Visit to Armathia Island

I’m halfway through my 8 nights on Kasos and this beautiful low key island has already stolen a piece of my heart. This island is so unspoilt and unusually doesn’t appear to have been ’boutiquified’ for the masses.

Getting around the island is relatively easy.  From the main port village Fri, it is very easy to access the other 4 villages via a free bus (Yes you read correctly – FREE bus!)  that circulates around the coast, main villages and the tiny tiny little airport with it’s tiny tiny plane.

A few days ago I walked up to the village of Panagia where a red topped church sat on the main road offering views of Fri.  Most of the villages are within walking distance of Fri so very easy to explore on foot.

Yesterday I went to the neighbouring uninhabited island of Armathia which I’d read had one of the most beautiful beaches in the Aegean – that’s something to live up to! The trip was dependent on a minimum number of people and about a dozen of us had gathered on the quay next to the small boat the Kasos Princess.  This boat ferries daily between Karpathos and Kasos and then a trip to Armathia Island in between.  Because we were a small group we sailed on Athena, the little sister of the Kasos Princess.  The water was very choppy for the thirty minute journey across and I was already thinking that this trip had better be worth it!

When we are first cast out of the boat to swim to the shore, you don’t immediately see the beauty that is about to beset you. Against a rocky, barren backdrop is the most stunning, crystalline clear turquoise waters that I have ever seen – and that is saying something. The long sandy beach has a couple of shelters but parasols were provided for our small group who spent a couple of hours just wallowing in this amazingly beautiful bit of sea.  This truly is paradise!

A few days ago I’d spent the day tidying up the courtyard at the house where I was staying.  The courtyard is one of the best assets the property has and it had become a little neglected.  Being a keen gardener I set about deadheading flowers, removing dead leaves and giving everything a good sweep.  As a reward my host took me up to the top of the mountain for the panagia of Agios Mamas – just one of the many panagias that the local Kasiots celebrate on the island. Food, drink, music and dancing was a plenty – and it was so interesting to see a their unique island dance.  The panagias run like a well-oiled engine. Everyone is accomplished in their role of preparing and serving the food – lamb (or possibly goat) with the very special Kasiot Dolmadakia.  A row of men form a line from the kitchen to the main courtyard and ensure visitors such as myself are served first.  Others walk amongst the crowd ensuring that everyone has a cup of wine in hand accompanied by huge hunks of church bread.

The view from the top of the mountain was just spectacular but my camera phone just wouldn’t be able to do the view justice.  This is a wonderful end to an amazing day!

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