Zante / Zakhyntos


Tourism, economics and architecture in Zakhyntos. (General Part)


Economic activities in are highly touristic oriented in Zakhyntos, which has been a constant in all the visits we have made in the Ionian Sea area. In Zakhyntos the tourist guidance is maximized. The primary activities have been greatly reduced compared with the past. Nearby Zakhyntos, on the central road, lie most industrial estates services in the island.

Predominates mass-tourism but also you can visit places where tourism is not crowded. The paradigm of the mass is found in the bay of Laganas. We can see an image of the beach of Laganas and other images from the main entertainment street of Laganas. Definitely a déjà vu.


As for the less crowded and better preserved, we can mention the entire Peninsula of Vassiliki area. On one hand, the west, a total protection of nature, because of the turtles who come to its shores, and on the other, the east, beautiful beaches remain fairly untouched, though with the risk of losing that feature. When we approach Zakhyntos, for example Argassi, increases again the overcrowding tourism.


In overcrowded areas you can see a pattern that trivializes the tourist circuit. In Zakhyntos, rather than charter boats, in tourist excursions predominates the "golondrina-boat". Star Visits are Shipreck bay, Marathonissi and the blue caves of the north. Other claims are curious: the biggest flag or a cross to which are associated different restaurants.


To a limit we have even experienced what we call "landscape pattern of monopolization" as some restaurants and various businesses manage to funnel tourists obligatorily through their business in order to be able to enjoy some scenery.


Thanks to tourism crisis has not been as strong in Zakhyntos as elsewhere in Greece. Even so, wandering through downtown Zakhyntos, is noted that not everything is as before.


In terms of architecture in Zakhyntos we focused much more on the churches and monasteries. Due to earthquakes most houses are new and maximum two floors so we have not paid attention to them. Instead we have seen churches and monasteries that survived the earthquakes that have been rebuilt.

It have continued drawing our attention the details of some doors, like the church of Ayos Theodoros in KATASTARI or Faneromeni in Zakhyntos.


In the church of Faneromeni we have seen the frescos, which has been repainted -those the Archduke did not like too much-. We have been impressed by the remains of frescos in the monastery ruins of Ayos Andreas, and we detected traces of stucco in the tower which is next to the monastery of Ayos Yoannis Prodomos.


Also interesting is the variety of bell-towers that can be seen on the island. The one that impressed us more: the Ayos Dionysus, reaching Zakhyntos, and much like Venice; also the Kiliomeno or the Faneromeni.


In Zakhyntos you can breathe Venice, the land of the teachers, like other islands in the Adriatic and Ionian. A simple walk around the harbor reflects this. Visiting the San Marco Catholic Church we could observe the contrast between the Catholic and Orthodox churches -see for example the inside of Faneromeni-.


As we said before earthquakes have affected many Zakhyntos Island. We see for example that, along with Kiliomeno bell-tower, is no longer the school who photographed the Archduke. Today construction techniques are used to minimize the impacts of earthquakes.


Will be back soon with new blogs relating to this General Part, including flora, fauna and agriculture.

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