The Askos Stone Park in the Ionian island of Zakynthos is a wildlife sanctuary, a forest reserve, a natural zoo, an agricultural research ground, and even an archaeological site all blended in the 124-acre land. Nature lovers and children will love a visit to the part of the park which is open to visitors, while the rest of the area is used for fruit and animal food farming and as a conserved forest for the animals of the park to roam freely.
Askos park is run by a private collaboration that was opened to visitors in 2002. The park gets its name from the stone structures in the site which includes stone pavements, walls, old stables and cellars built with wood and stone and the famous basins carved in stone. They were made around 600 years ago for collecting rainwater.
Once you enter the park you can collect a bottle of water and walk along the pavement through the park. Almost all of the flora and fauna of the park are self-grown and only recently apple and peach trees have been added to a small part for research but without any chemical fertilizers. The natural fruits are supplied for sweet production.
The pride of the Askos park is its animals that thrive in their natural habitat. Hawks, doves and the grand peacocks can be seen in the park, while in divided sections are deer, rabbits, ponies, cows and horses, goats and sheep, turtles in the water and also the squirrel and small chinchilla families. Don’t forget to note the Platonia deer which are becoming rare in the world as well as the newcomers, the raccoons from North America. The keepers and guides will help you to feed the animals while you can even try a hand at milking the cows or collecting the olives.
Visiting is recommended when the sun is not as high as the animals may be in the shade. The park is in the north of Zakynthos in Volimes village.