Away from the resorts there is plenty of old and authentic Zakynthos island charm in the Greek paradise of Zante. The picturesque, nostalgic Zakynthos Zante villages, offer small streets to wander through with coffee houses, and taverns dotted around. The tranquil serenity in these authentic Zakynthos Zante villages, the sun-faded and almost magical stone houses, delicious home-made cuisine and coffee, and the colour of clay and limestone, are truly authentic elements of Zakynthian life that you can taste, see and hear everywhere off the beaten track on this Zakynthos Zante holiday island.
Almost every resort on Zakynthos Zante island has, within short bike or walking distance, access to traditional Zakynthian hospitality. So you can easily step back in time and embrace the off the beaten track character of the Zakynthos island and meet the Zante locals, who are always very pleased to share theirZakynthos zante villages stories with you.
Off the main roads and out of the tourist resorts, you will discover another side of Zakynthos holiday island; filled with olive groves, vineyards, orange trees, lemon trees, and clear country air mixed with the enchanting scents of pine and wild herbs. However you choose to get around the Zante island you will be enchanted by the peaceful atmosphere in the monasteries and enjoy stunning panoramic views, such as those from the highest point of the island at the top of the Vrachionas mountain.
During the Zakynthos island tour Back to the Roots by Nefis Travel Zakynthos you can discover many of the hidden gems of Zakynthos, in a very relaxed page while strolling through the villages, a must for seekers of Authentic Zakynthos Zante, young and old.
The riza villages
The translation for riza is roots. These pictorials, nostalgically villages lay at the feet, as a string of pearls, of the Vrachionas Mountains. You could start from the village Lagopodo and visit the friendly monastery of the nouns called “Eleftherotria”. The next village will be Macherado with the famous Agia mavra church and the Agia mavra icoon. If you keep the church on your left-hand side you will continue on the “riza” road. At the end you find the village of Pigadakia, what means little wells, with its fantastic folklore museum “Verzagio” and the little church with its holy well.
Ηistorical sites in Zakynthos island
• Lofos Strani – where National poet, Dionysios Solomos, wrote the “Hymn to Freedom” which was later used for the Greek national anthem.
• The church of Agios Giorgios Filikon – where famous fighters, such as Kolokotronis and Niki Tara, gave their oath to Filiki Eteria. This was a very important element in the Greek Revolution of 1821.
• The Amphitheatre – where the Zakynthian love for theatre and music shines through.
• The Roma Museum – in this mansion, built in 1660 by the Roma family, visitors can enjoy a collection of family portraits, expensive paintings, ancient antique furniture, uniforms and a book collection.
• The Post-Byzantine Museum – which is located on the Dionysios Solomos Square. The Museum contains a large collection of icons from the Byzantine era, beautiful carved iconostases, wall paintings, sculptural works and a model of the city of Zakynthos in the period 1930-1950.
• The Solomos Museum – the Museum of Dionysios Solomos, Andreas Kalvos and other eminent personalities of Zakynthos is housed in a neoclassical building on San Marco square.