Kassos is one of those typically Greek islands, the ones we picture when
we imagine the real, traditional, untouched Greece. The pace is slow,
and if you like relaxing, this is one of your best bets. With only two
taxis on the island, you'll get lots of undisturbed sleep, with the
exception perhaps of a donkey or rooster. You'll be close to nature and
those clear, blue waters.
Because of its isolation, the island has always been poor. The men try
to manage on fishing or working on ships, and many hope that the tourism
will increase. You'll find that the people are very friendly, but the
only ones that speak English are usually those who have been forced to
History :Kassos is first mentioned
Iliad where the Greeks go off to fight in Troy. The island has also been
called Amphe, Achne and Astravi. The name Kassos comes, according to
legend, from the island's first inhabitant, who was a Cretan prince.
This indicates that the Minoans were amongst the first to settle on the
In the 8th century BC it was conquered by Rhodes, and 300 years later it
became member of the Athenian League when war against the Persians
united almost all of Greece.
During the Middle Ages Kassos belonged to the Venetians, but it was
really a pirate nest. When the Turks ruled the island in the 18th
century, it was reputed as a flourishing island with a strong commercial
fleet. Ironically for the Turks, this helped greatly in the war of
Independence that started in 1821, since the island contributed to the
Greek side with a fleet of over 80 ships.
Sadly, this didn't help the island, since almost everyone died during
the war: either as fighters, or when the Turks slaughtered the
inhabitants. The Turkish rule here didn't end until 1921, when the
Italians took over.
Kassos was finally freed in 1948. By then, the island was totally
impoverished, and it is not until lately that the island has started to
What to See :Fri is the
capital of the island and is very picturesque with its stone houses.
There is a church worth visiting here called Ag Spyridonas.
Emborios is another pretty village, with a church dedicated to the
In Ellinokamara there are caves where archaeologists have found traces
of Neolithic settlements. Sellai is a stalactite cave you can visit.
In Poli, the old capital, there are some remains of the Venetian Kastro,
and a beautiful church, Ag Triada.
What to Do
:This is a very quiet isl. Apart from just enjoying the sun and the sea,
you can go fishing or snorkelling, or why not explore the island by
Kassos Beaches :There are only a
few beaches and Helathros and Ammouda are considered the best. A small
boat can also take you to the island Armathea where there is a nice
Nightlife:You'll find a couple of
bars in Fri, but otherwise it is very quiet.
Food :The local specialities are all
based on dairy products, and the two local cheeses Elaiki and Sitala
should be tried.
Shopping :Except a few souvenir
shops in Fri, most things to buy here are eatable: fish, cheese and local
Getting Around: With only two
taxis on the island, the only way to get around is by foot. There is
also a boat that can take you to the little island Armathia.
Getting There :There are
flights from Rhodes and Karpathos, and a few ferries from Rhodes Greece,
Karpathos, Milos, Crete and Piraeus Athens. Be careful with your
departure, though, since the boat can be cancelled due to bad weather.
|Facts about Kassos*
|Size: 65 sq. km
Population: about 1200
|International code: 0030
Local code: 22450
Port Police: 41288
Telephone company (OTE):
*The info displayed may be inaccurate. If changes have been made, please let us know.