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Strofadia island Zakynthos

Strofades or Strofadia are a cluster of islets from two small islands in the Ionian Sea, 27 nautical miles south of the cape Gerakas of the island. The largest and southern of the two islands is called Stamphani, a rocky island about one kilometer long and the smallest Arpia. During the first half of the 13th century the Emperor of Nikeas, Theodore Laskaris the 1st, was the founder of the Holy Monastery of Strofadi. As was the custom of byzantine emperors it was dedicated to Jesus Christ. According to the historian L. Zois, the Emperor John Paleologos renovated the monastery, approximately in the year 1440 a.d. The few visitors, who will be able to get there, will see the empty tomb of St. Dionysios and will meet the only monk-hermit who is watching the monastery today. It is said that Saint Dionysios once lived in the monastery. The two islands are administratively owned by the municipality of Zakynthos and their permanent residents in 2001 were the 58 monks of the Monastery. The Strofades or Strofadia Islands are part of the National Marine Park as they are a spawning site for over 1200 species of migratory birds that fly every year in Africa and then return here to rest, so Strofades is part of the Zakynthos Marine Park . In the past these islands considered them the most fertile in Greece, there are still gardens with fruits and vegetables.


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