship with the sea. This is when the first photos were taken and the forgotten Bay of Spirilis became famous taking new names: “Navagio” and “Smugglers Cave”. Today, the wrecked ship has almost sunk into the fine sand and its rust makes the best contrast with the unreal aquamarine sea and the brightness of the pristine landscape.
Anything that goes into the water automatically turns turquoise. An incredible, pure blue color stains everything. In the Blue Caves at the north-eastern end of the island, the colors are simply stunning. The Caves were discovered at the end of the last century and since then thousands visit them every year. Take one of the small boats that depart from the port that fit inside the Caves.
Don’t miss the opportunity to dive into the waters of the cave; open your eyes underwater and admire this unique iridescent shade of blue.
Only fairy tales have always a good end…& sometimes , however, the reality comes to add a final touch to the masterpiece of nature!