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Why Should I Visit Kasos?

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Kasos at a glance

At first sight a bare, arid rock between Karpathos and Crete, Kasos is in fact one of the last unexplored idylls in the Aegean.

This tiny island in the middle of the Carpathian Sea surprises visitors with the wild beauty of its landscapes and exotic beaches. In addition to its picturesque villages and countless churches, Kasos has a long maritime history that once brought it great wealth, while it retains a special place in the cultural geography of the Mediterranean as a timeless crossroads between East and West.

The various influences on the island can be seen to this day in its rich musical tradition, culinary identity, and the warm spirit of hospitality of the islanders. Unpretentious and enigmatic, far-flung Kasos offers a warm welcome to all lovers of authenticity and is a haven of peace and tranquillity beyond the usual stereotypes. Visit it with a ferry ticket to Kasos.

8 reasons to visit Kasos
  1. To explore Fri, the beautiful capital of Kasos, which curves around the picturesque harbour of Bouka. Built in 1840, the town enchants visitors with its stone mansions and elegant captain’s houses. In front of the Town Hall stands a monument commemorating the massacre of the islanders by the Ottoman army in 1824.
  2. To take an afternoon stroll around the stately Agia Marina, the island’s largest settlement, which would not look out of place in the Cyclades. Its narrow picturesque streets are lined with impressive mansions and beautiful captain’s houses from a bygone era.
  3. To enter the blue and white Monastery of Saint George, one of the largest sites of pilgrimage on the island, built in 1690 in Hadhies. Admire its ornate carved wooden icon screen and rare icons.
  4. To wander around the mountain village of Poli, with its narrow streets and intricately built dry-stone walls. This was once the ancient capital of the island, and it is still possible to see the remains of the acropolis and carved tombs dating from the 4th century BC.
  5. To visit the sacred Ellinokamara Cave, a major site of worship from the Mycenaean Era to the Hellenistic Age, but also a refuge from pirates. Excavations here have brought to light some unique archaeological finds.
  6. To see the sunset from the Six Chapels, a charming row of tiny conjoined churches in the village of Panagia and an excellent example of 18th-century Byzantine-style architecture. According to tradition, they were built to exorcise the spirits of six fairies who lived there.
  7. To take a boat trip to the tiny uninhabited island of Armathia, a secret paradise with a long history to the north of Kasos. Don’t miss the chance to swim at the exotic Marmara, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean, which has turquoise waters and fine white sand reminiscent of the Caribbean.
  8. To enjoy the unique experience of one of the legendary village festivals of Kasos. Take part in a night of merrymaking that doesn’t let up until dawn, with lyre and lute music, dancing, improvised recitals of poems, traditional food, and plenty of wine.
The top 5 beaches

Ammoua: A sandy beach with turquoise waters and good amenities (including sunbeds, umbrellas, and a canteen). At one end is the church of Saint Constantine, from which the sunsets are particularly magical. The beach is surrounded by hills that protect it from the winds. It is well worth visiting if you choose one of the ferry tickets to Kasos.

Antiperatos: The first and biggest of four adjacent beaches that form a landscape of wildly exotic beauty with sand, shingle, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The coast is unprotected when the wind is from the north.

Helatros: An enchanting pebble beach with emerald waters in a sheltered bay on the south-west side of the island. The unique waves that form off the coast here are ideal for windsurfers. The beach has no amenities, so make sure you have everything you need before you go.

Emporeios: A small sandy beach with crystal-clear azure waters and good amenities next to the capital, Fri. It is the most popular beach on the island, both among locals and tourists, owing to its proximity to the main town.

Avlaki: A tiny beach in a narrow bay with turquoise waters at the south-west tip of Kasos. The sea is calm even when it is windy, while its amazing caves are great for exploring. The beach can be reached by boat but also on foot down a steep path from the Monastery of Saint George.

Don’t leave Kasos without…
  • Going to the imposing 19th-century monastery of Saint Mamas to watch the outstandingly beautiful spectacle of the sun setting over the Libyan Sea.
  • Stocking up on genuine local cheeses such as sitaka, elaiki, armirotiri, drylla, kaouli, and others.
  • Exploring some of the beautiful hiking trails that cross the island, and discovering the famous mitata, vaulted stone shepherds’ huts that are unique examples of vernacular architecture.
  • Visiting the beautiful Kasos Folklore Museum in Arvanitohori. Housed in a traditional dwelling, the collection reveals what the island way of life was once like through everyday objects and works of folk art.
  • Entering the enchanting Church of Our Lady Potamitissa, built high in the mountains inside a cave.
  • Taking a boat trip around the island to discover the pristine beaches of the south coast, such as Agkali and Trita, the latter distinguished by an arched rock in the middle of the sea known as “Tripitos”. Pass by the beautiful Kasonisia, fourteen tiny islands surrounding Kasos, which are part of the Natura 2000 ecological network.
Tasty experiences
  • If you choose one of the ferry tickets to Kasos, don’t miss the opportunity to try the famous vine-leaf dolmades known locally as doulmaes.
  • Enjoy the local rice pilaf with cinnamon, makarounes (handmade pasta) with sitaka cheese and roasted onion, kolokithopoulia (stuffed courgette flowers), roikia (a local variety of wild greens), fakorizo (lentils and rice), and boustia kai bombaria (lamb offal stuffed with minced meat and rice).
  • Try skaro (parrotfish), menoules (a type of picarel), soupiopilafo (rice pilaf with cuttlefish ink) and pateliorizo (rice with limpets).
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with xerotigana (deep-fried strips of sweet dough), xilikopittes (pancakes), and moschopoungia (pastry “purses” filled with almonds, walnuts, rose water and ouzo), while for a quick snack, you must try the kouloures (crunchy double-baked cookies).

The islanders typically greet visitors with the phrase “Na s’evro” (pleased to meet you).​

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