Zante Zakynthos Villages - Keri
Keri Village - Zante Zakynthos Greece
Keri actually refers to two villages of Zante; a small village with a hill top location nestled amongst verdant scenery and another known as Keri Lake where there is a small port and a nice beach - both villages are traditional with the local residents being mostly occupied with agriculture.
Tourism in Keri is mainly in the Keri Lake area due to the proximity of the sea. Keri is in the southwest of Zante and is about 15 km from the capital city. It has a rich history having been referred to in the past by Herodotus who praised the area for its combination of sea, pine forests, valleys and streams and it was also a popular haunt for pirates. Today Keri is renowned for the quality of its olive oil and wine; reputed to be the best on Zante!
Keri residents are famed for their love of songs, dancing and music and also their popular street theatre called "Omilies" (speeches) - events that the whole village enjoys.
The houses in Keri were relatively untouched by the devastating earthquake in 1953 and the surviving stone houses show the traditional Zakynthian style of architecture, this makes it an important village to help preserve some of the ancient history of Zante. It also has a charming town square, with impressive sea views.
The village has a pretty stone church called Panagia Kerriotissa (Our Lady of Keri), with a fine bell tower and impressive icons. On the outskirts of the village, 300m above sea level stands Keri's lighthouse built more than a century ago to guide ships around the island. This is a truly picturesque place with magnificent views over two enormous pyramid shaped white rocks called Megali (large) and Mikri (small) Myzithra which jut out from the sea providing a spectacular backdrop for breathtaking sunsets - thought to be amongst the best in Greece - a great location for any couple to enjoy a romantic evening.
Keri Lake is about 4 km away from Keri village - nowadays it seems a bit of a misnomer as there is no lake; however there was a lake here in the past containing oil which the locals used to caulk their ships. It is thought that this lake fed many of the springs in the area such as the well known Herodotus Spring, an asphalt spring still visible today.
A small harbour is located at Keri Lake, offering sheltered mooring for boats and also some boat trips like the one to uninhabited Marathonisi Island which is opposite Keri beach. Marathonisi Island has a lovely sandy beach "Marathia" which is a breeding ground for the endangered Caretta Caretta turtles.
Boat trips will give you the chance to admire the Kamares of Marathia - arches that have been formed from rocks protruding from the sea and which are big enough for small boats to sail through. Also in the vicinity and accessible by boat are several blue caves, so called because of the pretty reflections formed from the sunlight sparkling on the azure water. The caves are a popular spot for divers to glimpse the wide variety of fish visible in this area and a diving school operates from Keri Lake offering diving courses and information about the location of good diving spots in the area. There are many good tavernas and cafes lining the beach and harbour at Keri Lake, many of which are family run and guarantee friendly service.
Any visit to Keri will be memorable due to the unspoilt natural surroundings as well as the culture, traditions and friendliness of the locals. It is the ideal place for families and couples to enjoy tranquil, relaxing, hassle free holidays and once visited it is sure you will want to return!
Click to enlarge