General information about Zakynthos
Zacinto, commonly called Zakynthos by the past poets, is the southern and third biggest island belonging to the Ionie’s group of islands.
It covers an area of 405 squared kilometres where a bit more than 35.000 inhabitants live and is located 300 km west from Athens and 9,5 marine miles from the Peloponneso coast from where it is reachable by a regular ferry service.
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.
In addition to the wonderful natural landscape, Zakynthos offers the possibility to visit numerous deserted small islands that surround it like Pelouzo and Marathonissi in the Lagana’s Bay, St. John in front of Porto Vromi and the Strofades.
The latter are two small islands 27 nautical miles south from Zakynthos which are part of the marine park due to their beauty.
In the last years the island has undergone a progressive development to offer tourists modern infrastructures keeping its traditional aspect still visible both in the restaurants along the seashore and the small villages in the outback; this traditional aspect of the past together with the joy of life and hospitality of its inhabitants will touch you from the very first day.
When to come
May: summer season starts with hot days and fresh evenings.
The island of Zante is still empty with few tourists and it’s the ideal time to find lonely and relaxing beaches.
The sea is mostly flat as there aren’t strong winds and Zakynthos has a gorgeous nature full of flowers.
June: it starts to be very hot and beaches become the perfect place where to stay all day long.
Also the temperature of the sea starts to be perfect and the beaches begin to be filled with tourists.
This is the best month to sleep in the night!
July: it’s very hot… but a fresh wind will save you every afternoon.
The tourism start to be massive and people from all the Europe come to Zante island to spend their holidays.
In order to sleep well in the night it would be better to have the air condition.
August: the same hot weather as in July but with more humidity.
In this month you’ll see Zakynthos full of tourists, especially from Italy, who fill beaches during the day and night clubs during the night.
This is the ideal month for those who love crowd of people and night life!
September: the weather temperature starts to be nice and the beaches which are less crowded are perfect in the midday. There are few rainy days that change into a blue sky with a hot sun.
This is a perfect month to relax in contact with nature without mass tourism.
Zakynthos’ telephone code: +30 26950 (to put before the numbers listed below)
Police: 22100 / 48266 / 24470
Tourist Police: 24482 / 24484
Harbour Office: 28117 / 28118
Fire Bridge: 22199
Bus Station: 42656 / 22255
Radio taxi: 48400
Post Office: 42418
Post Code: 29100
During the Summer season, from May to October, rain is very rare and the temperatures are between 30° and 40°C.
A fresh breeze is very often blowing and the wind, the Mistral, typical of this island raises in the early afternoon from North to South.
Below are presented some temperatures (in °C) which are usually felt during Summer period.
|Relative humidity in %||60||58||56||60||62||64|
Useful information about Greece
Documents: if you are E. U. citizens no special papers are needed to visit Greece, all the other citizens need their passports and for more info they can contact their embassies or consulates in Greece.
Animals: before being carried to this land they need a health certificate and an antirabic prophylaxis.
The validity of the certificate has to be more than 12 months for dogs, more than 6 months for cats and it has to be made at least 6 days before arrival.
Health: in Zakynthos town you can find the hospital where you can ask for help showing your sanitary card.
There are few private clinics and doctors who speak English in the city and almost every village has a pharmacy.
Clothing: only in churches and monasteries proper clothes are required (trousers or long skirts and t-shirts with sleeves).
Some churches supply shawls to the visitor who is not properly dressed just before the visit.
Clock: time in Greece is two hours ahead the Greenwich’s meridian.
Like everywhere in Europe also in Greece, in the Summer season (March – September) the daylight saving time is effective.
Something curious … Time in Greece is conceived in a very particular way: here time is not running, there is no such concept of “being on time” and the clock is just something to wear.
The Greeks themselves are aware of taking it easy under every respect (but not in serving the tourist!) up to the point that G.M.T. is not considered as the Greenwich Meridian Time, but as the Greek Maybe Time!
Electricity: outlets in Greece are double and not triple; therefore we suggest travelling with an adaptor.
Roads: the island has an efficient road network, with main roads, secondary and no-asphalted ones leading to the most unthinkable places.
The roads on Zante island are not always in a good condition, so be careful and don’t forget your security belt!
Telephone: there are many public telephone boxes from which it is possible to make telephone calls with pre-paid telephone cards that you can buy in every local shop.
It is possible to make national and international telephone calls also from the OTE’s office (Greek Organization of Telecommunications) open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 14:00. In the office there are also some positions for public use.
Money: being as well member of the European Community, the currency in Greece is Euro. The most famous credit cards can be used in Zante to pay accommodation, restaurants, rentals etc… Also the traveler cheques can be changed in every bank or exchange office.
Tips in restaurants are not obligatory, it’s up to you.