Kasos Island (Kassos), primeval landscapes of natural beauty, ancient history, living traditions and nobility in one of the last strongholds of the old, authentic Greece. On this page you may find where is Kasos island, how to get there, things to do and see, what to do in Kassos, beaches and villages, where to stay, hotels and accommodation and more.
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.
Where is Kasos
Kassos or Kasos is a 49 km2 large island in the group of the Dodecanese islands. It is situated 7 kilometers southwest of the better known island of Karpathos, in between Karpathos and Crete and it is the most southern island in the group of Dodecanese islands. The first impression you will get from the island is that it looks rather wild and inhospitable, since it is quite gray and emerges steeply from the sea.
How to get
By air from Athens International Airport to Siteia in Crete (approx. 1 hour) and then by ferry boat (3 hours). Alternatively, you can fly to Rhodes or Karpathos and take a boat from there. Ferries also leave Piraeus twice a week, but the trip takes 22 hours. But from Rhodes to Kasos takes 8 hours by ferry.
Kasos and the Dodecanese in general are connected to the port of Piraeus. From Kasos you can also visit the nearby Dodecanese islands, the Cycladic islands and Crete through other ports.
Your trip to Kasos can be with a conventional ferry boat or Highspeed depending on the day, the time and the ferry company you wish to travel with.
Ferries from Piraeus to Kasos run all year round on a daily basis. In summer of course there are more departures to choose from.
- Piraeus – Patmos – Leros – Kasos – Kalymnos – Kos – Rhodes
- Piraeus – Syros – Patmos – Leros – Kalymnos – Kasos – Rhodes
- Piraeus – Syros – Mykonos – Patmos – Leros – Kalymnos – Kasos – Rhodes
- Piraeus – Syros – Mykonos – Patmos – Leros – Kasos – Kalymnos – Rhodes
- Kasos – Kalymnos – Leros – Lipsi – Patmos – Arki – Agathonisi – Pythagorion – (Samos)
- Rhodes – Symi – Kasos – Kalymnos – Leros – Patmos
Kasos has an airport (not international) for for domestic flights and can also be reached by plane from Athens with Olympic Air. The journey takes about 2 hours and includes a stop at the island of Karpathos. The earlier you book the cheaper it is. Sometimes you have to be fast because tickets seem to be sold out quickly. If you book early it is a little bit more expensive than going by ferry, but you save yourself a lot of time (the bus ride to Piraeus of almost one and a half hour and the time on the ferry). Alternatively you can fly to Karpathos, which has an international airport and from there take a domestic flight to Kasos. This trip takes about 15 minutes.
Things to do and see
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.
The Monasteries of Kasos
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.
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.
What to do
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!
The island of Armathia is uninhabited and it is primarily and destination for day trips from the surrounding islands such as Karpathos and Kasos. It is the largest of the islands that surround Kasos. In 1951 there were 8 people living on the island and at one time there were even 100 residents who lived of the mining of a mineral of which plaster was made. There were also shepherds and fishermen, and sponge fishermen from islands like Kalymnos, Halki and Symi made a stop here. There were 7 kafenions on Armathia island. Now there are only the ruins of houses and stables. The only building that still stands proudly is the Ypapanti church. Not so long ago an observatory was built here where visitors can view animals in the wild.
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.
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.
Beaches of Kasos
Kasos doesn’t have a lot of good beaches that can be reached on foot. There is one on the west side of the capital near Agia Marina and there is an organized beach in Emborio, where you can also find a couple of taverns. During high season there are occasional caïques (wooden boats) going to the small islet of Armathia, which is situated north of Kasos. On Armathia there is a good sandy beach which is called Marmara beach. This beach is surrounded by blue-green waters and it is considered one of the prettiest beaches of Greece. In total the island has three beaches: Marmara, Karavostasi and the small Apopantoula beach.
Where to stay
Kasos Hotels: Look and search island of Kasos hotels, accommodation, rooms, apartments, studios and pensions.