Zakynthos

 

Juni 2007

Zakynthos

Kalamaki

Grichenland

 

Bilder

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Zakynthos ist die südlichste der Ionischen Inseln. Zur nördlichen Nachbarinsel Kephalonia sind es 15 km. Zakynthos liegt der Nordwestspitze des Peloponnes gegenüber, 18 km vom Hafenort Kyllini entfernt. Der geringste Abstand zur Küste der Peloponnes beträgt gerade einmal 9,5 km.

Die Insel hat eine Fläche von 417 km² bei einer Länge von 40 km und einer Breite von 20 km. Sie hat die Gestalt eines Ovals mit einer nach Nordosten (Kap Schinari) gerichteten Spitze und einem tiefen Einschnitt im Südosten (Bai von Chieri), ist vulkanisch, den Erdbeben sehr ausgesetzt, wasserarm, im Osten flach, im Westen und Norden aber durch eine Kette von Kalksteinbergen gebirgig. Der höchste Berg ist der Vrachionas mit 758 m Höhe.

Südöstlich der Insel liegt der Brunnen der Inusses, die mit 4404 m tiefste Stelle des gesamten Ionischen Meeres.

Zu Zakynthos gehören die zwei Felseneilande Strofades, die nur ein altes Kloster beherbergen und sich einige Seemeilen entfernt südwestlich der Inseln im offenen Meer befinden.

Zakynthos liegt in der mediterranen Klimazone und hat somit Niederschläge vor allem im Winterhalbjahr. Allerdings ist die Jahresniederschlagsmenge recht hoch, wodurch eine üppige Vegetation entsteht. Diese Niederschläge entstehen im Winter wenn sich die Luft über dem warmen Ionischen Meer mit Feuchtigkeit vollsaugt und die Wolken dann von West nach Ost an der griechischen Westküste und somit auch in Zakynthos das erste Mal auf Land treffen und sich dort abregnen.

Zakynthos has a varied terrain, with fertile plains in the southeastern part and mountainous terrain with steep cliffs along the coasts on the west. Zakynthos town coordinates are: latitude 37.79139/37°47'29 N, longitude: 20.89528/20'53'43 E.
The mild, Mediterranean climate and the plentiful winter rainfall endow the island with dense vegetation. The principal products are olive oil, currants, grapes and citrus fruit.

The flag of Zakynthos
The capital, which has the same name as the prefecture, is the town of Zakynthos; apart from the official name, it is also called Chora (i.e. the Town, a common denomination in Greece when the name of the island itself is the same as the name of the principal town). According to the 2001 census, the island has a population of 38,957.
The most famous Zakynthian is the 19th century poet Dionysios Solomos, the principal modern Greek poet and author of the national anthem of Greece. His statue adorns the main town square. Also Juan de Fuca (Ioannis Focas) was born here.
The island has one airport, the Dionysos Solomos Airport (on former GR-35) in its southwest which connects flights with other Greek airports. Further southwest is the National Marine Park of Zakynthos where loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) are found in (the bay of Laganas). Caretta caretta is an endangered species - especially by the deck chairs laid out on their breeding grounds and the inevitable pollution. Every year beginning in June the female turtles come to the southern beaches in order to bury their eggs in the sand. The incubation period for the nest is approx. 55 days, after which time hatchlings emerge from the nest and make their way to the sea. The survival rate for hatchlings is very small and it is estimated that only 1 in 1000 hatchlings that enter the sea live to adulthood. Each nest contains around 100 to 120 eggs, each of which are around the size and shape of a ping-pong ball. Females turtles begin to lay nests at around 20 to 30 years of age.
The port of Zakynthos has a ferry connecting to the port of Kyllini on the mainland. Another ferry connects the village of Skinari to Argostoli on the island of Kefalonia.

The island of Zakynthos (NASA World Wind satellite picture)
The Zante currant, a small sweet seedless grape is native to the island.

  • Island length: 40 km
  • Island width: 20 km
  • Highest point: Vrachionas, 758 m

Sites of interest include Shipwreck Bay, Cape Skinari and the Blue Caves. The western part of the island is accessible and has a panoramic view of the sea. The ridge area from Anafontria has an observation deck which overlooks the shipwreck and there is a monastery nearby.
Keri is located in the far south of the island. It is a mountain village and has a lighthouse in the south. It includes a panorama of the southern part of the Ionian Sea.

For tourism, Zante has campsites and beaches including a beautiful one near Keri around 100 m in length which is surrounded by cliffs. The island also offers a numerous amount of arches and cliffs which are famous. One of the arches is underground. Several documentaries were filmed around that part of Zakynthos/Zante. Other campsites include Camping Alykes. Beaches are in Porto Limnionas, Porto Vromi and Porto Zoro.

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