The word “kastos” in ancient Greek means solid earth.
Kastos has an area of only seven and a half square kilometres and a width of nine hundred metres, and is the smallest inhabitable island of the Ionian islands. It consists of low hills, the highest of which is around 150 metres. It is adjacent to Kalamos, with which it is separated by a narrow strait of only half a mile. At a distance of three nautical miles lies Mytikas.
At the entrance to the harbour, on the south side, there is an old windmill. The harbour beach has pebbles outside and sand inside. Near the port is the islet Prasonisi. The village of Kastos is built amphitheatrically around the harbour with small houses that accommodate the few inhabitants (only 50). Among the important monuments on the island is the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, a parish and cemetery church built in the mid-19th century. The church of Agios Ioannis is decorated by oil paintings of large dimensions and remarkable style, made by Spyridon Gazis. On June 23 and 24, the feast of the Saint is celebrated. In an underground area, in the foundations of the church, there is a vaulted stone-built area that probably belongs to an early Christian tomb. Fifty years ago, a similar tomb with bones and clay offerings was discovered a short distance to the northeast of the church. The two vaulted tombs of the early Christian period are called ‘cemeteries’ by the locals.
Four kilometres outside the settlement is the chapel of Agios Aimilianos, built among the ruins of stone-built houses where the village was originally located. Nearby there is also the century-old olive grove of Kalikerimio.
On the island there are old olive mills and windmills. One of them is the best preserved in the Ionian Islands and was in operation until 1949.
A little further north of the port of Kastos, in Agios Aimilianos, there is the cave Fokotrypa, with a depth of 30 meters and a sandy beach inside, which is considered a landmark of the island. From its name it seems that seals used to take shelter in the area.
It is worth taking a boat out of the harbour and, heading towards the south cape (after about a mile), reach a location that the locals call “pisina” (swimming pool). There is no beach and a thick layer of seaweed has covered the rocks on the shore. The seabed is of white sand that creates fluorescent hues in the water. Great care is needed in the shoals off the north side of the bay.
The only natural harbour on the western side, at a distance of 700 meters from the village, is the safe anchorage of Sarakiniko. It has a small pier on the beach, which allows docking even in bad weather so that the island is not isolated when strong E – NE winds blow and the approach to Kastos harbour is impossible.
In Kastos there is also a Sea Museum (Museum of Stone Whale).
It should be noted that for both islands, Kastos and Kalamos, there is no ferry connection for cars. The only cars on the islands are those available to the locals for the convenience of tourists and themselves.