Things to Do in Kastos, Halkidiki

Things to do in Kastos

The electric blue waters that lap Kastos’s shores are an irresistible lure for swimmers, snorkellers and sailors. The secluded beaches and paradisiacal bays that dot the east coast are also a draw.

There’s a little bar in an unused windmill on the southern coastline that serves drinks with views to die for. Try the local Kefalonian wines – especially the dry, white Robola.

1. Visit Agios Ioannis Monastery

Located in the village of Nimborio on the island’s south coast, this monastery is a beautiful place to visit. It has a lot of history and is a must-see attraction on your Halki travel itinerary. The church is home to many frescoes and is a beautiful sight to see. You will also love the tall bell tower that is a landmark for the area. The monastery is surrounded by many tall trees that offer shade from the sun.

According to local legend, a few locals locked themselves in the monastery during an attack from pirates. They prayed to Saint John and the wooden doors turned into iron, giving the monastery its name (Siderianos means “iron”). The monastery is one of the most important monuments in the region. It has an interesting history and it is a great way to learn about the culture of the island.

The monastery is also home to a number of windmills. They were used for producing olives and grapes in the past, but they are no longer functioning. The monastery is a great place to take a break and relax. The monastery has a lovely view of the ocean and you will enjoy the peaceful atmosphere that it offers.

Kalamos is a neighbouring island to Kastos, and it has its own charm as well. The eponymous harbour town is a picturesque spot with cobbled streets, while the southwestern peninsula has some stunning beaches.

There is a small passenger ferry that departs from Mytikas on the mainland and passes by Kalamos, making it easy to get there. The ferries operate throughout the summer, and there are usually one or two crossings per day.

The main village on the island is Kastos, and it has a population of around 80 people. The island’s residents work primarily in tourism services and fishing. During the summer, Kastos is bustling with visitors from all over Europe. The island is also known for its beautiful sea and secluded beaches. The waters are clear and blue, which makes it a perfect place to swim.

2. Visit the Whale Museum

Easily identified by the whale skeleton crashing through its redbrick walls, this fun and informative museum offers an insight into the region’s extraordinary aquatic life. Explore the six exhibition spaces for a range of videos, photos and a large collection of whale and turtle skeletons. This is the perfect way to learn more about these huge creatures of the sea and to understand why it’s so important to protect their environment. The museum also sponsors hydrophones, whale hotlines and Marine Naturalist Training that help to actively protect stranded marine mammals.

Located around two hours away from Lefkada and a short ferry ride from Mytikas, Kastos is the smallest inhabited island in the Ionian and one of the most beautiful with a single settlement centred around the port. Its east side is green clad with stone houses and small taverns. From here you can sail around the elongated island to its neighbour Kalamos, which has a couple of little villages, the eponymous harbour town and Episkopi, and beautiful beaches such as the solitary Ampelakia. It is also possible to snorkel within the small cave Fokotrypa (Seal Hole) on the south side of the island.

In summer, the island is very lively and there is a regular ferry service between the mainland and Kastos. Alternatively you can anchor outside the harbour, although it’s best not to do so in NE or SE winds as the waves have been known to crash over the top of the breakwater into the cockpits of yachts moored stern-to.

A new skin for the museum was installed in 2016. Painter Lindsay Carron spent just three days painting “For the Orcas,” a mural along the west side of the building. The work is an homage to the incredible Orca whales that inhabit this part of the Pacific Northwest. The murals show orcas swimming across the shiplap siding, through kelp forests and foraging in the waters around Friday Harbor. It’s a breathtaking and unique addition to this fascinating museum. It’s well worth a visit in itself or even better if you’re anchored in the area and have an hour or so to kill.

3. Visit the Windmill Bar

The main town of Kastos is beautifully untouched, home to lush green hills, empty beaches and quiet tavernas. It’s a great place to unwind and get away from it all. The main harbour offers safe mooring and has a selection of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained into the night. A particular highlight is the bar & taverna Mylos which is set in a renovated windmill with incredible views over the island and the mainland.

The rest of the island is dotted with little villages and long expanses of beautiful sand. It’s also surrounded by some of the bluest, clearest water we have ever seen. The best way to explore is by foot – the little coastal paths offer stunning scenery and the chance to stretch your legs.

For those with a car, there is a bus service to the bigger towns and villages around the island. Alternatively, sea taxis run from the main port at Lefkas and there are ferries across to Ithaca and Kalamos on a daily basis throughout the summer months.

It’s possible to visit Atokos, the small neighbouring island, on a day trip from Kastos, but you’ll need to hire a boat or join a tour from one of the larger islands. It’s well worth the effort as this tiny island is simply breathtaking. The island has a rugged, Aegean feel to it and is much quieter than Ithaca or even the eponymous town on Kastos. The main village is a picture postcard and the waters here are truly unforgettable. A great spot for a picnic and a swim. Visiting this island should be a high priority for anyone planning a sailboat holiday to the Ionian islands.

4. Visit Wasp Bay

Located to the south of Meganissi Kastos is a beautiful, quiet island that offers pristine beaches and a simpler lifestyle. With just a few hundred residents, you are guaranteed to find peace and solitude on this unique island. The beach here is a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

It is also a good spot to explore the local flora and fauna. In fact, the island was categorized as a Natura 2000 protected site in 1999. There are a number of hiking trails in the area that will take you through the island’s forests and along its cliffs. You can also visit the museum or stroll down to the port where you will see a few local shops and cafes.

The main attraction here is the skeleton of a fin whale that washed ashore in the 70s. The people here know a lot about everything on show and will be able to talk you through it all. You can also head over to the windmill bar which is a little gimmicky but still pretty hard to beat for a sunset cocktail. You can find it by following the coastal path South from the harbour.

Aside from the wildlife, you can also get up close with some of the island’s residents! There are a number of kangaroos that live in the Murramarang National Park and can often be seen grazing on the beaches and scavenging for food. It’s best to visit this National Park in the early morning or at dusk as kangaroos are nocturnal.

If you’re looking to do some shopping in the area, Kastos has a small shop that sells souvenirs and snacks. In addition, there are a few restaurants in the town centre that serve a variety of dishes. It is also possible to rent a car from the local car hire companies on the island to explore more of the islands and coastline. Just remember that most places don’t accept credit cards so make sure you bring plenty of cash with you.