Zakynthos is the third largest of the Ionian Islands, after Kefallonia and Corfu, occupying an area of
406 square kilometers.The coastline has a length of 123 km.
While the shape of the island resembles an irregular triangle with Laganas Bay its base, and Cape Skinari its northern top.
According to the census of 2001, Zakynthos is the third most populated island in the Ionian Sea with a population of 38,680 inhabitants.
Around one third of this population is concentrated in the capital of the island, while the rest live in many villages scattered throughout the central and eastern part of the island.
According to the latest local government organization, the island is divided into six municipalities:
Zakynthos, Elation, Artemision, Alykes (headquarters in Katastari), Arcadia and Laganas.
The ground is 3/4 mountainous with its highest peak, Mount Vrachionas lying in the center of the island, while its geography features a strong asymmetry; the eastern part is smooth and flat, suitable for farming activities, while the west is wild with numerous coves and rocky shores.
The island has a lush vegetation, forests of pine trees and wild plants and olive groves, pine forests and aquatic plants in coastal shores.
Late autumn rainfalls give life to cyclamens, the sage and the nine species of orchids that grow on the island.
The scent of the sea lily, which grows in August in Laganas Bay, possibly due to the name il Fiore di Levante (the flower of the East).
Zakynthos is rich in fauna, with Caretta Caretta being the protagonist, and a stop-over of many migratory birds.
The island has a remarkable musical tradition and quirky local religious ceremonies.
Famous Zakynthian products include Verdea wine, excellent ladotyri cheese, nougats and aromatic body mists.
On festive days, Zakynthians love eating sesame seed candy (pasteli) and the traditional local fitoura from the picturesque candy carts, outside the temples.