Astypalea Agios Ioannis Monastery

The Monastery was built between two slopes and has a panoramic view of the sea and the islets of Pontikoussa and Ofidoussa. There are orchards, streams and even a small waterfall below the church of Agios Prodromos that still exists to this day. Opposite the monastery a castle of the same name used to stand tall on an inaccessible hill. It was said that the two buildings communicated via a secret tunnel. Today, only some ruins and a cistern remain of the castle that was impregnable up until the 16th century when the Algerian corsair Hayreddin Barbarossa plundered it. Its inhabitants were either massacred or sold as slaves at the slave markets of the East. No one resided in the castle ever since. It is accessible either by boat or via a path leading from the northern slopes of Vardia to the ravine.

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