Kasos

Dodecanese Islands

Kasos is an unusual little island that lies off the southern tip of Karpathos, between there and the east coast of Crete. Like Symi, it's an island that was once home to a much greater population than today, when only 1,000 people live there.

The Kasos Massacre

In the early 1820s Kasos had a population of about 11,000. At that time it was under Turkish rule and, as a ship-building base, had a large fleet of ships. It was the first Greek island to declare independence during the Greek War of Independence (1821-1832).

This act enraged Mehmet Ali, who was the Turkish Pasha in Egypt. He sent a huge fleet of boats to punish the Kasiots, to show his power and to destroy the Kasiot fleet. They invaded the island and killed about 7,000 islanders, after which Kasos unsurprisingly fell into a decline. 

The massacre took place on 7th June, 1824, and is still commemorated on that date, a very moving time to be on the island. Obviously ferries and flights either side of that date get very full as many Kasiots return to honour their ancestors.

Getting to Kasos

Flights to Kasos

For such a small place, Kasos is well-served by flights. There are daily flights to Kasos on Olympic Air from Karpathos and Rhodes, and from the airport at Sitia on Crete.

Ferries to Kasos

You can get to Kasos from several islands, and from Piraeus, but be prepared for long journey times. You will also need to do some planning on your dates as none of these ferries to Kasos operates daily.

The journey time from Athens is 19 hours, so you'd have to be a real ferry fan or on a tight budget to consider that an option. The closest island connected by ferry is Karpathos, 90 minutes away, and then Crete, with the ferry from Sitia taking 2.5 hours. There's also a ferry to Iraklion but that takes 6 hours. Other connections are with Rhodes and Santorini.

Ferries in Greece

Ferries in Greece has an excellent and very thorough website where, in addition to checking ferry schedules and times, you can also book tickets and get lots of useful information about travelling by ferry in Greece.

Fry

The island capital is Fry, which is pronounced 'free', where about one-third of the population lives. The few tourists who do venture here are greeted by the sight of bright white houses with their blue doors and shutters, looking remarkably like the Cyclades. Impossible to miss is the surprisingly large cathedral of Ayios Spiridon, the patron saint of the island.

Other than that and an Archaeological Museum, there's not much to see in Fry, though it is where you'll find the post office, ATMs, police, shops and travel services. There's a beach within about a 10-minute walk, and while it's not the greatest beach in the Aegean, it's pleasant enough.

Around Kasos

Outside Fry there are four small villages scattered around the island. There are a few beach 'resorts', and much of the interior of the island is quite rugged and barren. The highest peak is Mount Kapsalo at 1,913ft (583m), and not far away is the Ellinokamara Cave. It's a bit of a hike to get to it, and the way isn't well-marked, but you will be rewarded with great views. If you're staying in Fry you might be able to find a local guide to take you there, if you ask around.

What to Eat on Kasos

One unusual feature about the island is its food. One result of the massacre is that afterwards a few thousand people from Kasos emigrated to Egypt. They kept ties between Egypt and Kasos alive and as a result, Kasos cuisine has been influenced by Egyptian cooking. You'll find some dishes that are much spicier than is usual in Greece, and you'll even find dishes like tahini and pilaf appearing on menus.

Where to Stay on Kasos

Most of the accommodation is in Fry, and there is some around the rest of the island but the choice is limited and you ought to book ahead.

More Information
To find out more visit the official island website:

http://kasos.gr/

And read this story about acclaimed photographer Robert McCabe's book of historical photos of Kasos.

Some other Dodecanese pages

  • Mermaid Singing: Kalymnos Travel Writing

    Mermaid Singing by Charmian Clift is a fine example of 1950s travel writing about the Greek island of Kalymnos in the Dodecanese.

  • Rhodes

    Travel advice, information on Rhodes in the Dodecanese, with ferries from Piraeus for Athens, Symi, Crete, Kos, Patmos, Santorini, and flights from Europe

  • Easter on Rhodes

    During Easter on Rhodes Greece Travel Secrets publisher Mike Gerrard travels from Lindos to Kattavia to visit a monastery and spend Easter with a Greek family.

  • A Walk in the Old Town of Rhodes

    This walk through the Old Town of Rhodes takes you through this World Heritage Site and along the main streets and past the city walls, palaces and mosques.

  • Kos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Kos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece has good beaches and night-life, and archaeological remains.

  • Symi in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Symi (or Simi) is a small island in the Dodecanese near Rhodes with regular ferry connections, hotels, rooms to rent, beaches, tavernas.

  • Easter on Symi

    Easter on Symi is a wonderful Greek celebration and one of the best times to visit the little gem of an island a short ferry-ride from Rhodes in the Dodecanese.

  • A Holiday on Symi

    Mike Gerrard wasn’t sure what to expect from a holiday on Symi, in the Greek islands, but what he found was lots of local feasting, dancing, and music.

  • Patmos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Patmos in the Dodecanese islands is famous for the monasteries of St John and the Apocalypse and on this page you can also read about flights and ferries

  • Wild Abandon

    Wild Abandon by Jennifer Barclay and published by Bradt Guides is A Journey to Deserted Places of the Dodecanese islands in Greece, including Rhodes and Kos.

  • Tilos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Tilos is a small island in the Dodecanese between Rhodes and Kos with regular ferry connections, hotels, rooms to rent, beaches, tavernas and ancient remains.

  • Our Feast Day on Astipalia

    Greece Travel Secrets helps celebrate a feast day on Astipalia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.

  • Nisyros

    Nisyros is a unique volcanic island in the Dodecanese and easily reached on day trips from Kos Town and Kardamena.

  • Lipsi

    Travel information on Lipsi in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Leros in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Leros is a sizeable island in the Dodecanese with flights from Athens, ferries from Rhodes and Piraeus, good beaches, restaurants and hotels.

  • Kastellorizo

    Travel information on Kastellorizo in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Karpathos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Karpathos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece is noted for its traditions, its music, and mountain villages like Olympos.

  • Kalymnos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Kalymnos in Greece in the Dodecanese islands is most famous for its history of sponge fishing, and see here information about flights and ferries.

  • Halki

    Travel information on Halki in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Dodecanese

    Travel and vacation information about the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes, Symi, Kos, Patmos, Halki, Tilos, Karpathos, Leros, Lipsi, Astipalea.

  • Astypalaia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Astypalaia in the Dodecanese islands of Greece is a largely unspoilt island with good beaches.

  • Arki

    Arki is a small island in the Dodecanese close to Lipsi, with beaches and tavernas with rooms to rent and ferry connections with Patmos, Samos and Marathi.

  • Agathonisi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece

    Agathonisi is a small island in the Dodecanese with quiet beaches, a few hotels, pensions and rooms to rent.

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