Set on the southern tip of the island, 7 kms beyond Kefalos is the monastery of Agios Ioannis. Sheltered under the spreading branches of a huge plane tree, the monastery is a beautiful place to visit with a view of the endless sea opening in front of you.
The church itself is quite small but beautifully decorated with icons and ornate woodwork.
Beside the church is another building which housed the monk's cells. Some of these are being worked on and restored to a degree. In front of the church is a bell tower which has also recently been restored so that it will continue to ring out across the sea for many more years.
The church celebrates its Saint's Day every year on the 29th August and there are cement benches and tables which have been built for that purpose. All spread out under the huge supported branches of the plane tree. The night of the 28th August sees pilgrims praying and singing in the church throughout the night, and music, dancing and feasting follows on the next day.
I was lucky enough to catch this picture when I was there some time ago. The picnic lunch was shared with the goat!
Much of the yard area outside the church is paved in traditional style with small grey and white pebbles. This is something you can see on many of the islands, especially Nissyros. There is a sweet water spring which runs for much of the year which allowed the building of the monastery so far away from the village of Kefalos itself.
The scenery on the way to Agios Ioannis is breathtaking. The southern end of the island is very different to the rest and in my opinion, very beautiful. There are fewer fields and more trees clinging onto the hillsides with swathes on thyme and other low growing plants underneath them. The road at the moment is not good at all but is passable with care!!