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Zacharo

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Zacharo (Greek: Ζαχάρω) is in Elis. Zacharo is situated on the coast of the Gulf of Kyparissia, a part of the Ionian Sea. The mountain Lapithas is to the north, and the Minthi is to the east. Northwest of the town, between mount Lapithas and the sea, is the Kaiafas Lake. Zacharo is 18 km south of Olympia, 28 km southeast of Pyrgos, 65 km northwest of Kalamata and 65 km west of Tripoli. The town is crossed by the Greek National Road 9/E55, that links Patra with Kalamata.

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The economy of Zacharo relies on tourism as well as on agriculture. The pleasant Mediterranean climate, long Zacharo beach, the Kaiafas Lake, the Thermal Springs of Kaiafas and the adjacent Lapithas mountain draw many tourists, especially in summer. The agricultural sector is also a major source of income for the local economy. It is based on the cultivation of olive trees, for the production of olive oil. The variety of olive tree which prevails in the area is the Koroneiki, which is one of the most distinguished in Greece. The olive oil produced is of extra-virgin quality and is mostly exported to the international market. The Zacharo tomato is famed for its sweetness. When ripe, it is loaded with sugars (mainly fructose and inulin) to the extent that the sugar crystals are visible to the naked eye. Cultivation of the Zacharo tomato is all but extinct, as the cultivar does not grow well in greenhouses, has a short season, and its extreme fleshiness makes the fruit heavy and liable to squeezing and decay when packed.

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