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KASOS

Kasos seems like a rose. Viewing each side you will see thorns and beautiful leaves. While its climate is tempered and healthy, the thin soil and the mountainous nature with the unique flora and fauna present an inhospitable front until you see the first insular households and the heartfelt citizens.

At its highland embrace are settled five villages: Fri, Port -the outspread at the top of the hill with magnificent view biggest village-, Arvanitochori at the foothill, Poli-the old village structured around the mound with its ruined Castle- and Panagia over the old port of Emporeio.

Fri is the capital and singular port of Kasos. By it you will find the small port of Bouka, a unique piece of old pirate resort where boats secure and fishermen drink their coffe at the traditional coffeehouse selling their catch. Bouka will always be in the heart of the Kasos citizen since it is related with the homecoming and the emigration. Near Fri is Emporeios, the former port with the old beautiful stone-built houses and the Church of Holy Mother's Nativity. Also impressive are the churches of Agios Spyridonas and Agia Marina.

White houses with yards and the verandas are colorfully blended with the old captain houses, pieces of previous and wealthy times while at the settlements the houses are snow-white and the alleys are slated. Of significant interest are the pastoral habitats that carry a long time tradition of the shepherd life. There are produced the splendid dairy commodities. The fantastic outlook of the houses in Kasos hardly could reveal the internal affluence they preserve. Furniture, vessels, mirrors, lamps brought by every inch of this earth adorn couches and the shelving. The hard work of the seamen tied in harmony with the toil of the Kasos woman hands that weaved and needled with appetite and concinnity.

In all the settlements and the country locations you will find churches and tabernacles with shingle floors and woodcut temples like at the abbey of Agios Mamas and St' George that offer a long hospice and that with their presence they sweeten the wind nature. Agios Mamas is the sentinel of the Egyptian Sea and St. George is the favoured saint of the island. At both abbeys are taking place the most traditional fairs in Kasos. One hundred small and great churches are seed between the houses and in the whole range of the island, thank-offerings from the seamen that worked daily at jeopardy.

The coastline of Kasos is full of every kind of swimming coasts. It is almost impossible for the visitor to fail to discover a beach matching his habits and his taste. He will find bluff and rocky strands perfect for dips, sandy beaches for the standard water sports, shingle shores, organized or lonely.

At Emporeio there is an organized coast beset by a couple of taverns and a sweetshop that provide everything needed for a complete summer daytime. At the west side of Kasos you will find Ammoua Beach and at the Antiperatos area a quartet of lonely beaches ideal for all those who like to avoid the throng. An the southwards of Kasos the most famous is the Chelatros Beach, a natural port used by the Minoans at the ancient times. The coast is always immune from the winds while at its mare liberum unique waves are formed rendering this spot as a small heaven for the windsurfing votaries.

Among all the beaches in Kasos, the one that surely distinguishes is the one at the opposite islet of Armathia. It's view is really remarkable as it combines the tropical and the Cycladic scene. Less than unfairly, it is considered from many trippers as one of the most beautiful Mediterranean coasts. It is accessed only by boat, fact that gives a romantic tone to the visit. In Kasos there are some more approachable by the sea beaches, without ordinary routes towards them. In any event, with a little cheer you will always find a way to them discovering that it was worth trying.

The Kasos' cuisine features a beggaring for such a small island variety of flavors. The contact of the citizens with the outward lands such as Crete, Dodecanese, Egypt, America, Small Asia, Italy and Constantinople gave the Kasos' cookery recipes hardly appearing in other, major islands.

The dominant influence concerns about the general practice appearing at the most East Mediterranean cookbook, the stowage. Lamb is stuffed on the Easter and chicken or turkey in other occasions with a unique stuffing of rice, onion, various spices, tomato and other ingredients called "paspara" or offal stuffed with liver and rice, the so called "boustia", stuffed vegetables, Lenten or with chopped meat even stuffed marrow flowers ("marrowbirds"). At this category we surely find the legendary stuffed vine leaves, maybe the most delicious and petit in Greece. Turnovers, Easter Cakes, patties with stuffing of cheese and spices, "moschopougia" with stuffing of almond and nuts and many other tastes expect you. Worth mentioned, the "makarounes" handmade pasta served with roasted onion and "sitaka". A shepherds' food often cooked using the trade pasta pens and commonly and free offered as a mess at Christ's celebration in the 6th of August.

The long-lasting attendance of many of tha Kasos citizens in Egypt enhanced the island's cookery with many spicy sapors and exotic meals. However the fact that seems to work out is the various collateral admixtures such as pilafs and soups. Many Egyptian foods such as "molocha" and "tachinia" are still cooked in many houses or restaurants in Kasos.

Just like in every insular cookery, here an important place is been taken by the seafood. The most representative is maybe the "soupiopilafo" made by sepia of fresh squid. Further worth mentioned are "kouloures, the crispy double-baked bread rolls appropriate for coffee or tea and "rohikio", the kind of weed similar to the chicory that is collected and put in salt water in order to be cooked later as "rohicio casserole".

Remarkable cheeses made in Kasos are "almotyri", "elahiki" and "sitaka" made by the shepherds from sheep' and lamb' milk.

If you ever come to Kasos you should try to visit the "mitata", the shepherds' folds. Except the cheeses mentioned above and with a little luck you will have the opportunity to taste "drylla', a pure kind of cream or delicious meal crepes. Tasteful as recherche is the island's butter, "kaouli", a worked cream that the shepherds beneficiate in a particular leather bag.

Map of Kasos

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