Other Islands of the Dodecanese.


Map of Karpathos & Kasos.
Map of Kasos.


In the various periods of antiquity, the island bore the names Amphie, Astrabe and Achnis. It was called Kasos after a hero of the same name, the father of Cleomachos. The first inhabitants seem to have been Pelasgians - as withness the Pelasgian wall at Ellinokamara.

We now from Homer (Iliad, II 676) that Kasos took part in the Trojan War. It is also mentioned by Pliny (5, 31, 36). who, like many other ancient authors, calls the island Achnis.
In the eleventh century BC, Kasos was taken by the Dorians, after which point its history is the same as that of the other islands in the Dodecanese group.

The people of Kasos were well-know as seafarers even in ancient times, and ther commercial fleet was a large and important one. Their contribution to the struggle to liberate Greece from the Turks involved herassing and raiding Turkish ships, which they often captured.

The courage and fighting-spirit of the Kasiots was legendary: aboard only four small ships, they raided Damietta in Egypt, where they captured 13 vessels from which they seized 100.000 piasters and large quantities of booty. On 14 May 1824, as a reprisal, a Turkish and Egyptian squadron of 17 ships under admirals Ismael Gibraltar and Hussein Bey, landed 1.500 armed men on Kasos, and, despite the heroic resistance of the local people, captured the island, slaughtered most of the people and burned and laid waste all the villages. This hollocaust is commemorated by a memorial service held on 14 may each year.

Years later, descedants of the few survivors settled on Kasos once more, and soon proved themselves such outstanding sailors that the island's commercial fleet grew to its former size again. Today, many of the ships in the Greek and international merchant fleet are owned by men of Kasos.


The Island:
Kasos, the southernmost island of the Dodecanese complex, is 11 km from the south-western end of Karpathos. It is a small mountaious island, with an area of 49 km² its highest peaks being Prionas(576 m), Korakas (410 m), Periolas (498 m), and Hadies (472 m). Before Hadies is the fertile plateau of Argos. Pear trees, scattered olive trees and fig trees grown on the island, and it breeds sheep and goats.
The island is an ideal place for someone who wishes to observe the traditional Greek way of live or who is fond of walking.

Capital and port of the island, in a corner on the Bay of Bouka, which resembles an eyebrow in shape; it is from a word meaning 'eyebrow' that the town's name is ultimately derived. The church of St Spyridon stands on the edge of the little old fishing harbour and adds to its picturesqueness. The local museum is small, with a few archeological and folkore exhibits.

1 km east of Fri.

Beach near Fri with shallow water.

Agia Marina:
1 km south-west of Fri. A village with many churches, which its inhabitants keep sparkling white, with blue domes. The island's only spring is here. The church of St Marina has its feast day on 17 july, when a fear is held.

A most attractive village standing in the lush green of the island's valley, with fig trees, pomegranates and gardens full of jasmine and bougainvillaeas.

3 km south-east of Fri and the former capital of the island, built on the site of the ancient acropolis.

Between Fri and Poli, this village now as less than 50 inhabitants,. The imposing sea-captains'houses are now abondoned.

St Mamas Monastery:
On the southern side of the island, 90 minutes' walk from Fri. From the road to Poli a pathway starts out and climbs through an eroded landscape with scattered boulders, half-collapsed terraces and sheer rugged rocks before reaching the monastery, today unhabited.

Monastery of St George:
The monastery is two and a half hours from Arvanitochori and is reached by a path off to the left in a southerly direction from Arvanitochori-Agia Marina road. Nowadays, the monastery is lived in, most of the time, only by the caretaker. Before the monastery, a fork in the road to the left leads to the sea at Helathros.
in the same direction is the cave called Ellinokamara, the mouth of which is 30 metres wide and 6 metres high. The cave is of historical and archeological importance. Nearby is the Selai cave, with fine stalactites.

An islet to the north-west of Kasos with a superb beach. Acces by caïque from Emboreios.

Text from Davaris Publications. Greek Islands: DODECANESE.
Kasos air view. Kasos. Kasos. Kasos. Kasos. Kasos air view. Kasos. Kasos. Kasos. Kasos.
Click on image to enlarge.

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Nostalgia Travel ™ / Other Islands / Kasos.