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8 best things to do in Kasos

Kasos Tours
READING TIME
As long as it takes to drink a Greek coffee

Kasos is a hidden gem Dodecanese island, characterised by its natural beauty and nautical tradition. It lies at the farthest reaches of southeastern Aegean, in the Karpathian Sea, tucked away between the islands of Karpathos and Crete. What you experience when you get there fully justifies the small odyssey needed to reach it … either by boat from Piraeus (12hrs, 2-3 times a week) or by plane to the small airport via another nearby island. Another option is to fly to Rhodes or Karpathos and take a boat to Kasos (1hr 15mins). Once there, you can look forward to total relaxation on one of Greece’s most untouched islands. All you have to do is choose which of the things to do in Kasos to add to your holiday bucket list.

Take a stroll around Fri

Fri is the main settlement (or Hora) of Kasos, named after the word ‘fridi’ (eyebrow in Greek), which relates to its shape. The ‘d’ in fridi wasn’t pronounced in the local dialect, so the village was called Fryi … which in time became Fri. If you arrive by boat, it’s the first thing you set eyes on as it’s also the island’s port. Its paved alleyways are dotted with elegant pebble mosaics, former mariners’ mansions, little white houses and many churches.

Three men on a boat waving near the coast of Fri in Kasos

Discover the villages of Kasos

Kasos has another four picturesque villages, all within a few kilometres of Fri. Agia Marina is the biggest settlement on Kasos, built at the top of a hill and full of authentic features, like the multi-awarded cheese factory of Ioannis Vonapartis (now in its sixth generation). You can find its products in shops and visit the factory on request.

Kafeneio in Kasos

Panagia is a village that is so close (10 minutes by foot) that it’s practically a suburb of Fri. It is famous for its collection of churches joined together, each named after a different saint and known as Exi Ekklisies (Six Churches). And Poli is Kasos’ oldest settlement, built on the site of an ancient Mycenaean acropolis and with views of Emporios. A short distance east of Poli is the chapel of Agia Kyriaki, at the top of a hill with panoramic views of the Aegean. Finally, Arvanitohori is another traditional settlement, about 2km from Panagia at an altitude of 100m. 

Book a village tour in Kasos

Find your favourite beach in Kasos

There are beaches for all tastes in Kasos… remote and perfect for total relaxation or organised with facilities like cafes and tavernas. The most popular beach in Kasos is Emporios, right next to Fri. It’s small, sandy and easy to reach by car or foot and has tavernas and pastry shops nearby. Also on the north coast is Ammoua, a small, sandy cove with a beach bar and a wonderful sunset.

Winding road leading to a secluded bay with turquoise water in Kasos.

And Antiperatos is a series of small beaches with little pebbles and lovely clear water (ideal for avoiding crowds). Heading southwest, Helatros is a sheltered and quiet beach, with pebbles and impressive blue-green water. And Avlaki is a small, deserted cove with calm water in the same area, about 1hr by foot on a dirt path from Chadies or reached by boat. Finally, pebbly Trita is another secluded beach that can be reached by boat from Fri or with a 1hr walk.

Take a boat-trip to Armathia

High up on any list of things to do in Kasos is to take a boat trip to one of the nearby islets. There are several to choose from (administratively, they all belong to Kasos), including Armathia and the barren islets of Karofilla, Makra, Porionisi, Pontikonisia and Litra. The sea between the islands and Kasos is relatively shallow and sandy, with reefs and plenty of fish. Don't think twice about visiting Armathia, famous for its exotic beach (Marmara) with turquoise water and golden sand. You can reach it by kaiki (traditional wooden boat) from Fri.

Armathia is one of the islets close to Kasos,
A pristine sandy beach with turquoise water on the islet of Armathia, near Kasos.

Photo by: Kasos Tours

Set out on the hiking trails of Kasos

Kasos has a selection of marked hiking trails. One that we’ll pick out for you is from the Monastery of Agios Georgios at Chadies to the village of Agia Marina (8.6km). Named Wild Kasos, it crosses one of the least accessible parts of the island, passing shepherd’s huts (mitata) and a gorge likened to the Grand Canyon (in miniature). You also pass remote Tripiti beach and enjoy epic views of the Aegean before reaching Agia Marina.

A family rides bicycles along a winding coastal road on Kasos Island, Greece, at sunset, with rugged terrain and the sea in the background.

Near the end, you reach Ellinokamara Cave, one of two famous caves on Kasos (you can easily walk there from Agia Marina or Arvanitohori). It is a large natural opening that has been partially closed by a wall maintained practically unaltered since antiquity. Traces of an altar and other remains indicate that it was used as a place of worship. The second cave – the Cave of Stylokamara (or Salai) – is found south of Ellinokamara. Following the road to Chadies, the signposted path starts after the first turn of the road. The entrance is almost hidden and it is known for its stalagmites and stalactites (from where it got its name). Only a small part of the cave has been explored.

Discover 12 of the best unknown hiking trails of Greece

Visit the museums and cultural sites

Next on your list of things to do in Kasos is to delve into the history and culture of the island. The obvious place to start is the Archaeological Collection of Kasos, with finds dating from the Prehistoric period up until the Early Christian times as well as an exhibition dedicated to Kasos’ participation in the 1821 Greek War of Independence and the Holocaust of 1824. Nearby is the Maritime Museum of Kasos, with exhibits from the private collection of local sailor Anthony Chatzipetros, including compasses, maps and items in daily use on old sailing boats.

Neoclassical building with white columns and a blue door in Kasos.

Other cultural highlights in Fri include the Public Library (in a handsome building) and the house of Ioulias Daskalaki, a descendant of a revolutionary hero. Her traditional Kasiot home open to the public. Elsewhere, be sure to visit the Folk Museum of Kasos in Arvannitohori and admire the impressive two-storey mansions of Agia Marina, built with the wealth of the sailors who made up the Kasiot merchant fleet, one of the most important in the region from the 18th to 20th centuries.

Discover the secrets of the local cuisine

From the sight of all the sheep and goats roaming freely, you won’t be surprised to learn that the island’s livestock is responsible for so many of the delicious tastes you’ll enjoy during your holidays in Kasos. Every meal will be memorable but here are some highlights to put on your radar. Sitaka is a buttery cheese made from fermented goat’s or sheep’s milk. It’s often grated and accompanies the island’s famous makarounes (hand-twisted pasta), also served with caramelised onions. Doulmaes is a signature dish, similar to dolmadakia (stuffed vine leaves) but smaller and with a filling enriched with tomato, butter and spices.

Focused shot of traditional food items and a stone oven in the background, emphasizing Kasos Island's culinary heritage.

Roikio is a local samphire served as a salad or cooked with tomato and onion (yiahni). Kassiotiko pilafi is red rice made in meat stock. And for a sweet to accompany your coffee, moshopoungia are small pockets (poungia) made from almond, sugar and blossom water. Kassiotikes kouloures are double-baked cookies made with aniseed, cumin and regular and black sesame seeds. And mizithropites are little pastries stuffed with mizithra cheese and garnished with honey and cinnamon. The best experience is to book a traditional cooking lesson or go wine tasting.

Tip: See below for our recommendations on where to eat and drink in Kasos.

Book a cooking class & wine tasting experience in Kasos

Visit the churches and monasteries

The last of your things to do in Kasos is to visit some of the churches and monasteries that can resemble an extension of the wild beauty of the landscape. There are just over 100 on Kasos, many built into the rocks and at the top of hills with sea views. The Church of Agios Spyridonas, near the port of Bouka, is dedicated to the patron saint and protector of Kasos (Saint Spyridon) and is famous for its four domes and iconography. Elsewhere, the Monastery of Agios Mamas, southeast of Poli, has unique mosaics and beautiful wooden icon holders, as well as wonderful views of the Aegean. 

A traditional stone church with arched doorways and a bell tower on Kasos Island.

And the Church of Agia Marina (named after the village) has a marvellous black-and-white pebbled mosaic in its courtyard. The festival of Agia Marina on July 17 is one of the most important religious and community events in Kasos. The six churches (Exi Ekklisies) of Panagia are reason alone to visit the village. And make a point of visiting the Monastery of Agios Georgios in Chadies and the Church of Agios Dimitrios (featuring an impressive bell tower) in Arvanitohori, as well as Panagia Potamitissa, a little chapel built into the rocks south of Arvanitohori. You can drive part of the way and then walk 10 to 15 minutes to get there.

8 best things to do in Kasos

The beaches, local products, hiking trails and local cuisine are all reasons to visit Kasos on their own. But above all, holidays in Kasos are about total relaxation and filling up on the purity of one of Greece’s most untouched islands.

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FAQs about Kasos

  • O Kikis: Traditional fish taverna by the sea in Emporios. Fantastic food and one of the quickest tavernas on the island.
  • O Mylos: A traditional taverna in the middle of the island, with a view of the port.
  • To Giaeli: A traditional ouzerie in Bouka harbour, with plenty of choices.
  • To Meltemi: A little taverna hidden in a backstreet of Fri (ask for a fish whole).
  • Oi Kathistres: A grill house in Agia Marina with a variety of meat dishes, including burgers, steaks and chicken on the spit.
  • I Markoula: A traditional cafe in Arvanitohori, with traditional food, souvlaki with meze and local wine.
  • I Sofia “Oraia Bouka”: A family-run taverna with home-cooked food in Bouka harbor.
  • Pizza Di Kasos: The best choice for Italian food in Fri
  • Blue Mare: A great choice for breakfast and coffee in Fri, with a lovely view.
  • Sweet Memories: Homely sweets, breakfast and coffee in Fri.
  • Free Bar: A lounge atmosphere and good choice for a drink.
  • To Perigiali “Lele”: A coffee-bar with Greek music and a great vibe.
  • En Plo: A cafe-bar where you can enjoy everything from coffee to a nightcap.

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Kasos Tours
Kasos Tours
Travel agency

Kasos Tours is an online travel agency that provides a complete holiday package, offering accommodation and transfers and organising unique experiences and agrotourism activities on the island of Kasos. Every experience of Kasos Tours exudes the warm welcome of the people who created it and comes with a commitment to taking care of their needs and helping them to become one with the natural environment of the island.

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