General Information on Kasos
Kasos is the southernmost island of the Dodecanese complex, located between Karpathos and Crete. It is a small rocky island with a surface area of about 66km² and a population of 990 inhabitants. The island is not yet saturated with tourists, and keeps its traditional way of life. Many historical monuments, churches and monasteries are spread around the island revealing its route in history. Apart from the archaeological and historic interest, the island enchants visitors with its natural beauties. Rocky landscapes, traditional settlements, lacy shores and deep blue waters compose the ideal setting for peaceful and quiet vacations.
History of Kasos
As all Dodecanese islands, Kasos has an important historic route to show. According to archaeological finds, Kasos has been inhabited since prehistoric times. According to Homer, the island of Kasos was first inhabited by Phoenicians who named it “The Island of sea foam”. Later, it was settled by Dorians before the Trojan War (1193–1184 B.C.).
During the Persian Wars (490 – 479 B.C.) all islands of the Eastern Mediterranean, including Kasos, were dominated by the Athenian State and had to contribute by paying an annual fee. However, the unity of the island was broken and they eventually yielded to the Macedonians. Throughout the campaign of Alexander the Great, Kasos maintained a neutral stance. The Roman civil war following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 53 B.C. found the island in decline, but still retaining its autonomy. However, Rhodes and the rest of the islands were later conquered by the Romans.
During the period 825-961, Spain-based Arabs made their appearance, capturing and occupying Crete, which was their base for attacks on the islands. In 1207, the island was occupied by Venetians from Crete and in 1287 by Genoese. In 1306, Kasos and Karpathos were taken by a Venetian called Andrea Cornaro. In 1537, the island was occupied by the Turks. During the Turkish occupation, all Dodecanese islands enjoyed a privilege granted by the Sultan. They were allowed self-government by elected elders of the community. The only Turkish official present was the so-called Soumbasisi who refrained from interfering in regional issues.
During the Orlof Revolution (1768-1774), the island was occupied by the Russians who repeatedly embroiled themselves in clashes with the Greeks. After the signing of the Koutjouk Kainartji treaty, the Russians left the islands under Turkish domination. The residents of Kasos took part in the Revolution of 1821 against the Ottomans, and as the naval force of that time, offered their fleet to the war. On 7 June 1824, the island lived its worst day in history. The Turks burnt Kasos and killed the entire population. Few managed to escape from this holocaust.
When the Greek Revolution came to its successful end and a new nation was formed in 1829, Kasos and the rest of the Dodecanese were left out; they were to remain under the Turkish yoke. In 1912 the Italians, in their war against the Turks, occupied the Dodecanese. The islanders continued to press for union with the motherland and in 1948 the islands of the Dodecanese officially became part of the New Greek State.
Towns & Villages in Kasos
Fry: This is the capital and main port of the island. The settlement was built in 1840, and has well preserved mansions, two-storey houses of traditional architecture and stone buildings. All these create an idyllic picture and are the main reason why Fry is the biggest tourist resort of the island. Hotels and rooms for rent, taverns, cafes and all kinds of tourist facilities are here.
Emporios: This is the old trade harbour of the island. It is situated just 1km east of Fry. Emporios is a quite noisy village because all boats around the island, along with excursion boats from neighbouring islands leave from here. The settlement has few rooms to rent and the small port is ideal for swimming, as the waters are crystal clear.
Agia Marina: The village of Agia Marina is one of the most beautiful in Kasos. It is situated just 1km from the capital and has well-preserved mansion houses, white churches with blue cupolas and graphic mills. This village resembles the typical villages of the Cyclades islands.
Panagia: This small settlement is located 1km east of Fry. In the past few years, the village has become a tourist resort and more hotels and room complexes are built every year. As the village is much quieter than the capital, it is ideal for staying.
Poli: This is the old capital of Kasos and it is situated 2km away from the current one. The settlement is built amphitheatrically on a hill and has a panoramic view to Fry, Agia Marina and Panagia. The village is lovely and is definitely worth a visit.
Arvanitochori: The village of Arvanitochori is situated almost in the centre of the island, 3km from the capital. The settlement gathers a large number of tourists due to its beautiful architecture. Amazing mansions and churches are spread around the village, while fertile grounds and flowered gardens fill the scene with colours.
Beaches in Kasos
Emporios: The beach at the village of Emporios is organized, surrounded by two taverns and a confectionery. It is sandy with shallow calm waters and it gets very crowded during high summer season.
Ammounda: This beach is located on the western side of Kasos, 3.5km west of Fry. The beach belongs to the region of Antiperatos. The area has four isolated beaches with colourful pebbles, ideal for those who want to avoid crowded resorts.
Helatros: This beach is located at the southern part of the island. It is a natural harbour which, in antiquity, was used by Minoan seamen. Helatros beach has no tourist facilities and almost no shade. However, it is protected from winds and, in the open sea, unique waves are formed, making the beach ideal for those who love windsurfing.
Armathia: The beach that lies in the islet of Armathia is considered to be one of the best beaches of Greece. The view here is amazing, as it combines tropical and Cycladic landscape. The beach is sandy, with unique rock formations and azure shallow waters. Access is only possible from sea.
How to Reach Kasos
Air: The island is connected to Rhodes, Karpathos and Sitia in Crete by Olympic Air.
Ferry: The island of Kasos is on the route to/from Rhodes (6½ hours) and Piraeus (17 hours) via Karpathos, Crete and Milos.
Weather in Kasos
The climate of Kasos is a mild Mediterranean climate characterised by sunny and dry summers and mild winters. As an island, Kasos has a quite humid climate and some heavy rains during winter and autumn.
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