In the words of a famous Greek poet and lyricist, Kasos island is “a kiss imparted by the foam-decked sea”. Southernmost of the Dodecanese group and home to many sea captains, the island played a considerable role in the 1821 Revolution. Rocky and unusual, it is a far cry from the standard mass tourism destination; a very special experience for any visitor.
With houses of old-world charm in hamlets retaining their authenticity, pristine beaches and warm-hearted residents who make up limericks on the spot especially for you, it’s not hard to see why many regard Kasos as the ultimate escape from the normal routine. That’s why when you leave the island, one phrase will resonate “Na s evro”, meaning to find you, the islanders’ first words of welcome that stay with you, instilling the hope that you will very soon return to experience their wonderful hospitality.
Things to do in Kasos
The villages of Kasos
- Fri is the capital and only harbor of the island with several stone-built stately homes, real objects d’ art.
- The beautiful small harbor of Bouka, the archetypal pirates’ refuge, where today only fishing caiques moor.
- East of Fri lies Emporio, a small resort with the church of the Baptism of the Holy Mother of God.
- The main village of Kasos is Agia Marina. It is well worth walking its picturesque alleys and admiring the sunset.
- In Arvanitohori, visit the church of Panagia Potamitissa with the miraculous icon.
- In Panagia, a holiday hamlet lies the church of Pera Panagia, where the biggest religious festival of the island takes place on August 15th. Here you will also see the six picturesque chapels built next to one another, offering a unique sample of Byzantine architecture. According to tradition, they were built in order to expel the three hobgoblins that lived there.
- Poli with the ruined castle is the ancient capital of the island. Built on a hill, it affords wonderful views of other hamlets.
The caves of Kasos
Ellinokamara cave (Archaelogical): A place of worship from the Mycenaean to the Hellenistic period, it served as a refuge for the locals during the pirate raids.
Selai cave (aka Stilokamara): A mountain cave southwest of Agia Marina with impressive stalactites.
Beaches in Kasos island
Although modest in size, Kasos has plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy a swim, such as Antiperatos, Ammoua, Katarti, Vrisi and Kofteri. Avlaki is a small beach with sea caves on the south side of the island. Impressive Trita has Tripitos, an arch- shaped rock, as its hallmark.
The Monasteries of Kasos
Agios Mamas: It is southeast of Poli and the infinite expanse of the Libyan sea lies seductively at its threshold. The blend of Byzantine tradition and Aegean landscape here is captivating. On the saint’s holy day, September 2nd, lots of people spend the night in the monastery’s dormitories.
Agios Georgios: In an area known as Hadies, the monastery of Saint George, a vision in blue and white, has remarkable frescos and a carved wooden screen.
Hidden gems of Kasos
The religious festivals of Kasos
The locals take every opportunity to lay on a traditional feast, always with music to accompany the festivities. They get underway with limericks and folk songs set to the traditional sound of lyre and lute, followed by a dance extravaganza, including the “sousta” and “zervos”. Housewives will offer you local delicacies, pilaf with cinnamon and the famous lovingly prepared dolmadakia – rice mixture wrapped in vine leaves- and most certainly wine, raki – a local tipple- and delicious local cheeses. You may well find yourself still dancing and singing at dawn; simply unforgettable!
Want to feel like you own a whole island? Take a caique ride to Armathia, the largest of the islets surrounding Kasos . Today it is abandoned but the ruins of the houses, stables and ovens bear witness to the existence of life here until the mid-20th century. Enjoy your swim on one of the best beaches of the Mediterranean, Marmara, with fine sand in and out of the water.
Its waters teeming with marine life, Kasos has once played host to the universal championship of submarine fishing. The weather conditions also favour wind surfing, scuba diving and sailing in the Aegean sea.
- The village Poli with the ruined castle
- Nature’s own creations in Tritas bay
- Traditional creamery
- The Folklore Museum in Arvanitohori
- Church in Kasos hinterland