Zakynthos island, or else Zante, belongs to the Ionian islands. The Venetians had given to the island the name "Fiore di Levante", meaning the "Flower of the Orient" as the island has rich and dense vegetation, its mountains are covered with pines and its plains are particularly fertile.
This rich vegetation of Zakynthos is due to the mild Mediterranean climate of the island, characterized by a high level of rainfalls in winter and a lot of sunshine in summer. Because of the many rainfalls, Zakynthos is a very fertile island and its agricultural production is important. The main products cultivated on the island are olives, vineyards, and citrus.
Except for agriculture, the other source of income for the inhabitants of the island comes from increased tourism. Zakynthos is famous for its unspoiled natural environment, home to the endangered species of the sea turtle Caretta Caretta which goes there during the reproduction period. The monk seal Monachus Monachus also goes to Zakynthos to give birth. The sea turtle is protected by the international agreements and the Greek legislation.
Zakynthos is also famous for its amazing wonderful golden sandy beaches. The most famous beaches are as Vassilikos, Laganas, Tsilivi, and Alykes. Many of the island's beaches have become lively beach resorts proposing many hotels, restaurants, cafes, and bars but others have been declared protected areas for the reproduction of the Caretta-Caretta and have kept their natural beauty. This rare sea turtle usually goes to sandy beaches or isolated islets, like Pelouzo or Marathonisi.
Apart from its beautiful natural environment, Zakynthos also has a long and rich culture, much influenced by the Venetians. The island is known for its elegant musical tradition and for its special architecture, which is more evident in Zakynthos Town.