Position, Land and Climate Zakynthos is the southernmost and third largest in both size and population of the Ionian Islands. It is situated 8,5 nautical miles south of Kefalonia, 9,5 nautical milew west of the Peloponese and approximately 300 kilometres west of the capital of Greece, Athens. Its geographical position ensures easy travel to the other islands and even the mainland of Greece. A short journey across the Peloponese brings one to the ancient city of Olympia, the birthplace and original venue of the Olympic Games. Due to the islands location, it is an ideal base to link up to the larger cities of Greece such as Patras, Athens and Thesaloniki. An island full of contrasts, Zakynthos consists of mainly woodland, with an abundance of pine tree covered mountains and fertile plains. In the north, east and south numerous picturesque beaches can be found, whereas in the west the imposing, rocky landscape has a number of sea caves such as the famous Blue Caves on the north-west of the island. The climate in Zakynthos is mild mediterranean with both heavy rainfall during the winter monthw and brilliant sunshine in the summer. The rich vegetation is probably due to this, and has resulted in the nicknames of Fior di Levante (Flower of the East) and Iliessa (full of woods) by the Venetians and Omiros respectively. It is productive island agriculturally, supported mainly by the cultivation of olives, raisins, citrus fruits. Apart from this, the main source of local income is from the recently developed business of tourism. The island has a wealth of history as for many centuries it was the crossroads for numerous nations and cultures. The Town of Zakynthos Zakynthos is the capital and port of the island, located at the foot of Bochali hill. It is a modern city, built after the old one was destroyed in the earthquake of 1953, a town that is constantly expanding toward the interior of the island owing to the great number of activities that have sprung up in recent years. Some of the sites worth visiting are: the monastery of Agios Dionysios where the holy remains of the saint are preserved; its interesting museums; the squares of Agios Markos and Dionysios Solomos; the shopping centre on Alex. Roma street and the coast road; Kon. Lombardou street or Strata Marina (as the local people call it), as well as a number of old churches that were either preserved or restored after the earthquake in 1953. Bochali, the district around the Castro, charms us with its quiet lanes and old houses, its flower-bedecked countryards and elegant tavernas in which old zakynthian music is played. br>Also of interest are the two hills: Strani, where Dionysios Solomos was inspired to write the "Ode to Liberty" which after being set to music, became the Greek national anthem; and Bochali, as mentioned earlier; on top of which is the Venetian Castro, with its superb panoramic view of the modern town of Zakynthos and the Ionian sea. The briefest stroll along the streets of the town is enough to convince the visitor that the efforts to preserve the pre-seismic Zakynthian atmosphere are not directed to the buildings alone but to its entire urban fabric. In Zakynthos everything is steeped in nostalgia, with a note of romanticism. The island's picturesque squares, Dionysios Solomos Square and Agios Markos Square, the long coast road, the Strata Marina, old Rougas Square and the modern Alexandrou Roma street, are all reminiscent of times past.