Zakynthos has a long history going back to prehestoric times. From 455 B.C. it was allied with the Athenians. During the Macedonian War, the island was occupied by the Macedonians, and afterwards by the Romans. Constantine the Great, during the Byzantine era, included Zakynthos in the province of Illyria. In 1084, the island was occupied by the Venetians; and from the end of the 12th century until 1357, by the French. In 1357, the De Toki dynasty settled on the island. In 1485, the Venetians occupied the island again. With the French Revolution in 1789 the Zakynthians brought the ideals of social equity and justice on the island. .In October 1798, the Turkish fleet occupied Zakynthos. On March 21, 1800, with a treaty between Turkey and Russia the island was established as the first independent Greek State of the Seven Islands and was effective for seven years. In 1830, Greece became independent and on May 21 in 1864, the Greek flag was raised on the island.
The big earthquake in 1953, destroyed most of the monuments of cultural development on the island and the few still remaining give only a slight hint of its glorious past. In the Museum, you can see the miniature of the town before the earthquake.
Zakynthos is a nature’s lover delight. Zakynthos beaches are famous for their natural beauty and their exotic emerald water. The most famous is the wonderful Navagio Beach (Shipwreck), which has soft white sand, turquoise waters, impressive cliffs around it and can be visited only by boat. Other beautiful beaches in Zakynthos are Gerakas, Agios Nikolaos, Kalamaki, Tsilivi and Spanzia. Most Zakynthos beaches on the eastern side of the island are organized, while the beaches of Zante in the western side are secluded.
For divers, Zakynthos Island is the very first choice in the Mediterranean Sea (mainly in the southwest of the island, where the most famous diving grounds (Keri - Caves) are situated. Take a sailboat out or go surfing. Make a trekking-tour in the mountain-areas. The beaches of Zakynthos are hosting the last and most important concentration of the protected Loggerhead "Caretta caretta" nesting sites in the Mediterranean. Every year, beginning from June through the end of August, the female Loggerheads come ashore at night to lay their eggs in the sand and then afterwards cover the nest.
Nightlife of Zakynthos is divided in two areas. For those wishing a quiet evening, Zakynthos' center center and Vassilikos village are the ideal locations. You can enjoy a dinner under the sounds of Zakynthian cantata in one of the restaurants and tavernas. Those who prefer more excitement suitable area are in the southern part of the island Argasi, Tsilivi, Laganas, Alykes and Kalamaki.
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