Kastro is a medieval village located in the center of the island, about 450m above sea level. The village got its name from the ruins of an old castle which was once in the village (kastro – a castle). The castle was actually a fort, belonging to Gatilusi dynasty in 15th century.
Kastro is probably the eldest village on the island.
The village had its bloom in the 19th century, but after that, one part of its residents moved closer to the shore to maintain olive plantations, the others found work in “Metalia”mine in Limenaria, which was opened by the German company “Spiedel” in 19th century, some travelled abroad looking for an easy earning, while the rest looked for work in coastal places, and so Kastro was left abandoned.
There is a church in the center of the village, dating back to 1804. The Sultan granted its building, but only if it was to be built in 40 days. That way everyone in the village was involved in building it, and they managed to meet the deadline. It was built in honor of St. Atanasije, who is celebrated on 18th of January. The week before it and the one after are the only time the village comes back to life again. Those days, sometimes covered with snow, are the time when the village gets a completely new appearance. The narrow streets are full of people, you can hear laughter and music...
Over the last couple of years, the houses in the village, which are mostly made of rock, have been renovated and the village has kept its traditional look. The newly built houses are mainly used as cottages.
Many tourists visit Kastro during the summer. In the center of the village, in the front-yard of the church, there is a tavern where travelers who are on foot can rest and freshen up. The owner of the tavern, Kostas, usually helps the tourists by drawing them a map of things they should see in Kastro. One of those is the waterfall, which is not so attractive during the summer, since it dries up.
Kastro is 16 km from Limenaria (northeast). It takes a half hour drive to reach the center of the village. The macadam road can often be full of holes because of heavy rains, so it’s best to use a jeep to get there. If you’re an adventurer you can leave for Kastro on foot from Limenaria or Teologos. It will take you 2 – 3 hours of walking to reach it.