A key expression in Kasos is “na s’evro” (to meet you). If you know how to use it, you can open any door in Kasos. It can be a greeting welcoming you to the island, but it could also open the gates of paradise. But what else is Kasos, apart from a lonely, bushy rock in the Carpathian Sea and what do you need a key for? The journey to Kasos is a real getaway. It is a pinch of freshness, a unique opportunity given to each one of us to get to know our inner selves. It is a reference point leaving out the features of a tourist destination and flirting with personal experience. It is not necessary for everyone to like Kasos, nor to love the people of this island. But you can still meet some of these “characters” which are scarce nowadays. You will see a sunburned fisherman with his all-cut hands, a farmer with his calloused hands, a cattle-breeder with his leaning body and his hands strong like clamps from milking, an old man that has just arrived from abroad and speaks two or three language mixing them in confusion, a teacher giving history classes under an old tree, ladies who sing rather than talk, children absolutely happy until adolescence knocks their door. There are approximately one thousand permanent inhabitants. Each one different from the other, unique and distinguished, and above all people!
In Armathia, the biggest of all the islands around Kasos, time passes at its own pace. It may be deserted today, but some decades ago it had a key role for the life of Kasos. This was the place were the gypsum mines operated until the mid 20th century, where until the early ‘70s some families used to live and graze sheep, cultivate the land, fish, and they were so many that could run 7 coffee shops! This was the place of anchorage for the sponge fishing boats coming from Kalymnos, Chalki and Symi.
Nowadays, the only thing that brings to mind the memories of this lifestyle is the ruins of houses, stables, threshing floors and bakeries. Nonetheless, on this small island, the whitewashed chapel of Ypapanti is still standing above the waves, majestic and proud, for which all the people of Kasos visit the island on February 2 to conduct a liturgy and celebrate. Marmara – the best beach of the entire area – Karavostasi and small Apopantoula, the impressive beaches of Armathia, constitute a very good reason to visit the island.
Some of the special products of Kasos or “elaiki” (dry mysithra cheese), the traditional kouloures (bagels), the excellent honey, “sitaka” (a dairy product of Kasos) and the butter of Kasos famous since antiquity but rare nowadays.
The cuisine of Kasos stands out with flavors that you will not taste anywhere else in Greece. It is influenced by Crete, the sailors of Kasos and the Kasians that lived in Egypt. The local dishes are still served at the taverns of the island and not only during festivals and feasts. You will taste the “doulmaes” the famous tiny dolmas of Kasos and “sitaka” a local cheese from sheep’s fat or cow’s milk which is usually eaten with kouloures or makarounes (the basic dish at the festival of Christ on August 6). Elaiki (salty myzithra cheese that is kept inside a can covered with butter for 4-5 months) is another local cheese. “Makarounes” is a type of pasta like penne served with sitaka and roast onions or garlic, the so-called “skordomakarounes”. If you like meat, you have to taste “boustia” and “bobaria” which are lamb’s offal with minced meat, liver and rice. If you prefer fish, you will find the dry-salted picarels, called menoules by the locals. Do not miss tasting the pilaf of Kassos, which is boiled in meat broth with tomato and is served with cinnamon, as well as lachanopitia (local pies with herbs) and roikio (a local wild herb boiled and served as a salad or stew, cooked with tomato).
Moschopougia – fragrant pouches – are small sweets, in the form of pouches, cooked with a special pastry and filled with almonds, sugar and rosewater. Taste the xylikopites (local pancakes) and the myzithra pies (with sweet myzithra cheese, honey and sugar).
Municipality of Kasos
+30 22450 41277, 41400
+30 22450 41288
+30 22450 41333
+30 22450 41222