Of all their Ionian possessions the Venetians loved arrow-head shaped Zákynthos the most. Zante, fiore di Levante – ‘the flower of the East’ – they called it, and built a beautiful city on its great half-moon bay, which the earthquake in 1953 turned to rubble. Most of the villages were severely damaged as well: often only a bell tower was the only thing left standing.
Nevertheless, the disaster did nothing to diminish the soft, luxuriant charm of the landscape. The hills planted with grape and currant vines (most of the ones in your scone are grown from the island’s native small seedless grapes), the olive, citrus and almond that fill the lush fertile plain in the centre and and beautiful beaches that line the south and northeast coasts, hosting most of the resorts; tourism is by far the biggest source of income these days.
The Kéri peninsula and west coast (site of the famous but now off-limits ‘Shipwreck Beach’) is lined with spectacular white cliffs and caves and coves
Images by Dionysios Tsokos • Public domain, dronepicr, Nikolaos Kalergis, PD art, Public Domain