Arki & Amarathia
The tiny island of Arki & Arkioi is close to Patmos. Yachts and fishing use the small protected harbor of Arki as used as a shelter from strong winds. A few stone houses some with whitewash can be found around the port. The few tavernas offer fresh fish on their menus. Only about 50 people live on this barren island with a little greenery.
As its size is so small it is best discovered by hiking. Most of the island can be reached in a 20 to 30-minute walk, while the farthest beach is about a 50-minute hike. Arki does not have any roads, but there are two cars and one motorbike, making walking almost the sole mode of transportation. The beaches are on the southern and eastern side and all have beautiful crystal-clear water, but the shore might be rocky in places.
The island is surrounded by small islets that constitute the Arki island complex (Marathi, Smineronisi, Tsouka, Tsoukaki, Avaptistos, Makronisi, Psathonisi, Kalovolos, and Nisaki).
The Harbour of Arki is the only village on the island and is located on the southwest side of the island. The majority of the people who live there work in agriculture or fishing. Three-quarters of the island is uninhabited.
The Castle of Arki is located on the west side of the village. It was constructed from a colony of Miletus in the 4th century BC while it was reconstructed from the Byzantines.
Another monument is the Cave of Votsi. In 1943 inhabitants of this island found shelter here from German bombardment.
The Church of Panagia Pantanassa is the most important religious monument on Arki. Monks built this chapel since the island belonged to the monastery of Patmos.
Tiganakia Beach is the only tourist beach on the island. It is a sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters. Rocks surround the beach making it possible to swim even in high winds. The beach is in a slight cove and separated into three parts by rocky outcroppings. In the low season, there will be few people.
The main attraction of this beach is swimming. It is easy to reach the nearby small islets by swimming across the bay, although you will have to watch out for boats during high season. The beach is a good 45-minute walk from the town, with no paths and only one sign to direct you. To reach it, you should head away from the town along the main road, passing a couple of bays on your right, and when you reach the end of the road, continue straight until you reach a sign, follow the instructions and walk in the direction of the island you can see in the distance. You should eventually reach your destination.
In summary, it is not an essential sightseeing item, but worth visiting if you would like to swim on a quiet beach.
- August 23rd, the festival of Panagia held in honor of the Virgin Mary. Traditional music, food, and wine are an important component.
- Bird watching during the migratory period in the spring and fall.
- Watching the sunset from the hill above the main port of Arki where traces of the Ancient Acropolis of Arki can be found.
- Three to four Tavernas serve fresh seafood and delicious specialties. Flashing Disco lights and a crowded room with loud music cannot be found on Arki. Nevertheless, at the Trypas Bar, one can hear Jazz, New Age music, or Blues while enjoying a cocktail.
The biggest island of those around Kasos, belonging to the Kasos municipality. Decades ago, it was essential to Kasos. Today it is deserted.
Gypsum mines operated on Armathia until the mid-20th century, and families lived here, cultivated the land, fished and raised sheep. Sponge fishing boats coming from Kalymnos, Chalki, and Symi used to anchor here.
Today only ruins of these buildings remind visitors of the flourishing past. The white-washed chapel of Ypapanti is still standing proud and majestic. People from Kasos come to the island each year on February 2nd to conduct a liturgy and celebrate. Marmara, Karavostasi, and Apopantoula are impressive beaches on this small island, displaying beautiful azure blue colors that make a visit worthwhile. For some visitors, Armathia’s beaches are some of the best in all of Greece.
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