Information about the island of Kasos

kasos-islandThe island of Kasos, with only 300 permanent residents, is certainly not famous for the number of tourists who visit it every year, but what is certain is how to trust it for a calm and quality vacation.

If you love peaceful walks and relaxed holidays, Kasos is the ideal choice. It may not have many sandy beaches, as its terrain is steep, but it has its own distinct charm, which can be found in the capital’s picturesque streets, with its magnificent two-story mansions, its very impressive caves and its picturesque windmills.

The first place you will see is the capital of Kasos in its northern part, Fry, which is also the port of the island. It is a very small village whose name is said to come from “eyebrow”, due to its shape. What makes it stand out is its traditional, island architecture with its well-preserved two-story mansions. It is also more developed for tourism than the rest, it has hotels and rooms for rent as well as cute taverns.

You will also get to know the rest of the settlements such as Bouka, the picturesque port with fishing boats, Emporio, the old port of Kasos, Agia Marina, the main village with most of the island’s inhabitants. Arvanitochori stands out with its many beautiful churches, while you will see the village of Poli, the old capital of the island and the oldest settlement, with ruins of the ancient Acropolis.

It is worth visiting the Maritime Museum of Kasos, the “Nikolaos G. Mavris” Municipal Library, the Folklore Museum, the Greek Kamaras Cave, the six churches in Agia Marina.


In addition to Homer, Strabo also mentions Kasos by its current name, specifying precisely its location. Stefanos Byzantios writes that Kasos was called Amphi, perhaps because anyone looking at the island from the north thinks it is divided in two, Amph and Astravi, which means Samari, because of its shape. Pliny notes that Kasos was once also called Achni, a fact which led to the association of the name Kasos with the Phoenician word ikas (foam), because the Carpathian waves foamed when they hit the rocks of the island. It has also been suggested that the island took its name from Kasos, the father of Cleochus or Cleomachus. On the other hand, modern researchers believe that the origin of the word “Kasos”, like many other island names, is pre-hellenic.


Kasos is the southernmost island of the Dodecanese. It is surrounded in its northern part by small islands, the Kasonisia, which Strabo attributes to Casso as “near and subjects”. From the NW we meet Lytra, Pentikonisia, Armathia – from their gypsum mines the Kassians extracted gypsum which was exported to the ports of the Mediterranean as far as Odessa -, Makra, which is a natural barrier to the northern winds, Koskino or the island of Mastroiannis and Koufonisi. To the west is Plati and Kourika and to the east is Strogyli.

Natural environment

kasos-physical-mapKasos is a mountainous, rocky island, with few plateaus and minimal lowlands located in the northern part. Its highest mountains are Prionas (583 m.), Sysfi, Apokrani or Ai-Mamas, Troussoullas, Prophet Ilias, Korakas and Periolas. A characteristic element of the island’s natural configuration is its steep coasts, without the presence of a natural port. Rare species of animals and plants live and breed in this rocky landscape. The marine area that includes Kasos and Kasonisia up to Saria is important for the livelihood of the Mediterranean seal Monachus Monachus.

Kasos is an arid island. Each house is equipped with a rock-hewn tank called “latsia or lassia”, while in the past, during periods of prolonged drought, water was brought from Karpathos.

The island is traditionally divided into three agricultural and livestock regions: Kato Gi, Ano Gi and Mesa or Pera Gi. Kato Gi is the inhabited area of the island, with the five villages and most of the arable land, where domestic animals graze. Upper Land is called Argos, the largest plateau of the island, while Pera (or Mesa) Land is located in Marisa and includes the mitata. In these two regions, cultivation and grazing alternated every two years, with the result that there was the possibility of the necessary fallow.

Reasons to visit Kasos

Kasos is the southernmost island of the Dodecanese. It is located between Crete and Karpathos and is inhabited by almost 1,000 people. The first thing you should know is that the capital of Kasos is Fry. It is also the port of the island, in its northern part. It is a very small village whose name is said to come from “eyebrow”, due to its shape.

What makes it stand out is its traditional, island architecture with its well-preserved two-story mansions. This is also the place most visitors choose to find the accommodation they want. It is also more developed for tourism than the rest, it has hotels and rooms for rent as well as cute taverns.


For sure, the eye and some of your time will be drawn to Fry, Buka. It is a small, beautiful harbor, where the island’s fishing boats moor, thus creating the most picturesque location of Kasos. Next to it, the show is stolen by the impressive church of Agios Spyridon Trimythoundos the Miracle Worker, patron saint of the island. With this image alone, which is the first thing one sees when setting foot on the island, the visitor is given a complete view of what he is going to experience during his stay there.

What to see

Kasos has many monasteries, be sure to note Agia Kyriaki, which is located on a hill that can be reached by car and gives you a view of the whole island, with the bonus of the sensational sunset. Agios Kostantinos in Antiperatos, next to the beach of Ammoua, will also give you a wonderful sunset. In general, the sunset here is not fun. Those who love the island compare it to Santorini. Sacrilege; You will see and judge.

The monastery of Agios Mamas on the road to Agia Kyriaki belongs to one of the rare Saints of the Aegean. A festival is held here every September 1st with people spending the night. According to the legend, when the Turco-Egyptians were coming, a grandmother begged the Saint to save the island.

Three rocks petrified in the shape of ships a little further on prove that the Saint put his hand in it. Back in the mountains, at the Letters site you will find carved letters from the time of the Trojan War.

Antiperatos beach, finally, is the perfect spot to hang out at night, away from the lights of the island (not that there are many), complete isolation, you and the sky. It is a wonderful corner to enjoy the shooting stars in August, away from everyone and everything.

The cave of Hellinokamara

hellinokamara Following the path from the church of Agios Fanourios to Agia Marina, one arrives at the cave of Hellinokamara, which was used since the Paleolithic era. The usefulness of the cave in antiquity has not been fully ascertained, but it is likely that it was a center of worship. In more recent times it served as a refuge, as it is strategically located:

From the entrance of the cave, a large part of the surrounding area is controlled (as well as the accessible northern beaches of Kasos in the area of Antiperato). On the other hand, the entrance of the cave itself is not visible until you get very close. Linear A and B inscriptions have been discovered inside the cave.

The entrance to the cave is fortified with a wall that probably dates from the 3rd or 2nd century and consists of huge single-piece stones 1½ meters thick. Stairs to the right and left of the cave lead down to an opening in the wall, which is the entrance to the cave. The interior is divided in two by a wall, which is of later construction. Some findings (mainly coins) from the Greek Chamber are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Chania, Crete.

Local cuisine and gastronomy

The special and original local cuisine of Kasos will not leave you unmoved. With influences both from neighboring Crete, but also because of its maritime tradition, you will eat fish in abundance, and you will go crazy with the non-seafood recipes.

You will ask to eat Macaroons, a penne-like pasta usually served with fried onion or garlic, Boustia and Bobbaria, which are lamb innards stuffed with minced meat, liver and rice, and Cassiotiko Pilaf. For dessert, there is nothing better than Moschopougia.

Shitaka macaroons (penne) with sheep cheese sauce with fried onion on top. Also, traditional dolmades, the smallest you will find with minced meat, a real work of art and taste. And fresh fish straight from the fisherman on the grill and on your plate. Leaving the island, you will definitely get thyme honey.

Eating out and nightlife

Kikis, is the fastest and most delicious tavern on the island, with amazing food. Mylos overlooking the port is a traditional tavern in the center of the island, while in the little port of Boukas where the boats moor, Yaeli is a traditional ouzorie with everything, Meltemi is tucked away in an alley in Fry and will serve you fresh fish. If you feel nostalgic for Athenian fast food, then Kambouris in the central square of Fry makes delicious pizza and peinirlini every day.

Two cafes in Agia Marina and Arvanitochori, Kathistres and Maroukla, are all you need to drink and nibble with the locals. In Maroukla you will find traditional food, souvlaki and appetizers with wine for an August dinner with mountain dew. Kathisres is mainly for delivery, but you can also sit down for meat, burgers, steaks and chicken on the spit.

In the port of Bukas on the other side, Sofia, is a small family tavern with stews. For a delicious breakfast, homemade sweets and a cafe with a super view, head to Blue Mare in Fry, which is also suitable for ouzo accompanied by various local delicacies, Sweet Memory has an equally nice breakfast and sweet sins. In general on the island, don’t expect to pay more than €15-20 for food and wine. Maybe less as the case may be.

You don’t have many choices for drinks, but they are all very cheap. The Free bar in Buka is located in a single-family house with two balconies for lounge situations, which you hardly ever get to see since this year is its last year. It will probably be transferred next year.

Perigiali, otherwise known as “Lele” from the owner’s nickname, is a Greek restaurant on the other side of Bouka with people inside and outside on the pedestrian street going wild without tomorrow. Finally, the well-known and unexceptional local “club” and one of the oldest on the island is En Plo.

Kasos villages

Kasos has five settlements concentrated in the northern part of the island. Fry, which is the capital of the island, Agia Marina, the old capital and the largest settlement, Arvanitochori, in the center of the island, Bouka, the old pirate haven, Emporios, the old port of Kasos, the village and Panagia.

During the Mycenaean Times, the center of activity of Kasos is located in its northern part, around the naturally fortified location on a hill next to Poli, where there was a Mycenaean acropolis and to this day remains of a Venetian castle. In the area, various finds and carved tombs of the 3rd-4th c.

It is worth visiting the ruins of the ancient wall, the church of the Holy Trinity with its blue walls and orange domes and the monastery of Agios Mamas with a view of the Carpathians and the Libyan sea, about an hour’s walk from Poli and 1.5 hours from Fri.


fry-kasos Fri, which is the capital of the island, is located on the north side and its name was derived, due to its shape, from the word “eyebrow”. It hosts the central port and is the seat of all operations, administrative and financial.

Well-preserved mansions and traditional island architecture make Fry stand out. It is also worth noting that this particular settlement hosts several of the hotels of Kasos, as well as taverns with a special view.

Next to the port there is the old port of Boukas, connected to the return or even the hate. It is full of fishing boats and boats and resembles a pirate harbor. Certainly, passing through the bouka, the visitor’s gaze will go to the impressive church of Agios Spyridon the Trimythoundos the Wonderworker, who is the patron saint of the island.

A separate area in Fry is the old port of Emporio with the busiest beach of the island and the church of the Nativity of the Virgin, which is from the post-Byzantine era.



emporios-kasos Small resort and old port of Kasos with beautiful architecture. Emporios or Kamari is a semi-circular cove six kilometers from Pyrgi. The coastal settlement of Emporio, this very beautiful and picturesque harbor has an ancient history.
In the entire area there are archaeological findings from the 6th and 7th centuries BC. On the hill of Prophet Ilias, located to the east, archaeologists discovered parts of an old settlement. It is believed to be the Lefkonium mentioned by Thucydides. Various phases can be seen in the harbor sanctuary from 690 BC. to the early Christian period.

Remains of an Ionic style temple with excellent technique were found here. To the left of the harbor rises Psaronas, the extinct volcano that once covered everything around it with lava. This explains the existence of the unique black pebbles, on the two beaches next to today’s Emporio. These pebbles were used for the cobbled courtyards of the Campo mansions.

The area consists mainly of country houses. It has rooms for rent and boarding houses, restaurants and shops. It is considered an ideal place for holidays.

Next to the village, very close to the port of Emporio, is Mavra Volia beach, one of the most famous of Chios, which owes its name to its black pebbles, a remnant of a prehistoric volcanic eruption. A paved path connects the port with the beach. It essentially consists of two separate beaches, Mavra Volia or Mavro Gialo and Foki.

It is worth visiting Mavra Volia, in order to admire the deep blue color of the crystal waters, but also the rare beauty of the black pebbles, with their reflection in the sea, making them one of the most beautiful beaches of the island

Agia Marina

agia-marina Once the capital of Kasos. Agia Marina is located in a hilly area west of the port of Fry, at an average altitude of 120 meters.
It is the village that directly associated its name with the tragic Kasos Disaster. There the inhabitants of the island had gathered the greater part of their forces to face the Egyptians and their fleet, under Hussein Pasha, in May 1824. When the island was destroyed, Agia Marina was reduced to a pile of ruins.

In Agia Marina you will find the most important archaeological site of Kasos, the Greek Chamber, as the cave had both residential (prehistoric times) and religious use (perhaps from the Hellenistic era). Remains of the Mycenaean and Middle Minoan periods, Linear A and B writing tablets, as well as Hellenistic and Roman remains were discovered inside the cave.

Here you will admire the great church of Agia Marina, built in 1862 and dominating the village, which takes its name from her. It celebrates with all its splendor on July 17


panagia-kasos Panagia, which is located between the port of Emporio and the village of Poli, was in the past the village of ship carpenters and captains of Kasos. Panagia, which is considered a holiday village, is characterized by a satisfactory number of well-preserved mansions with a special feature of all the columns at the entrance which are extremely impressive. The wooden doors still make an impression. It is obvious that the village of Panagia is a picturesque settlement.

Visitors to the village cannot fail to notice in the eastern part, the Church of the Dormition of the Virgin, which is a great attraction. Entering the temple, your eye will immediately fall on the mosaic floor with white and black pebbles, as well as the wooden iconostasis.

Since 1949 the marble sarcophagus of Osia Kassiani has been housed in the precincts of the church. The marble sarcophagus/larnaca, together with the church of Panagia, were declared a historic preserved monument. The first school of Kasos opposite the Church of Panagia, built in 1843, is located opposite the Church of Panagia. Now, this space is used as a hall for the Festival of the Fifteenth of August, one of the most popular festivals in the Dodecanese.


poli Poli the old capital of the island, which is two kilometers from Fry, is built on a hill and has a wonderful view towards the villages of Fry, Agia Marina and Panagia.

Poli is located southeast and at a distance of 3 kilometers from the current capital of Kasos, while it was the capital of the island in the past.

The central point of the village of Poli is adorned by the church of Agia Triada.

Intense activity was observed in the north of the island during the Mycenaean era.

To this day, in the area there are remains of the Mycenaean acropolis, on a hill next to Poli. In the eastern part of the acropolis you can see well-fortified walls as well as a paved road that leads to the port of Emporio.


arvanitochori-kasos Mansion houses, beautiful picturesque churches compose a dreamy setting in a green landscape. Arvanitochori is located almost in the center of the island, with approximately 170 permanent residents. It is worth visiting the church of Agios Dimitrios, with its wonderful bell tower, pebbled floor and impressive arches on the roof.

According to tradition, Arvanitochori was settled in the 16th century by Arvanites who came to Kasos after the island was deserted. A popular tradition, however, wants the name of the village to come from a captain resident of Arvanitochori, who dressed in Arvanite costumes.

In the center of the village dominates the church of Agios Dimitrios, celebrated on October 26. It is a large church – the cathedral of Arvanitochori – which was built in 1864. In the square, the famous cafe of “Marouklas” gathers a lot of people during the summer months.


beach-in-kasos Kasos beaches are very special. You will see them either decorated with rocks but also with sand or pebbles. Be they big or small coves, be completely deserted or organized – but not so much that they become “touristized”. In any case, however, there are many options to find the beach that suits you.

For organized situations and nearby taverns, go to Emporios. The rest of the beaches are quieter. To the west, in the area of Antiperato, is Ammoua beach, which is also relatively organized, as well as other smaller, deserted coves.

While much further away, at the southern end of the island, is Helatrou, a stunning beach that, thanks to the hills that surround it, is almost always windless.

The beach, however, which really remains unforgettable to anyone who gets to know it up close, is… across the street. It is on the small island of Armathia, but you can only reach it by sea, with a small boat that can take you there. Marmara beach, which combines the colors of the Caribbean with the sandy beaches of the Cyclades, will leave you speechless.


Armathia islet

Armathia is an uninhabited island. However, Armathia was not always uninhabited but in its heyday, which was due to the subsoil of the island which is rich in high quality gypsum, they had around 100 inhabitants.

It also has beaches, which are an interesting tourist destination. One of them, Marmara beach, has been characterized as one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.

Since the middle of 2000 there has been an observatory on the island so that nature lovers and members of ecological organizations can study the fauna of the area.


Moving around Kasos

Kasos has a network of paved roads about 40 kilometers long.All villages are connected to Fry (and to each other) by paved roads. Beyond this network, many dirt roads lead to the most important locations of the island. The condition of these roads depends a lot on the rains that fall in winter. Some of the dirt tracks require a 4×4 vehicle or a suitable off road motorcycle. Most can be covered with conventional I.X. or two-wheelers.

Routes are run by the Municipal Bus. Also, two taxis cover the needs. A gas station has been operating in Kasos since 1995. The gas station is located on the road that leads from Fry to Poli. Also, few motorbikes and cars are rented in Fry.

How to get to Kasos

By Air

Kasos ddoesn’t have an airport, but is very near to Karpathos and Rhode. From Rhodes or Karpathos you can fly with a forty-seater plane with almost daily services from Sky Express

By ferry

The ANEK Prevelis ferry departs from Piraeus with two services, one slow and one fast. The slow one takes about 23 hours, the fast one about 18 hours. Hellenic Seaways’ Chios Island, which departs from Piraeus once a week and makes 23 hours, as well as Blue Star ships. Another option is the local ferry Kasos Princess, which has a subsidized line connecting Kasos with Karpathos and Sitia in Crete. It does not take cars and can be combined with a holiday in Sitia. If you still want to vacation in Karpathos, there are day trips to Kasos.