Agios Ioannis is a small traditional village built at the slope of the hill "Katalimata" 500m above the sea level and 18 kms away from Ierapetra. Its population now (2005) is 15 permanent inhabitants.
As you ascend the way to the village you enjoy an unlimited view of the settlement. The picture is impressive and prepossesses you for a pleasant walk in its traditional narrow roads.
Unfortunately when you arrive and get out of your car, your former impression will change. You will face entire neighborhoods completely desolated. You will walk across roads, where only ruins and rubble rule.
40-50 years ago this village throbbed with life. Now the only people who are interested of buying the ruins and the old houses are foreigners who want to renovate them for a holiday home.
The former inhabitants of Agios Ioannis have been moved to the inshore area between Makri Gialos and Koutsouras, where the touristic development and the agricultural development (greenhouses) help their easier and better living.
The scene you will face is full of antithesis. In a magic landscape with an open view to the Libyan Sea it is located this hidden paradise. Though it is a desolated village, we consider it as the most attractive village at the south-eastern Crete. It is considered the "Lastros" of the south, though uninhabited.
On your way to Schinokapsala, you will cross a beautiful pine forest, the only one in Sitian Mountains. The forest starts from the area of Thripti and goes to the south-east crossing the Thripti Mountains to the area of Schinokapsala. There you can find an organized place for picnics under the thick shade of huge plane trees by running waters.