Just 27 nautical miles from Crete, and 11 km south of Karpathos, Kasos is one of the most
remote and least visited of the Greek Islands. Kassos has a land mass of
66 sq. km. and a coastline of 50 km, its population is around 1100. It's the last Dodecanese island before Crete, the last Greek island before Egypt: literally the end of the line.
A barren island with steep cliffs, caves, gulches, small coves and
few beaches Kasos reminds one of Greece as it used to be before mass
The island is barren and mountainous. Part of
Kasos' barrenness is due to the Turks setting it afire and massacring
the inhabitants in 1824. Only a few olive and fig trees survived the fire.
There are a number of lighthouses on Kassos, testimony to the tricky seas in the area.
The best beaches are to be found on the tiny offshore islet of Armathia just to
the north Water-taxis are available. A 6 km road circles Kasos.
Chelathros Bay is a good site for sun lovers. You can walk across Kassos to this beach on an isolated track that passes the Monastery of Ag. Giorgios. There is water available at the monastery, but it would be wise to carry snacks and water.
Kasos has five small villages, with Fry (or Fri) being the main port and capital. You can explore all of Fry in about an hour. The little port is Bouka. In the port on June 7 each year a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony is held commemorating the massacre of 1824. Many people from Karpathos attend this event, as do Kassiots from around the world.
The suburb of Emborios is 1km east of Fry.
Near the village of Agia Marina is the
beach of Ammoua. The airstrip is also near Ag. Marina. Nearby are two fine caves: Ellinokamara (or Hellenokamara) and Sellai, both with stalactites and stalagmites. The cave of Ellinokamara is interesting with Mycenaean and Hellenistic traces.
Drinking and Dining
You can get decent seafood and standard Greek dishes on Kassos. There are even a couple of tavernas in Emborio.
An ancient city stood at the site of the present village of Poli. You can see the crumbling acropolis, Byzantine castle and church.
As mentioned above, there was a massive Turkish massacre, with all the men killed and women and children taken as slaves. The few Kassiots who survived remain here, or emigrated to Egypt to work on the Suez Canal. Many have moved to America.