Set in the Ionian Sea, Zakynthos is one of the Ionian Islands sitting south west of Cephalonia. The island is famous for it's olive trees and honey. The honey is renowned in Greece with people coming from Athens to buy it, and the olive trees provide the finest quality olive oil.
Northern Zakynthos is very different to the south, it is green, mountainous and lush with an abundance of trees, the hillsides being clothed in mediterranean pine, cypress and myrtle. At the far north-eastern point nestles the small village of Korythi, this is where Villa Aeolus is situated.
Aeolus is ideally placed to explore the northern part of the island. Driving west over the mountainous spine of the island will take you to Volimes, a traditional mountain town with a rich diversity of local produce for sale including beautiful pottery, lace and rugs. In the labyrinth of lanes and alleyways you will see the most interesting architecture, some of which survived the 1953 earthquake. There are several monasteries, some in use, some in ruins, which can be reached by car or by planning a walk through the pine woods. The western coastline also has stunning cliffs from which to watch the waves crashing hundreds of feet below, soaring peregrine falcons or the magical mediterranean sunset.
Korythi is at the very northern tip of the island, from the airport you will take the coastal road and will witness the spectacular views of the sea, mountains and craggy inlets. You will pass through the little fishing port of Agios Nikolaos (pictured above) where the daily ferry for Cephalonia leaves. Here you will find a lively promenade with shops and tavernas from which you can watch the fishing boats and harbour life whilst you relax with a coffee or a cool drink. One of the tavernas sits right on the waters edge and is a most romantic location for dinner. Here there is also a small very safe sandy beach and it is just 3 kilometres from Aeolus Villa. In the opposite direction just around the corner from the house you can follow the road to the lighthouse and windmill, see spectacular views of Cephalonia only a few kilometres away and take boat trips to the famous Blue Caves
Zakynthos town some 36 kilometres away is a bustling lively town, the perfect place for a day's browsing with everything from market stalls to classy jewellery shops. Visit the museum or the beautiful churches, learn about the Venetian architecture of Zakynthos and the earthquake of 1953. Take a day trip round the island or over to the mainland. For those in the mood you will find good night life and an open air cinema.
In the most southerly part of the island is Laganas and it's bay, more widely known as a busy resort for the partygoers, it is also the breeding ground of the endangered leatherback turtle, Caretta Caretta, and it is here that you can visit the sanctuary developed to protect these wonderful creatures.
(Top) The lighthouse and superb views over to Cephalonia.
(Middle) One of the smaller beaches, shallow waters ideal for beginners (swimmers) and children.
(Below) Mikro Nisi, a hidden gem nestling inside a craggy inlet. Here there is greek village life and serving locally caught fresh fish, an excellent restaurant overlooking the natural harbour. Boat trips come and go from here and is a popular spot for a lazy lunch or swim.