The island of Kasos is located at the southernmost tip of the Dodecanese. Kasos has an ancient history and shares many common characteristics with Crete, as it is located very close by. Beyond its archaeological and historical interest, Kasos impresses with its natural beauty. It is known for its picturesque settlements, stunning beaches, lively festivals, and musical traditions.
History of Kasos
Kasos, also known as "The Island of Afros," was initially inhabited by Phoenicians. During the Persian Wars, Kasos came under the dominion of the Athenian City-State. In the period of the Roman Civil War after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 53 BCE, the islands in the region were in decline but maintained their autonomy. From 825 to 961, Crete was conquered by Spanish-speaking Arabs who also attacked the islands. However, the Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros Phokas managed to halt these invasions. Nevertheless, the Venetians and the Franks soon replaced the Arabs.
In 1537, Kasos and Karpathos were occupied by the Ottomans. In 1821, during the Greek Revolution, the inhabitants of Kasos had a commercial fleet of around 100 ships. On May 27, 1824, with a large fleet, the Turks destroyed Kasos, and the civilian population, consisting mainly of women and children, was mercilessly massacred. In 1912, the Italians occupied the Dodecanese. Finally, on March 7, 1948, Kasos united with Greece, becoming part of it.
Beaches in Kasos
- Avlaki: A very small beach in a narrow bay with turquoise waters, located at the southwestern tip of Kasos. The sea is calm even when there are winds, and the stunning sea caves there are perfect for exploration. The beach is accessible either by sea or through a downhill trail from the Monastery of Agios Georgios.
- Amoua: A beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear turquoise waters, offering facilities such as sunbeds, umbrellas, and a canteen. At one end of the beach, you'll find the chapel of Agios Konstantinos, from where you can enjoy mesmerizing sunsets. The beach is surrounded by small hills that provide protection from the winds. It's worth visiting if you plan to explore Kasos.
- Antiperatos: The first and largest in a series of four beaches, creating an exotic landscape with sand, fine pebbles, and crystal clear turquoise waters. There is no protection from the north wind.
- Helatros: A magical pebble beach situated in a natural bay with emerald waters and protection from the northern winds, in the southwestern part of the island. The unique waves created at the beach make it ideal for windsurfing enthusiasts. There are no organized facilities, so you should bring the necessary supplies with you.
- Emborios: A small beach with sandy shores and clear azure waters, well-organized and located near the capital of Kasos, Chora. It is the most popular beach for both local residents and visitors due to its proximity to the town.
Sights in Kasos
- Explore the amphitheatrical Poli with its narrow alleys and intricate dry-stone walls. It was the ancient capital of the island, also known as Polin, and there you can still admire the ruins of the ancient acropolis and the carved tombs dating back to the 4th century BCE.
- Discover the beautiful settlement of Fry, which is the capital of Kasos and is situated around the picturesque harbor of Bouka. The settlement was built in 1840 and enchants visitors with its stone mansions and elegant captain houses that adorn its streets. In the center of the town, in front of the Town Hall, you'll find the Holocaust Monument dedicated to the legendary massacre of the Kasians by the Turks in 1824.
- Enjoy an afternoon stroll in the noble Agia Marina, which is the largest settlement on the island and features the characteristic Cycladic architecture. Its picturesque alleys are decorated with impressive mansions and beautiful captain houses from another era.
- Don't miss a visit to the blue-and-white monastery of Agios Georgios in Hadies, which dates back to 1690 and is one of the major pilgrimage sites on the island. Admire the elaborate carved iconostasis and the rare frescoes that adorn its interior.
Activities in Kasos
- Follow the beautiful hiking trails of the countryside to discover the renowned mitata, the stone vaulted farmhouses of the shepherds, and unique monuments of folk architecture. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the authentic nature and culture of the region.
- Enjoy the breathtaking spectacle of the sunset over the Libyan Sea from the impressive monastery of Agios Mamas, dating back to the 19th century. It is an experience of absolute beauty.
- Don't miss a visit to the beautiful Folklore Museum of Kasos, located in Arvanitochori. The museum is housed in a traditional Kasian house, and its collection presents the way of life of the inhabitants through everyday objects and works of folk art.
- Also, make sure to visit the enchanting Church of Panagia Potamitissa. This church is built high on the mountain, within a natural cave, and offers a unique visiting experience.
How to travel to Kasos?
Kasos is connected by ferry to Piraeus and other Aegean islands with regular ferry routes. Here are some popular routes:
- Ferry routes Piraeus - Kasos: The mainland is connected to Kasos by sea from Piraeus through the company Blue Star Ferries. The ships operate the Piraeus - Kasos route year-round. The journey to Kasos takes approximately 22 hours, and the cost of a one-way ticket is €73.5. The route includes stops at the islands of Patmos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Symi, Rhodes, and Kasos.
- Ferry routes Crete - Kasos: Kasos is connected by ferry to the ports of Heraklion and Sitia in Crete. Two times a week, there are sailings from Heraklion to Kasos with an intermediate stop in Sitia. The duration of the journey is about 5 hours, and the ticket cost is €19. The travel time from Sitia to Kasos is 2 hours, and the ticket price is €11.
- Ferry routes Rhodes - Kasos: The ferry connection between Rhodes and Kasos operates 3-4 times a week. The journey takes approximately 6.5 hours, and the ticket cost is €22.5. The route includes intermediate stops at the islands of Halki, Diafani, and Karpathos.
You can find details for all routes, destinations, departure times, as well as ticket prices with all discounts for both passengers and vehicles on the booktickets website. Compare prices and easily book affordable ferry tickets with all discounts.