Everything you need to know about Zakynthos (Zante) in the most up-to-date guide to the island!

Zakynthos blog

The women of Kiliomenos are busy bees...

Kiliomenos Bell tower In the mountainous village of Kiliomenos you can find the Women's Agricultural Cooperative  known as Melissiotises (melissa being the Greek for bee). Melissiotises run their own shop where Zakynthian agricultural produce is shared aplenty. Tens of families are subcribed to the scheme each producing fresh and organic products using traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation.

You know Spring is here...

Easter is the biggest religious celebration in Greece. Zakynthos in particular, celebrates Easter with much formality. The festival culminates with Good Friday, Easter Saturday  and Easter Sunday. Good Friday symbolises Jesus' crucifixion and burial day. The community is in mourning and dark clothes are customarily worn. The crucifix is solemnly carried around the town and the sentiment is felt everywhere whilst shops remain closed and dark scarves hang from the balconies. The first news of Jesus' Resurrection comes at mid-day on Great Saturday. Traditionally ceramic pots filled with water are dropped from the balconies onto the streets below. Later at midnight the town celebrates the 'Anastasis' with a cascade of fireworks and joyous bell tolls.

Travel Tips for a more enjoyable stay at Zakynthos

Marina compiles a long list of essential DOs and DON'Ts!
Hopefully this list will make your stay at Zakynthos more enjoyable!

Zante facts & figures

  1. Is situated 18 km from Kyllini port in mainland Peloponnisos
  2. Is the Southern most and 3rd largest island of the Ionion
  3. Covers an area of 406 square km and its coastline is roughly 123 km Is approximately 300 km west of Athens, capital of Greece

The... poetics of baking!

I dare you to walk past Kostas' bakery at No 18 Eleftheriou Venizelou Street in Zakynthos town and manage not to give in to your sense of smell. Kostas' approach to baking is similar to that of an artist creating a rich tapestry of colour and sensations. He says, "bakery is the art that sweetens the sour moments of our life". Kostas is very mindful of his work being close to nature since all the ingredients he uses come from natural sources. He likens the poiesis of baking to that of a lover and the journey through the senses (smell, taste, touch, seeing and hearing). If you think Kostas' poetic language is just hot air wait till you experience some of his scrumptious creations. We visited Kostas' bakery 'To Paradosiako' (translating into 'Traditional') and asked him to show us a traditional Zakynthian recipe.

 

Escape to nature...

We arrived at Antonis' farm early in the morning... So keen were we to experience agricultural life on the island. Koiliomeno at 8 am – a July Monday morning. But days, dates and time are the last things on your mind as you are standing there, surrounded by the blue skies (with a hint of the sunrise colours still in the atmosphere), cockerels signalling the new day (in their distinctive 'kikirikou' fashion) and the smell of fresh bread mixed with that of a freshly baked Greek coffee. Right there as you enjoy the gently breeze against your face and while you anticipate the day ahead everything else just feels so small, far away, insignificant. Free, light and alive... that is how I felt that morning.

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