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Zakynthos Town, Greece

The town of Zakynthos, Zante as it is called by the locals and known to foreign tourists, keeping the Venetian version of its name, is situated at the foot of the lovely hill of Bohali. It is the capital of the island and counts some more than 11.000 permanent residents; its port is the biggest of the island and it is here that arrive the ferries from Kyllini at the opposite coast of Peloponnese.

The town had been totally destroyed by the strong earthquake, followed by fire that occurred in 1953, but it has been soon restored and today the visitor can see a town with two faces: the old medieval one, with imposing buildings and monuments and the modern one, that of a quickly developing town, with all facilities, amenities and services of a modern city. Thus, the once small coastal town is being extended to the inland.

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As Zakynthos receives many visitors not only in summer but also in Christmas, Carnival and Easter, a good number of the lodgings available in town are open all year round. The visitor may choose from a wide range of hotels of all categories, as well as studios and rooms to let, suitable for families and a good alternative for low budgets.

You will certainly enjoy eating in the town of Zakythos. There are various local dishes, all of them gorgeous; even if some of them seem to have peculiar names (as “fytoura” for example) do not hesitate to taste them. And, if you are lucky enough, you may find one of those traditional taverns, where the waiters may leave their work for some time and take their musical instruments and offer (free of charge!) the sensitive local music and songs to the customers. Apart from taverns you will find any other place for eating drinking and enjoying yourself, whatever is your age, company or status. Pastry shops, cafes, bars, snack bars, clubs with foreign and Greek music, discos and fast foods are found at the beach and the central squares of the town. And if you like dancing and loud, “hot” music, the place for you is off the city center, in the area with the discos, where you may enjoy yourself until early in the morning.

You will combine your strolling around the town with shopping. A lot of stores are found in the center of the town; they will impress you with their nice windows and the lovely signboards. And, if you choose to do your shopping in the stores where the locals go, you will enjoy a service totally different from this usual to tourist places. It is worth discovering it!

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For swimming you may go to the oblong beach northern to the port. Although it is among the best beaches of the island, it offers many facilities: it is near the center, several alternatives for sports (tennis, basketball and volleyball) are nearby and it also offers sea sport and yachting facilities. It is one of the beaches the locals choose for spending some hours of their weekend.

If you feel like leaving the town, you may swim at the beach of Kryoneri, some 2-3 kilometers more at the North. Parking is easier here and you will enjoy swimming in a crystal clear sea with an interesting rocky seabed, suitable for snorkeling.

And, of course, you may go even farer, to the sandy beach of Tsilivi (7,5 kilometers to the North) or to the more touristy Kalamaki (6 kilometers to the South), or in any another beach; distances are quite short in Zakynthos and the beaches are so many!
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The commonest and most popular way to access Zakynthos is by ferryboats.

Several ferries depart every day from the port of Kyllini in the Peloponnese all year round, as Zakynthos is not only a tourist destination in summer, but receive also many visitors traveling for professional reasons, for week-ends or for shorter or longer holidays. You will arrive there by public buses (from Athens or Thessaloniki), or by rented or private car and motorbikes.

Access to the town is possible by plane: there are flights from Athens, Thessaloniki, Corfu, Cefallonia and Preveza (Action) at the opposite coast of Epirus. The airport of Zakynthos “Dionyssios Solomos is situated some 5 kilometers southeastern to the town of Zakynthos; from the airport you will arrive to the town by the Olympic Airways buses, by public bus or taxi.

The town itself is connected with the villages and the most popular tourist resorts by tourist buses, with frequent service. But, of course the most interesting way to see and feel the island is by car, rented or private, or, even better, by motorbike. Several places in short distance from the town are found in flat areas, so a good means to visit them is by bicycle. As you, probably, have not brought your bicycle along, you may rent one in the town of Zakynthos.
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