ICSIMAT Conference 22-26 September 2023, Zakynthos, Greece
Zakynthos, island of big contrasts for the presence of golden beaches and massive rocky coasts, benefits from a Mediterranean temperate climate with mild winters and cool summers; the generous winter rains favour the growth of thick vegetation and assure a remarkable water reserve.
That is why the island is very “green” and in the past both Homer and the Venetian rulers used to call it “wooded” and “Levant flower”.
The very warm waters that wash the coast favour a particularly long tourist season (from May till the end of October) made Zakynthos an object of international interest especially because in the southern part of the island the CARETTA-CARETTA turtles breed; they are a rare specimen protected by the Greek legislation with a new marine park.
Along the rocky, western coasts the seals Monachus Monachus breed too and they are also protected by the local administrative authorities.
The town and the capital of the island is built in the eastern part of the island, at the foot of the hill Mpochali. It is a modern city built after the earthquake of 1953, which expands, is formed and continuously improved in recent years to meet the ever increasing activities in the tourism and cultural sectors. The imposing traditional buildings with arches, arched windows and picturesque squares retain the traditional style of the old city. Here is the main port of the island connecting Zakynthos Peloponnese. Also every day boat trips go round the island to enjoy the Shipwreck Blue Caves, Marathonissi and many other attractions.
Solomos Square, in the center of the coastal highway Lomvardou (Strata Marina), surrounds the neoclassical buildings of the National Bank, the Post Byzantine Museum, City Hall, the Municipal Library and hosts the statue of the national poet Dionysios Solomos.
Going to the city and through a picturesque pedestrian encounter cafes, bars and restaurants busy during the whole year. Arriving in traditional paved San Marco Square meet the neoclassical building of the Mausoleum Solomos and Eminent-Kalvou Zakynthos as well as the Catholic Church of San Marco and the traditional clock. The Catholic Church follows the traditional model element that gives a grandeur and charm the visitor.
From this point the route starts on May 21 associated with Alexander Roma where there is a shopping center with traditional Venetian arches. It has a great variety of shops for all needs of the local population and visitors. In the city center, in place is the Prefecture of Zakynthos which hosts many public services.
Zakynthos town there are many impressive churches and foremost that of St. Dionysios, patron of the island, where it is kept and holy relic. The towering steeple and many works of art, images and murals inside the church will really impress you. Also worth admiring the Temple of Faneromeni with its medieval bell tower was rebuilt as it was first built with hewn stone them. Even traditional churches are those of Our Lady of Angels and St. Nicholas shore where built as they were before the earthquake of 1953.
Moreover, in the town of Zakynthos is worth visiting the Museum of Occupation and National Resistance housed at the Cultural Center, the Folk Museum located in Leonidas Zois, home of G. Xenopoulos where he spent his childhood. The area has been formed and has now become a museum.
Just 1 km Located at the foot Mpochali which is built, as mentioned before, the town of Zakynthos. Worth admiring the panoramic view offered by the region after lie ahead for the town and the majestic waters. In the picturesque district of Mpochali with cobblestone streets, flower gardens and shops with traditional serenades really enchanted. A visit to the Venetian castke and the pine forest. Even prior to ascend Mpochali must pass the hill Strani in which our national poet inspired the national anthem.
Captain Corelli’s paradise lost: beautiful beaches, delightful ports, a national park and locals always game for a laugh
In the Ionian Sea, between other exotic islands, stands grand Kefalonia. Much photographed, much talked about, much loved, by Greeks and foreigners alike. Not just because of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, the 2001 film that attracted so much attention, but also because of its sheer beauty, its stately towns and many other impressive attractions.
Argostoli, Lixouri, Fiskardo, Assos, Lake Melissani… here the names alone are something to conjure with! This, the largest of the Ionian islands, with its sparkling azure waters, dazzling beaches and deep emerald green mountains, has been a popular holiday spot for decades. The inhabitants of Kefalonia have a reputation for being the wittiest Greeks – always ready with a joke, a smile and a helping hand. Their laid-back attitude toward life is infectious and within hours of your arrival, you’ll feel as carefree as they do.
Things to do in Kefalonia
Argostoli, the fun-loving capital
Set alongside a deep bay, Argostoli has a funky charm that grows on you as you sit in the lively main square with the locals, the majority of whom are night owls. Rummage in the market, stroll down its handsome flagstone streets and sip the famous Robola wine in its welcoming cafes and bars.
Explore a bit and you’ll find monuments left over from the 19th century British Protectorate period. And for an in-depth introduction to island culture from the 15th to the 20th century, pay a visit to the outstanding Corgialenios Historical and Cultural Museum, one of the finest in Greece, and to the extensive Corgialenios library. The capital of Kefalonia will add a cultural flair to your holidays.
Mt. Enos: the ‘Black Mountain’
The highest mountain in the Ionian, Enos takes its name from the black pine (Abies Cephalonica) that once covered it completely and grows nowhere else. It has been a national park since 1962, known for its wealth of wild flowers. It’s also home to a special breed of pony, Equus cabalus.
You’ve probably seen these beaches before on posters and postcards or in scenes from films, because they’re among the most gorgeous in the Mediterranean. Their waters cover the entire range of blues and greens, lapping against pure white sand or smooth round pebbles.
Myrtos, perhaps the most spectacular, lies at the bottom of towering limestone cliffs. But don’t miss Petani and Skala. Or Poros, where the forest is reflected in the sea, intensifying the colour. Makry Gialos, whose turquoise waters rock to the music of beach bars, gives a cosmopolitan touch. And Xi, where pale green waves meet fine red sand, offers an unforgettable change of pace. The beaches of Kefalonia are waiting to be discovered.
To enjoy everything Kefalonia has to offer, fly with Aegean.
Assos: perfection in miniature
Many people think this tiny port is the prettiest settlement on the island. You’ll catch your first glimpse of it from above. Built on a narrow strip of land, its few houses hug the shore, keeping their traditional Venetian-era character amidst a host of tall plane, poplar, palm and olive trees. The 16th century Venetian castle presiding over the whole scene is too invites you to climb up to take a closer look.
Fiskardo, sailors’ haven
Another enchanting miniature, the picturesque port of Fiskardo is hardly a secret to sailors and celebrity yacht owners. But landlubbers love it too for its charming 18th century buildings, which give it a feeling of timelessness that transcends the cheerful hubbub in its popular fish restaurants and boutiques.