In addition to tourism, agriculture is an important source of income for the residents of the Greek island of Zakynthos. The island is incredibly fertile: the many nutrients in the soil in combination with the climate - rain in the winter months and warm, dry summers - result in the easy growth of a large number of vegetables, trees and plants.
The island is known for its many fruit trees:
figs, lemons, oranges, almonds, walnuts, olives, pomegranates and grapes.
The island's population grows a lot of fruit and vegetables for their own use, such as tomatoes, zucchini, aubergines, beans and (water) melons. There are also delicious typical Zakynthian dishes, which are sometimes related to certain religious traditions.
For example, selective fasting is practiced in the run-up to Easter.
Certain products are not consumed and others are only prepared during that period, such as a dish of dried fish with mashed potatoes.
The agricultural companies are united in cooperatives, a form of self-organization aimed at increasing economic power and achieving economies of scale. The cooperatives are united in 'Zante Agricultural Cooperatives Union' which was founded in 1920.
27 cooperatives are united with a total of 2,150 farmers, who in this way strengthen each other in the sale of their products. They jointly manage a raisin factory, olive oil bottling facilities, a winery and an agricultural supplies store. They are also committed to using local products in restaurants and selling them in shops on the island and beyond.
The women's cooperative Melissiotises in the mountain village of Kiliomenos maintains their own shop there, where they sell various regional products such as oil, wine, honey, cheese, jam, soap and candles.
During the trips with Experience Zakynthos, our guide, who was born and raised on the island, will take you to these traditional businesses.
We also visit a cheese factory and you can taste the local wine stored in these barrels.
In addition to the beautiful walks in nature, you will also learn more about the island's traditions, culture and daily life.