Agios Yiannis

Travelling north on the west side of the island 9km from Vathi, is the turn off for the village of Ayios Yiannis (or Ai Yianni, as it is popularly known) . A 3km road leads to this serene idyllic neighborhood (pictured right). The descent can also be made from the village of Lefki, using another road 3 km in length. This beautiful village is situated just above the sea, opposite the Cefallonian coast.

It is well worth visiting the church of Agios Dionisios to view the beautiful icon of the Saint of Zakinthos which is an exceptional example of Eptanesian craftsmanship.

Spread out beneath the village is the coast with crystal clear waters and many pebble-strewn beaches. The main ones are Aspros Yialos (very well patronised in the summer when a canteen is in operation), the Mirtera, the Phocotripa (with its little cave), the Stafida, the Kedros(the small port of Ai Yianni), the Pirgia and the Megaloni. There are also many private beaches, which the tourist of Ithaca can explore at leisure. Above Aspros Yialos is a small plateau, 'To Stefani', where in the old days young couples from Ai Yianni would go for romantic walks.

Today Ai Yianni has only a handful of permanent inhabitants. However, it is visited regularly by former residents and their descendants, who are maintaining family properties and building new homes. It is a pity that with depopulation landmarks such as the Vrisi with its running water and Kallinikos, Moraitis, Kandiliotis and Dellaportas are prominent familynames of the village (although not exclusive to Ai Yianni).

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