Arki & Amarathia

The tiny island of Arki & Arkioi is close to Patmos. Yachts and fishing boats use the small protected harbor of Arki as a shelter from strong winds. Only about 50 people live on this barren island.

Since the island is so tiny, it is best discovered on foot. You can cover most of the island in about 20 to 30 minutes. However, the farthest beach is about a 50-minute hike. The beaches are on the southern and eastern sides, and all have beautiful crystal-clear water, but the shore might be rocky.  

The island is surrounded by small islets that constitute the Arki island complex (Marathi, Smineronisi, Tsouka, Tsoukaki, Avaptistos, Makronisi, Psathonisi, Kalovolos, and Nisaki).

Places to see

  • The Harbour of Arki is the only village on the island and is located on the island’s southwest side. 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 in Arki. Monks built this chapel since the island belonged to the monastery of Patmos.

Things to do

  • Go to the beach. 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 small cove and separated into three parts by rocky outcroppings. In the low season, there will be few people.
  • Swim. It is easy to reach the small islets by swimming across the bay, although you must watch out for boats during the high season.
  • Attend a festival. August 23rd, the festival of Panagia honors the Virgin Mary. Traditional music, food, and wine are essential components.
  • Birdwatch during the migratory period in the spring and fall.
  • Watch the sunset from the hill above the main port of Arki, where traces of the Ancient Acropolis of Arki can be found.
  • Dine. 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. However, at the Trypas Bar, one can hear Jazz, New Age music, or Blues while enjoying a cocktail.

Armathia

The biggest island of those around Kasos belongs 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 from Kalymnos, Chalki, and Symi used to anchor here.

Today only the 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 the visit worthwhile. For some visitors, Armathia’s beaches are some of the best in Greece.

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