Kasos Island is one of the lesser-known Greek islands and belongs to a group of islands called the Dodecanese. Before visiting the island I knew very little of its rich heritage, history and culinary traditions.
Here are a few things that surprised me upon visiting for the first time and getting a taste of what Kasos has to offer.
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👉🏼 Also read: Kasos Island Island Greece: Travel Guide
Tiny in size but doesn’t feel like it
Kasos is one of the smallest islands in Greece, with a total size of only 19 square miles and a population of 1,084 according to the latest census.
Arguably the longest drive or time spent in the car would be between the Monastery of Agios Mamas and Helatros Beach all the way south. Total = 35 minutes or 17 kilometres.
Having said that, the open scenery, mountainous terrain and twisting roads make the island seem much bigger than it is. The fact that there are only 5 settlements contributes to this feeling since all the villages are clustered around one specific area.
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Kasos is one of the least touristy islands in Greece
If you are looking to completely escape any sign of mass tourism, then Kasos could not be a better choice.
Even during peak season, most of the people on the island are Kasiots that have returned for the holidays or long-time visitors that seek peace and solitude.
While you won’t find many tourists, there are only 300 beds available, so you still want to book ahead!
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It has so many different and unique churches everywhere you look
It is clear that the presence of the sea has influenced the history and life of the inhabitants here from the beginning.
And it seems that next to every cove or bay you will find a small church or monastery; some to offer protection to the seafarers and keep them safe.
The deep religious faith of the islanders is also evident by the fact that there are more than 100 churches on this small island.
Don’t miss a visit to the church of Saint Spyridonas near the main square of Fry, watching the sunset from Agia Kyriaki and the blue and white colours of Saint George Monastery where you can also spend the night.
Kasos hosts a variety of religious and cultural festivals over the summer months called “panigyria”. This is a perfect way to combine food, local parties and summer days spent at the beach.
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Kasos has an airport
That’s right! Kasos has a small airport which is perfect if you are not a fan of long hours on a boat. There is only one airline that lands here (Sky Express) from nearby Rhodes and Karpathos.
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The food has a distinctive Egyptian influence
The food in Kasos is unlike anywhere else in Greece. After the destruction of the island by Ottoman forces in 1824, many Kasiots emigrated to Egypt.
Not long after, the construction of the Suez Canal brought many Kasiot workers to Egypt as well.
The ties between the two countries have lasted till this day and traces of this connection are felt in the food.
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You have to visit many times & especially during the summer festival season!
One thing that didn’t surprise me about Kasos is the urge to return and explore more of what it has to offer. After all, one time is never enough for a destination to reveal all its secrets!