There is a quiet transformation taking place in the flower of the Levant, or the Fiore di Levante as Zakynthos or Zante was dubbed by its Venetian rulers in the past. This description fits the beautiful nature found here, as the island blossoms in early spring and late September to yield a bouquet of colors and scents. Idyllic forests, interesting flora and rare fauna are found across the island, inviting eco-friendly visitors to discover (and at the same time respect) the best that Zakynthos has to offer. The island's underwater streams ensure that nature and agriculture thrive beautifully here.
Hiking opportunities abound, and the walk from within the main town to the castle is a lovely urban hike in itself. More hard-core naturists will enjoy exploring the countryside around Ano Gerakari, a typical village on the island. Walking also further to Tragaki and Kipseli on the country roads will take you on a discovery of nature and friendly village folk. In Volimes, higher up on the northern side of the island, you can walk along gorgeous trails that take you up to the monastery of Agios Andreas. Another good hike is the one that takes you up to the village of Giri with views all the way to Kefalonia and Mainland Greece. Lastly, hike around the Keri Peninsula on the southern side of the island to enjoy amazing views of Laganas bay, then walk down to the crystal beach of Marathia before going on to Keri lake.
Over and above excellent hiking, the island offers opportunities for horseback riding through outstanding nature and beauty, or renting a bike to explore different parts of this natural paradise. Arguably the most important eco aspect of the island is the National Marine Park of Zakynthos that takes care of the high density of nesting turtles on the island (more than anywhere else in Greece and among the highest in the world). These wonderful creatures must be observed from a distance of 10-15 meters and their habitat must not be disturbed.
If you're an eco-conscious traveler, you would enjoy visiting the private cultural and agricultural Vertzagio in the Pigadakia area near Katastari. The space contains traditional village objects, gifts and more. There's also the small yet interesting Folklore Museum at Vassilikos that lends insight into the history of the island before the massive life-changing earthquake of 1953.
You must stop by the Askos Stone Park in Volimes, a beautiful area with local fauna and flora that will captivate you with the ambiance of Mediterranean mountainside. Goats, sheep, geese, rabbits, turtles, peacocks, squirrels and many more animals will be there to greet you.
One of the best ways to discover Zakynthos and learn about it is through its nature, landscape and wildlife. Keep your mind open to the natural beauties of the place and ancient traditions, and you will be blessed with a very enriching and rewarding stay on the island. The Maistrali Hotel is the finest base for you to embrace these wonderful adventures.