Xigia is located on the north eastern coast of Zakynthos, and is just a small quaint beach with a few seasonal amenities, which is popular in the peak summer season. Agios Nikoloas is found 10 minutes drive north of Xigia, which is the largest village close by and is the gateway to the Blue Caves and Shipwreck Bay.
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As a traditional fishing village you will find plenty of fresh seafood dishes including calamari washed down with locally produced wine and Ouzo.
The harbour area is bustling by day, with visitors taking boat trips to the Blue Caves and to see the Shipwreck. At night, Agios Nikolaos is peaceful and has a small selection of tavernas and bars.
Early risers will find a fresh fish market at the harbour every day from approximately 8am until 10am.
Winery Oenopli – the estate spans over 17,000sqm of vineyards, which are located near to the village of Machairado (in the central, lowlands of the island). Producing a variety of wines, the winery is open for tours and tastings.
Solomos Winery – located 3kms behind Zakythnos Town, the Solomos winery produces several varieties of wine, and is open to the public for tastings and tours of the vineyard.
Callinico Winery – the 19,000sqm vineyard, is set in the village of Kalipado, near the villages of Tragaki and Vanato. The winery is open for tours and tastings.
Various boat excursions are available from most major ports / harbours in Zakynthos (Zakynthos Town, Keri,Agios Nikoloas, Alykes, Tsilvi), which offer a variety trips from: coastal day excursions, glass-bottom boats, ferries to the mainland (Killini) and Kefalonia.
Keri Caves – The caves are situated on the south western coast of the island. The white cliffs create a fantastic back drop as the stunning arches come out of the water. Along with the crystal clear waters, there are plenty of photo opportunities here and this boat trip is definitely worthwhile.
Blue Caves – Situated on the north of the island, in the region of Skinari, you will find the beautiful Blue Caves. Take a trip in a glass bottom boat and go right inside the caves to see the mesmerising rock formations, surrounded by the crystal blue waters.
Tsilvi Water Park – Located in the resort of Tsilvi, and built in 2010 the park offers a superb variety of slides, lazy river, children’s adventure water parks, and a large pool area. Restaurants and bars are set around the water park.
Water Village – Situated in the village of Sarakinado, located centrally on the island, Water Village has a great variety of slides and activities, along with a restaurant, gelateria, several snack bars and a poolside bar.
You can take a ferry from Zakynthos Town to the famous Olympia in the Western Peloponnese. Discover the birthplace of the Olympic games, exploring the ruins of places where ancient athletes once trained. In addition to the archaeological site, there is also a popular museum with exhibits of the modern day games.
Turtle spotting – The Gulf of Laganas offers fantastic boat trips for turtle spotting. The island is the main nesting ground for the Caretta Caretta Loggerheads and the turtles will always return to the same beach they were born on, to lay their eggs. With the help of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, it is ensured that all trips cause as little effect to the turtles as possible. You will be able to see the animals in their natural environment and will often see them come to the surface of the water for air.
Shipwreck Bay – Also known as Navagio Bay, this is one of the most famous beaches in the Mediterranean. You can only get here via boat and it does get very busy, so the earlier you go, the better. Boats leave throughout the day from various parts of the island, so you can get a bigger boat or smaller boat depending on the area.
Zakynthos town is definitely worth a visit, with brilliant local restaurants and tavernas, plenty of shopping opportunities, a lovely harbour and great night-time scene. The architecture here is strongly influenced by the Venetians, however unfortunately an earthquake in 1953 destroyed most of the buildings, so the Zakynthians have had to try and rebuild their town to replicate how it once was.
There are quite a few museums in Zakynthos town, such as The Museum of Post Byzantine Art in Solomos Square, The Museum of Solomos and Eminent Zakynthians and The Roma Mansion.
There are also several other museums around the island, such as the Helmis Natural History Museum in Agia Marina, the Naval Museum in Tsilivi, and the Exhibition Center of Caretta Caretta in Dafni.
There are a variety of Orthodox Churches within Zakynthos town, such as The Church of Saint Dionisius and The Church of Saint Nicholas.
St. Markos Church is the only Catholic Church on the island and is situated next to the Museum of Solomos and Kalvos.
Other churches are the St. Nicholas Kiliomenou Church, St. Mavra Church, Virgin Keriotissa Church, Church on the Sea and St. Elipsos Church.
There is a large concrete cross in Skiza, near Kambi Village, which can be seen from miles away. This honours those people who were thrown off the cliff in World War II during the Nazi occupation.
The ancient Venetian Castle of Zakynthos is in the region of Bochali. The area surrounding the castle has been beautifully preserved and is lovely to walk around. It was thought to have been built in around 1480 on the site of the Ancient Acropolis. The castle has been destroyed and re-built several times, from invasions and earthquakes alike, however even today when you visit, you will still be able to see plenty of remains from churches, the fortress, prisons and canons.
Towards the end of August the sleepy fishing villages of Agios Nikolaos and Volimes celebrate the festival of Varkarola. On this one evening a year boats leave from the harbour and circle the small island just off the coast of Agios Nikolaos under the moonlight. Traditional food and wine are served and local dancers dance to folk music.
Union of the Ioni...national event
There are several parades and festivals around Zakynthos Town.
Assumption of the...national event
On the 15th August every year, the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Assumption of Virgin Mary. Villages are decorated, festivals are held, traditional dances are staged and there is a generally a great festive atmosphere.
St Dionysios Daynational event
St Dionysios Day is an annual celebration of St Dennis, the patron saint of Zakynthos. A market selling clothes, souvenirs and household items is held in Zakynthos town and there is also a small fair. These celebrations usually last a few days but on 24th August there is a procession to St Dennis Church located on the sea front in Zakynthos town, the procession followed by fireworks and food being cooked and sold in the streets. In the smaller resorts and villages some shops do close on this date but they will remain open in the larger tourist resorts.
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