Ikaria

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US

The Island of Festivals

Adventurous Experiences, Authentic Festivals and Tropical Sceneries Under the Bright Smiles of the Locals
Aegean is wonderful place. Though, Ikaria has this distinctive human element associated with the magical spirit and the colourful optimism that remains unique in its kind.Verdant mountain slopes drown in the deep blue sea with the intention of giving their position on steep bare slopes and revert to even richer landscapes that hide priceless mysterious treasures. The south side is characterized from rare wild beauty sceneries while the beautiful beaches are the absolute protagonists of the north side. The pace of life of Ikaria exudes a peaceful aura with a complete lack of sense of time. Indeed, the island moves in relaxing rhythms showcasing its unique philosophy of life, only the first reason you will fall in love with her among others. Seaside villages perched on the rocks, exceptional beaches fringed with turquoise waters, traditional authentic festivals and hospitable people give to the island a unique colour. Ikaria has notorious laxity flirting dangerously with mythical creatures exuding an aura of extraordinary authenticity. Feels like people in Ikaria are required to laugh, drink, talk and dance by law, envied from millions others. The smiles of the people are so bright and powerful, one of the most irrepleacable ways to make you forget everything. All suggest a different way of life, turning your experience into an adventure. The carelessness of the inhabitants is rolling in their life without anxiety and stress. Follow the magical world of the inhabitants of Ikaria. Loosely, as only they know, since time in the island never stops, as it never started counting. All of the above are the exceptional reasons to fall in love with Ikaria. We will not reveal to you the recipe for longevity, but Ikarians themselves will show you their distinctive way of living.

Discover Ikaria

Best of Ikaria

The Capital of Ikaria

The Town of Agios Kirikos, else known as Agios from locals, is the capital and harbour of Ikaria located on southeast side of the island. The village is considered one of the most charming settlements of the Aegean. The traditional architecture is evident from the red and blue neoclassical houses with flowered balconies and narrow alleys lined from the picture central square of the island. Worth visiting sights include the Metropolitan Church of Agios Kirikos with its beautiful blue dome, the Statue of Icarus, the Archaeological and the Folklore Museums. The seaside cobblestone promenade is a significant attraction of Agios Kirikos.

The Beach of Seychelles

The Beach of Seychelles is one of the most beautiful beaches of the country. It is a white sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters and imposing white cliffs that compose magical sceneries. Snorkelling lovers can discover the intriguing seabed of the beach!

The Forest of Randi

The Forest of Randi includes a vast area of sixteen square kilometres with steep geomorphology lying on the central part of the island. The forest has a rare protected species of oak trees dating five million years ago. The fauna of the forest included several species of small mammals. In a nutshell, the forest is undoubtedly a habitat of natural beauty with major botanical and historical value.

The Island of Fourni

The Island of Fourni lies just a breath away from Ikaria. Used as a shelter from the pirates of Corsica, the microcosm of Fourni is formed from a miniature archipelago of deserted islands and rocky reefs. Imagine a mysterious escape destination away from the rest of the world with mesmerizing sceneries and emerald waters.  The pace of life of Fourni exudes an aura of tranquillity and peacefulness with the spirit of Poseidon wandering around the island. The village of Kambos has managed to maintain the architectural heritage of Fourni. Traditional houses, mulberry trees ad cobblestone alleys spread around the picturesque natural harbour. The lacy coastline of the island is beautified from the pristine beaches, countless coves with colourful boats, mulberry trees and old windmills. The hospitality of the locals and the beauty of the landscapes endeavour to captivate your eyes, an island away from the ordinary. Will you take the chance to experience something different?

The Rock of Icarus

The Rock of Icarus is located on the south side of the island close to the beach of Vaoni. According to mythology, Ikaria owes its name to legendary Icarus, the son of Daedalus who was the architect hired by King Minos of Crete to built the Labyrinth where the Minotaur of Crete was held. King Minos prohibited them to leave the island to prevent spreading the plans of the Labyrinth. For this reason, Daedalus created waxwings with the intention of flying away from the island. Icarus fled too close to the sun believing he was stronger than the gods, and his wings melted and fell into the sea of Ikaria. This was the place that Icarus lost his wings and fell in the sea. A small outdoor amphitheatre and a statue were built in honour of Icarus.

The Thermal Springs of Ikaria

The Thermal Springs of Ikaria have been known for their therapeutic properties since antiquity. The hot springs are considered amongst the most radioactive springs in the entire world. The temperature of the springs ranges from 31 to 58 degrees of Celsius with curative properties for gynaecological, respiratory, kidney, bladder and rheumatic diseases. The island has many thermal springs in the areas of Agios Kirikos, Lefkada, Agia Kiriaki and Thermae.

The Village of Christos Rahon

The Village of Christos Rahon is a mountainous village located on the north side of the island. Built in verdant sceneries, the lovely settlement distinguishes for its unique philosophy of life. The charming cafeterias, the traditional taverns and the shops usually stay open until the early morning hours. The village that never sleeps, Christos Rahon has one of the most distinct lifestyles of the world. Known as the Ikarian Time, this lifestyle denotes the relaxing rhythms of the island, as the shops open after the sunset times. One of the largest traditional festivals of Ikaria is held in the village on August 6.

Archaeological Sites

The Archaeological Site of Oenoe was the ancient capital of the island that was established from the inhabitants of Miletus of Asia Minor in 750 BC. Oenoe flourished throughout the ancient world for its viticulture. The site spreads on the hill of Agia Irini in the village of Kambos. The remnants of the Odeon are still preserved, which served as a meeting place of the noblemen of the area.

The Roman Baths of Thermae was the second ancient town of the island located in a short distance from the present village of Therma. The area showcases the remnants of the ancient spa town along with the ancient aqueduct. Thermae flourished owing to the extensive exploitation of the thermal springs. Various findings from the area including vases, farm tools and graves are exhibited in the school of the village while pottery fragments are displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Agios Kirikos.

The Rock of Icarus is located on the south side of the island close to the beach of Vaoni. According to mythology, Ikaria owes its name to legendary Icarus, the son of Daedalus who was the architect hired by King Minos of Crete to built the Labyrinth where the Minotaur of Crete was held. King Minos prohibited them to leave the island to prevent spreading the plans of the Labyrinth. For this reason, Daedalus created waxwings with the intention of flying away from the island. Icarus fled too close to the sun believing he was stronger than the gods, and his wings melted and fell into the sea of Ikaria. This was the place that Icarus lost his wings and fell in the sea. A small outdoor amphitheatre and a statue were built in honour of Icarus.

The Temple of Artemis was an area dedicated to goddess Artemis located on the present position of the village of Na. The ancient quay of the harbour is still preserved showcasing a series of iron headlands. The present name of the settlement is believed that was named after the word naos meaning temple in Greek and the word Ma that was the name of goddess Artemis in Asia Minor. Today, the remnants of the temple and marble fractures are the sole surviving remains.

Castles and Towers

The Castle of Kapsalino is located on the mountain slopes of the east side of the island. The position of the castle demonstrates that the fortress was utilized for the supervision of the eastern coastline of Ikaria. Today, there are only a few surviving parts. Access to the castle is possible through the path that starts from Mavrato to Karavostamo. The castle offers panoramic views to the surrounding areas.

The Castle of Koskinas is a byzantine fortress located on the mountain peaks on the centre part of the island. The castle is well preserved and it was used for the supervision of pirate invasions. The church of Agios Georgios is located inside the castle. Access to the castle is possible through the path that starts from the village of Kosikia. Although the path is unpaved, the views will definitely reward you.

The Castle of Paleokastro is located on the mountain slopes of Gerakas in the area of Miliopo. Today, the remnants of the walls of the castle and the settlement are still visible. The most remarkable monument of the area is the Christian basilica of Taxiarhis, which is the oldest Christian church of the island. Today, the remnants of the sanctuary are still visible along with the columns and the square altar.

The Tower of Drakano is located in the area of Fanari on the easternmost point of the island. The whole region is the location of the ancient town of Drakano. The tower of Drakano is considered as one of the best-preserved towers of the Aegean dating back to the Alexandrian Times. Today, there are well-preserved remnants of the acropolis along with the remains of the defensive walls of the church of Agios Georgios. The tower of Drakano has been fully restored recently. Access to the tower is via a dirt road from the village of Faros.

Churches and Monasteries

The Chapel of Agia Sofia is one of the most impressive religious sites of Ikaria located on the northern side of the village Monokambi. According to tradition, an expat of Ikaria envisioned the icon into the hollow of the rock and the villagers found the remains of Agia Sofia indeed. The chapel offers panoramic views of the Aegean.

The Chapel of Agios Georgios is beautiful whitewashed chapel with stone elements located in the area of Faros. The chapel is accessible through an unpaved trail from the beach of Agios Georgios. The location offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

The Church of Agios Kirikos is the metropolitan church of the island located in the centre of the capital. Agios Kirikos is the patron saint of Ikaria. It is a three aisled cruciform basilica with an impressive blue dome and an imposing iconostasis. The church celebrates in honour of the saint on July 15.

The Monastery of Evangelismos Mounde is one of the most important pilgrimage centres of the island located close to the village of Kastanies. The monastery was constructed from a pilgrim of Ikaria who, according to tradition, followed the instructions of Virgin Mary and dig the earth to find the icon in 1460. The monastery was converted into a nunnery dedicated to the Annunciation of Virgin Mary. Inside the monastery, one can find a remarkable wooden iconostasis and numerous murals and old icons.

The Monastery of Panagia Theoktisti is located in the village of Pigi. The cells of the monastery can accommodate visitors. The cavernous church of Theoskepasti is located in a close proximity from the monastery. The church is built under strange rocky formations and it is one of the major attractions of Ikaria. Inside the church, there is a remarkable wood-carved iconostasis.

Museums

The Archaeological Museum of Agios Kirikos is housed in beautiful neoclassical house in the village of Agios Kirikos. The museum exhibits a wide collection of findings including pots, tools, coins and jars found in the excavations projects of the area.

The Folklore Museum of Agios Kirikos is housed in the cultural centre of Agios Kirikos. The exhibition includes a folklore collection of valuable exhibits such as folk costumers and items of the traditional heritage of the island.

The Folklore Museums of Agios Polikarpos, Perdiki and Vrakades exhibit a wide folklore collection from the lifestyle of the residents of Ikaria highlighting the history and traditions of the island.

The Museum of Mikis Theodorakis is housed in the old stone house of Mikis Theodorakis, one of the most notable songwriters and composers of Greece, in the village of Vrakades. Else known as the house with scorpions, the museum is an old farmhouse that hosted the composer during his exile on the island. The house has been recognized as a listed building from the State of Greece.

The Museum of Woodcut Art is a private museum in the village of Katafygi. The museum exhibits statues from crafted wood of the mountains of Ikaria. The themes of the artworks are inspired from the animal world, mythology and religion.

Natural Beauties

The Forest of Randi includes a vast area of sixteen square kilometres with steep geomorphology lying on the central part of the island. The forest has a rare protected species of oak trees dating five million years ago. The fauna of the forest included several species of small mammals. In a nutshell, the forest is undoubtedly a habitat of natural beauty with major botanical and historical value.

The Gorge of Halari is one of the most beautiful places of Ikaria located close to the village of Armenistis. The entire area is blessed with small lakes, narrow rivers, beautiful waterfalls and verdant vegetation. An interesting trekking path with old stone bridges starts from the beach of Nas and connects with the village of Christos Rahon.

The Lake of Vathes is an artificial wetland with a high biological value located on the northeast side of the village of Kastanies. The flora and fauna of the lake has rich biodiversity with many protected and endemic species. The verdant vegetation of the lake creates beautiful sceneries.

The Thermal Springs of Ikaria have been known for their therapeutic properties since antiquity. The hot springs are considered amongst the most radioactive springs in the entire world. The temperature of the springs ranges from 31 to 58 degrees of Celsius with curative properties for gynaecological, respiratory, kidney, bladder and rheumatic diseases. The island has many thermal springs in the areas of Agios Kirikos, Lefkada, Agia Kiriaki and Thermae.

Promenades and Villages

Agios Kirikos, else known as Agios from locals, is the capital and harbour of Ikaria located on southeast side of the island. The village is considered one of the most charming settlements of the Aegean. The traditional architecture is evident from the red and blue neoclassical houses with flowered balconies and narrow alleys lined from the picture central square of the island. Worth visiting sights include the Metropolitan Church of Agios Kirikos with its beautiful blue dome, the Statue of Icarus, the Archaeological and the Folklore Museums. The seaside cobblestone promenade is a significant attraction of Agios Kirikos.

Armenistis is a seaside village located on the north side of the island. The lovely harbour has managed to preserve its authentic and traditional atmosphere. The area is well known for its long sandy beaches of Messakti and Livadi.

Arethousa is a mountainous village located on the central part of the island. The life of the village is centred at the central square of the settleemnt. Arethousa is known for its delicious goat meat. The surrounding area of Arethousa is blessed with verdant vegetation and beautiful routes ideal for the lovers of hiking and trekking.

Christos Rahon is a mountainous village located on the north side of the island. Built in verdant sceneries, the lovely settlement distinguishes for its unique philosophy of life. The charming cafeterias, the traditional taverns and the shops usually stay open until the early morning hours. The village that never sleeps, Christos Rahon has one of the most distinct lifestyles of the world. Known as the Ikarian Time, this lifestyle denotes the relaxing rhythms of the island, as the shops open after the sunset times. One of the largest traditional festivals of Ikaria is held in the village on August 6.

Evdilos is the second harbour of Ikaria located on the north side of the island. The settlement is really charming with traditional houses and old mansions inspiring a sense of elegance. One can wander around the cobblestone alleys and enjoy a coffee on the shops of the seaside promenade. Evdilos is an ideal destination for exploring the north side of Ikaria.

Faros is a seaside village located on the easternmost side of the island. The settlement has an authentic charm with traditional houses and verdant vegetation, known for its beautiful long sandy beach. The most important attractions of the wider area include the Tower of Drakano and the Church of Agios Georgios. The tower of Drakano is considered as one of the best-preserved towers of the Aegean dating back to the Alexandrian Times while the church of Agios Georgios distinguishes for its panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

Gialiskari is one of the oldest villages located on the north side of the island. It is a seaside village with verdant vegetation retaining its authentic character. One of the most charming spots of the area is the chapel of Analipsi on the beautiful peninsula. The sandy beaches of Messakti and Livadi are located in a close distance from the village. The traditional festival in honour of Virgin Mary is held in the village on August 15. The feast is followed from traditional music, dance and food.

Karavostamo, else known as Karavostasi, is a seaside village located on the north side of the island. It is a picturesque village with traditional houses and cobblestone alleys dominated from the spring of Kalika. A feature custom of Karavostamo is the Custom of Afanos in Easter, where the burning of piles takes place. Generally, the village has strong ties with the cultural identity of Ikaria maintaining a series of customs including the drying of figs under the sun and the production of onions and nuts. Lovers of exploration can follow the path passing through the forest and the river Aris that leads to the beach.

Karkinagri is a fishing village located on the southwest side of the island. It is one of the remotest villages of Ikaria accessible also by small traditional boats from Agios Kirikos and Magganitis. The traditional feast of the village is held in the square of Karkinagri in honour of Agia Paraskevi on July 26. Hiking lovers can visit the lighthouse of Cape Pappas to admire the magnificent views!

Lagada is a deserted mountainous village located on the central part of the island. It is a glorious area in terms of culture and history known as a place of survival for the inhabitants of Ikaria, as it served as a natural refugee from pirates hidden from the sea. Today, the remnants of the old houses and churches testify the glorious history of Lagada while the statue dedicated to the heroes of the fight is found in the central square. The village has been declared as a traditional village. Worth visiting sights include the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary with its beautiful iconostasis. The traditional festival of the village is held on the August 15.

Magganitis is one of the picturesque villages of Ikaria located on the west side of the island. The village is surrounded from impressive granite rocks and verdant vegetation of olive and pine trees. The most impressive attraction is the tunnel of the island that was created to unite Magganitis with the rest of the island. Also, Seychelles is a must visit. It is perhaps the most exotic beach of the island!

Proespera is a mountainous village located on the central part of the island. The traditional architecture of the village has been preserved up until today in Pano Proespera while Kato Proespera is the new village. Proespera is widely known for its vineyards of the tasteful Ikarian wine.

Perdiki is one of the largest villages of the island located on the northeast side of the island. Worth visiting the folklore museum to discover the folklore heritage of the island as well as the castle of Perdiki, an ideal route for hiking lovers. One of the most famous celebrations of Ikaria takes place in the village on August 15.

Pezi is a mountainous village located on the central part of the island. Characterized as a listed traditional settlement, the lovely village distinguishes for its verdant vegetation and its two dams. The small dam lies in a wooden area with lots of pine trees close to the village of Lagada while the big dam lies on the northern side of Pezi. Pezi is an ideal destination for nature and hiking lovers.

Therma, known as the spa capital of Ikaria, is a seaside village located on the east of the island. The thermal springs of the area are famous for their curative properties and radioactive waters since antiquity. The charming village is also accessible by boat excursions from Agios Kirikos. An organized spa complex is located on the west end of Therma. The most important monument of Therma is the ancient town of Thermae. Thermae flourished owing to the extensive exploitation of the thermal springs. Thermae is accessible from a trail that leads to the beach of Nealia.

Vrakades is a mountainous village with verdant vegetation located on the central part of the island. The village has a traditional character while the heart of the life beats in the central square adorned from the monument of the Ikarian mother. It is worth visiting the folklore museum to discover the folklore heritage of the island as well as the old stone house of Mikis Theodorakis, an old farmhouse that hosted the famous music composer in exile period, which has been recognized as a listed monument from the State of Greece.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Beach of Messakti, North Ikaria

Spot: Beach of Na, Northwest Ikaria

Spot: Tower of Drakano, East Ikaria

Spot: Villages of Armenistis and Gialiskari, North Ikaria

Spot: Village of Karkinagri, Southwest Ikaria

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Fourni lies just a breath away from Ikaria. Used as a shelter from the pirates of Corsica, the microcosm of Fourni is formed from a miniature archipelago of deserted islands and rocky reefs. Imagine a mysterious escape destination away from the rest of the world with mesmerizing sceneries and emerald waters.  The pace of life of Fourni exudes an aura of tranquillity and peacefulness with the spirit of Poseidon wandering around the island. The village of Kambos has managed to maintain the architectural heritage of Fourni. Traditional houses, mulberry trees ad cobblestone alleys spread around the picturesque natural harbour. The lacy coastline of the island is beautified from the pristine beaches, countless coves with colourful boats, mulberry trees and old windmills. The hospitality of the locals and the beauty of the landscapes endeavour to captivate your eyes, an island away from the ordinary. Will you take the chance to experience something different?

Boat Trip: The Island of Lesvos was desired from countless conquerors. Lesvos is an unexplored continent with countless beauties and mysterious treasures blessed with some of the finest sceneries of the Aegean. A visit to the island of Lesvos holds a bucket of surprises with the scents of earth and sea, the flavors of the local cuisine and the endless beauties of the mountains. Lesvos has a land that invites you to discover it; if you surrender yourself to the mysterious beauties of her, you will be richly rewarded with millions of suprizes. The rich interchange of sceneries of the island is blessed with dramatic changes of verdant vegetation and olive groves, walnut, oak and pine trees to lunar landscapes of the western coastline. The unparalleled beauty of Molyvos with its traditional wooden houses and the castle of Mythimna, the therapeutic thermal springs of Therma, the flamingos in the bay of Gera, the eleven million olive trees, the majestic monastery of Limonos, the petrified forest of Sigri, the beach of Eressos and the ouzo capital of Plomari attest the rich history of the island and the spiritual tranquillity of it. Yet, the beauty and history of Lesvos will still enchant you. The island stands like a sleepless guard at the eastern border of the country blessed with verdant vegetation and azure waters inviting you to drink ouzo alongside the fishing boats stuffed with sardines, and discover everything that inspired Elytis!

Boat Trip: The Island of Samos the island of vegetation. Local sweet wine in the harbour of Pythagoras, promenades in the romantic settlement of Vathy and astonishing sunset views in the village of Karlovassi; Samos writes her own history alluring you in her own captivating rhythms. The legendary birthplace of Hera, the hometown of the mathematician Pythagoras and the astrophycycist Aristarchus, the nearest island of Ephesus in Asia Minor will intoxicate you. The fertile and hospitable island of Samos, distinguished for its verdant vegetation, is challenging lovers of nature to explore the adventurous trails with the intention of discovering the numerous treasures of her. Tropical seashores with turquoise waters, fertile areas blessed with vegetation, evocative archaeological sites of Unesco and traditional settlements climbing on mountain slopes create an atmosphere of nobility. An island with one thousand faces has a distinctive character welling fragnant wine scents. Homeland of great scientists, seductress goddesses and eminent personalities of antiquity, Samos is a well kept secret. An island off the beaten track, an earthly paradise reserved only for the ones who would wish to discover it. Embark on the island and experience the most subversive adventure; always overlooking the endless blue of the Aegean!

Activities

Bicycling: The countryside of Ikaria is an ideal place for cycling lovers. There are numerous bicycle rentals on the island where you can rent a bicycle and discover the beaches and villages of the island. Although there are no designed tracks for bicycling, the locals organize bike rides throughout Ikaria!

Bird Watching: The flora and fauna of Ikaria is quite remarkable. The island has the perfect environment for thousands native and migratory birds. In fact, Ikaria stands for its high ecological value that serve as major stations and shelters of migratory birds. Particularly in the mountainous areas of Ikaria, one will have the opportunity to encounter endangered bird species including Bonelli’s Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Golden Falcon. It is worth mentioning that Ikaria has been voted as the best island for nature lovers in Greece by CNN!

Diving: The turquoise waters and the rich biodiversity of the seabed of Ikaria are ideal for lovers of diving. Agios Kirikos, Faros and Magganitis are ideal spots. There is a diving centre in Agios Kirikos.

Driving: Ikaria has diversified sceneries of wild beauty offering numerous driving routes. The southern part of the island is characterized from a rare wild beauty while the north side hides beautiful beaches with turquoise waters. One of the most beautiful routes includes the south side of the island passing through beauties of forgotten villages and turquoise waters. Another route worth exploring is the one that starts from the harbour of Agios Kirikos that leads to Armenistis with unique natural landscapes.

Hiking: Lovers of nature will fall in love from the numerous hiking trails of the island with landscapes of wild beauty. (1) One of the most beautiful route starts from the village of Varvarades towards the chapel of Ai Stathis. It is an uphill route of two hours towards the northern side of the island. Although it is quite difficult, the sunset views will reward you! (2) Another beautiful route passes through the Forest of Randi. Randi is undoubtedly a unique habitat of natural beauty with major botanical and historical value, which is believed to be the most ancient forest in the Balkans. (3) It is also worth following the route that starts from the beach of Nas and leads to the village of Christos Rahon. The trail passes through the gorge of Halari blessed with  mall lakes, narrow rivers, beautiful waterfalls and verdant vegetation. Discover more information from the Mountaineering and Hiking Association of Ikaria.

Kayaking: The opportunity to practice kayak in Ikaria is definitely an unforgettable experience. You will have the chance to admire spectacular rocky formations and beautiful beaches! The beaches of Armenistis and Faros are ideal for lovers of kayaking.

Off Road: Lovers of off road driving can follow the dirt roads leading to the mountains of Ikaria in order to explore the mysterious beauties of the island. One of the best wild beauty driving routes of the island starts from the village of Pezi and leads to the village of Karkinagri. Make sure you always check the maps of Ikaria before you get into your car!

Thermal Springs: The hot springs of Ikaria are considered amongst the most radioactive springs in the entire world. The temperature of the springs ranges from 31 to 58 degrees of Celsius with curative properties for gynaecological, respiratory, kidney, bladder and rheumatic diseases. The island has many thermal springs in the areas of Agios Kirikos, Lefkada, Agia Kiriaki and Thermae.

Windsurfing: Ikaria is known for its ideal conditions for lovers of windsurfing, as the island gets really windy especially in the summer. The beaches of Livadi and Messakti are ideal for lovers of windsurfing.

Beaches

Agios Georgios is a sandy beach with blue waters located on the eastern end of the island. It is a deserted beach ideal for those looking for total seclusion. The chapel of Agios Georgios and the Tower of Drakano are located close to the beach.

Anefandi is a sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters located on the southwest side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquillity. The beach offers panoramic views towards the islands of Fourni.

Armenistis is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the north side of the island. It is one of the most popular beaches of Ikaria with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas and taverns.

Aris is a sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters and rocky formations located on the north side of the island. The torrent of Aris ends at the beach creating a beautiful wetland with rare flora and fauna. Aris is considered one of the most beautiful beaches of the island ideal for those looking for tranquillity.

Kambos is a long sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the northwest side of the island. It is a beautiful beach boarded from bamboos and a river plain. A beach bar operates at the beach.

Kiparisi is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the north side of the island. It is a secluded beach with beautiful sceneries of lush vegetation and mountain backdrop. It is an ideal place of isolation.

Livadi is a long golden sand beach with turquois waters and verdant vegetation located on the north side of the island. The round river lagoon completes the idyllic setting. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, and a canteen.

Messakti is a long sandy beach with turquois waters located on the north side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. Messakti is an organized beach with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, a windsurfing centre and a beach bar.

Nealia is a sandy and pebbled beach with emerald waters located on the east side of the island. It is a remote beach with beautiful surroundings and the remnants of the ancient thermal spas of Ikaria.

Nas is a sandy and pebbled beach of wild beauty located on the north side of the island. The remnants of the temple of Artemis are located on the beach. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. There are taverns in a close proximity.

Prioni is a sandy and pebbled cove with turquoise waters located on the southeast side of the island. It is one of the secret beaches of Ikaria with wild beauty sceneries ideal for snorkelling dives. Access to the beach is through a steep path from Agios Kirikos.

Seychelles is one of the most beautiful beaches of the country located on the south side of the island.  It is a white sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters and imposing white cliffs. Snorkelling lovers can discover the intriguing seabed of the beach!

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Araxe: Coffee, Plagia

Artemis Cafe: Coffee, Kato Rahes

Carte Postal: Coffee, Armenistis

Karnagio: Coffee, Gialiskari

Rififi: Coffee, Evdilos

Sto Gialo kanei Fourtouna: Coffee, Magganitis

Gastronomic Delights

Anna’s: Seafood, Nas

Artemis: Geek Cuisine, Rahes

Atsahas Restaurant: Greek Cuisine, Armenistis

Filoti Pizza: Pizza, Agios Kirikos

Grigoris: Greek Cuisine, Faros

Klimataria: Greek Cuisine, Agios Kirikos

Mandouvala: Greek Cuisine, Karavostamo

Mary Mary : Greek Cuisine, Armenistis

Mia Zoe Pita: Pies, Armenistis

Naiades: Greek Cuisine, Nas

Perkas: Seafood, Karkinagr

Popi: Greek Cuisine, Evdilos

Simposion: Greek Cuisine, Gialiskari

Stou Pashalia: Greek Cuisine, Kampos

Cocktails Inspirations

Ammos Livadi Beach Bar: Cocktails and Drinks, Armenistis

Carte Postal: Cocktails and Drinks, Armenistis

Rififi: Cocktails and Drinks, Evdilos

Sknipa: Cocktails and Drinks, Christos Rahon

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include fresh honey, goat cheese, and the local wine of Pramnios Oinos.

The local specialties of the island include soufiko, a local vegetable dish, zucchini nuggets, pies and the famous local dish of roast wild goat.

Events & Festivals

Every summer, the Chess Festival takes place in Agios Kirikos.

Every July, the Icarus Festival takes place in the island. It is a musical celebration hosting a series of cultural special events.

Every 6th of July, the biggest festival of the island is held in the village of Christos Rahon. The feast involves free roast and stew lamb accompanied from local wine and traditional music.

Every 20th of July, the traditional celebration in honour of Prophet Elias is held in the village of Agios Kirikos. The feast involves local specialties and wine accompanied from traditional music.

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebrations in honour of Virgin Mary are held in the villages of Akamatra, Christos Rahon, Kouniadoi, Lagada, Karavostamo, Gialiskari, Monokambi and Perdiki.

Discover the traditional festivals of Ikaria from the Official Website of Ikaria.

History & Mythology

Mythology

Ikaria owes its name to legendary Ikaros, the son of Daedalus who was the architect hired by King Minos of Crete to built the Labyrinth where the Minotaur of Crete was held. King Minos prohibited them to leave the island to prevent spreading the plans of the Labyrinth. For this reason, Daedalus created wax wings with the intention of flying away from the island, and Ikaros fled too close to the sun as he was fascinated, and his wings melted and fell into the sea of Ikaria.

History

Archaeological findings show that Ikaria was inhabited from the 7th millennium BC. Following the Persian Wars, Ikaria joined the Delian League and started thriving, the time when the Temple of Artemis at Nas was built. However, the inhabitants suffered from a series of pirate invasions after the Peloponnesian War. When the island became a member of the Second Athenian League, things got better but Ikaria came under the domination of the Romans and it was incorporated to the Roman Province of Asia. Ikaria fell under the rule of the Byzantine Empire in the 3rd century AD and the empire cut back its naval defence of the Aegean and the inhabitants moved inland avoiding the coasts for pirate raids. After the fall of Byzantium, the island came under the domination of the Latin State in Constantinople followed by the Genovese Aegean Empire and the Knights of Saint John until 1521 when the Turks ruled Ikaria. The inhabitants organized a series of rebellions during the occupation of the island, and managed to kill the first Turkish tax collector and break away from the Ottoman Empire in 1827. However, Ikaria along with the other Northeastern Aegean islands remained under Ottoman occupation under the London Protocol of 1830. On July 17, the Ikarians rebelled against the Turks who were forced to leave the island, and this was marked as the day of the Ikarian Independence. Ikaria became a member of the Greek State on November 4 of 1912, as the Balkan Wars blocked the way and Ikaria was unable to join the rest of the state.

Travel & Transport

By Air: Ikaria has a national airport operating flights on a daily basis from the International Airport of Athens. The journey usually lasts from thirty to forty five minutes. Book your tickets with AirTickets.com!

By Boat (144 Nautical Miles): Ikaria is accessible by boat from the harbour of Piraeus. The journey usually lasts from six to seven hours. Ikaria is also connected with the islands of Fourni and Samos. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

About Ikaria

Ikaria, else known as Nikaria from the locals, is one of the most beautiful islands of the country. It is one of the five places in the world known for the longevity of the inhabitants, and it is an ideal destination for detoxicating from anxiety and stress with the slow pace lifestyle of Ikaria. The island is also famous for the traditional authentic festivals. The island is quite large and it is ideal to rent a car, if you desire to discover the whole island. However, be careful as the road network is in poor condition.

Adapt to the Rhythms of Ikaria

Ikaria is characterized from a magical spirit and a colourful opticism that remains unique in its kind. The smiles of the people are so bright and powerful, one of the most irrepleacable ways to make you forget everything. The carelessness of the inhabitants is rolling in their life without anxiety and stress.

Agroutourism VS Winetourism

The interest for agrotourism is constantly growing, as many travellers want to discover the urban lifestyle and rhythm of Ikaria. Are you one of the travellers who want to come close to nature through activities in the agricultural sector of the island? You will find agrotourism activities from the Winery of Ikaria in the village of Evdilos. The winery offers representations of the cultivation of the vineyard and wine tasting sessions. The Ikarian wine has been mentioned even from Homer, the renowned Ariousios Oenos!

Blessed from the Winds

On the southeastern side of Ikaria, the northern winds known as Meltemi blow almost everyday during the summer. The summer northern winds are converted into northwestern winds due to morphology of the island. The wind speed is 5 Beaufort from 3 to 5 pm, while there is often a staging volume from 5 to 10 knots. As there is no strong ripple, high speed and freestyle surf are favored. The beach of Faros is not appropriate for beginners.

Do It Like the Hippies: Camping on Ikaria

In Armenistis, you will find a fully organized camping site. However, if you prefer an alternative option, the beach of Nas is an ideal free camping location. Keep in mind, however, that free camping is prohibited from the State of Greece.

Disable your Mobiles to Coordinate with the Local Time of Ikaria

It is advisable to “coordinate” with the local time of Ikaria! Indicatively, 16.00 is the wake up time , 21.00 is the lunch break, 23.00 to 01.00 is the afternoon siesta, 06.00 is the dinner time and 08.00 to 16.00 is the evening sleep. Also, disable your mobiles. No 3G. No Facebook. No Calls. The value is priceless.

Discover the Tunnel of Ikaria

One of the most impressive attractions of Ikaria is the tunnel of the island that was created to unite Magganitis with the rest of the island!

Exotic VS Tropical: It’s Your Choice!

Ikaria is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches of Greece. The beaches of Ikaria resemble tropical landscapes with turquoise waters! Some of the finest include the beaches of Anefandi, Iero, Livadi, Nas, Prioni and Seychelles.

Experience in the Ikarian Festivals

The Ikarian Festivals are famous all over the world! Either for social or religious reasons, there are feasts and festival happening daily in the summer. The local people make their own red wine off their vineyards while people volunteer to roast or boil meat of the wild goats of Ikaria. Everybody dances the night you! The Ikarians are full of energy, enthusiasm and life to dance to the sounds of folklore local live music! Join them to experience a genuine Ikarian experience! Discover the traditional festivals of Ikaria from the Official Website of Ikaria.

Explore One of the Most Impressive Landscapes in the Aegean

Erifi is the largest plateau of Ikaria and one of the most impressive landscapes in the Aegean! The plateau is located over the areas of Maganitis and Trapalou on the Melissa Mount. Erifi is dominated from huge boulders creating amazing sceneries that can be characterized as works of art, due to the effect of rain, sun and wind. When you reach Erifi, you will be dazzled from the vastness of the Ikarian Sea that unfolds in front of your eyes! If the atmoshpere is clear enough, you might see the islands of Amorgos, Donousa, Heraklia, Koufonisia, Naxos and Schinoussa! Keep in mind that there are no asphalted or cemeted roads on this part of the island.

Find More Information about Ikaria

If you want to discover the entire island of Euboea, it is highly recommended to get information from the website of VisitIkaria.gr

Indian Misconceptions

Just outside the village of Ploumari, on the main road, one will have the opportunity to admire some strange rocky formations that resemble an Indian figure!

It’s Sunset Time

One can admire one of the best sunsets of Ikaria at the beach of Nas!

Just Relax

The village of Christos Rahon is a mountainous village with distinctive colours and dense vegetation located on the north side of the island. The charming cafeterias, the traditional taverns and the shops usually stay open until the early morning hours. The village that never sleeps, Christos Rahon, has one of the most distinct lifestyles of the world. Known as the Ikarian Time, this lifestyle denotes the relaxing rhythms, as the shops open after the sunset times. One of the largest traditional festivals of Ikaria is held in the village on August 6.

Karavostamo Equals Strong Cultural Identity

Karavostamo, else known as Karavostasi, is a seaside village located on the north side of the island. It is a picturesque village with traditional houses and cobblestone alleys dominated from the spring of Kalika. The village has strong ties with the cultural identity of Ikaria maintaining a series of customs and traditions!

Legends and Myths: Ikaria Immortal Water

There is a hot spring gushing cool water close to the village of Xylosyrtis. According to studies, the water contains elements suitable for treating diseases including gallstones and kidneys. For this reason, the locals named it Immortal Water!

Let the Winds Decide

Keep in mind that when the north winds blows, the northern beaches are unreachable!

Mysterious Beach

Iero is a deserted beach on the northeast side of the island. It is an ideal spot for scuba diving and snorkeling lovers as they can explore the cave of Dionysus.

Natural Explorations

Ikaria has diversified sceneries of wild beauty offering numerous exploration in nature. The southern part of the island is characterized from a rare wild beauty while the north side hides beautiful beaches with turquoise waters. Halari gorge is one of the most beautiful places of the island. The entire area is blessed with small lakes, narrow rivers, beautiful waterfalls and verdant vegetation. An interesting trekking path connected with old stone bridges starts from the beach of Nas and leads to the village of Christos Rahon. It is also worth exploring the oldest forest in the Balkans, the Randi Forest. The forest has a rare protected species of oak trees dating five million years ago. Randi Forest is undoubtedly a habitat of natural beauty with major botanical and historical value.

Observing like an Olympian God

Ikaria is like an observation point to the Aegean. You will enjoy one of the most incredible views of the island from the village of Frandato, known as the Balcony of Nikaria! The castles of Kapsalino and Koskinas also offer breathtaking views while the chapel of Agia Sofia in Monokambi offers astonishing views! Koundoumas and Tsouredo villages will compensate you with their views while the views to the endless blue from Cape Pappas will surely take your breath away!

Round of Rahes on Foot

One of the best ways to explore the hinterland of Ikaria is on foot. The round of Rahon is a long distance trail, 25 kilometers to be exact, that passes through ancient paths, stone paved tracks and dirt roads. One will have the opportunity to discover charming villages, old stone bridges, beautiful rivers and lakes blessed from verdant vegetation. The trail starts from the village of Christos Rahon on the northwestern part of the island.

Taste the Fresh Fishes of Ikaria

The island is well known for its fresh fish and villages. Evdilos, Gialiskari and Avlaki are the most popular places for tasting the delicious fishes of Ikaria.

Unlock, Take and Leave: It’s So Simple!

There is a self-service bakery in the village of Christos Rahon. If you want to buy something, you ask the key from the owner in the next coffee shop, take the bread and leave the money on the counter. Thereafter, you return the key to the owner. As you might have heard, life in the village starts after 10 pm!

Why Travel to Ikaria

To relax and foget. To enjoy the most radiactive thermal springs of the coutry. To taste the delicious honey of Ikaria. To discover the oldest forest in the Balkans. To visit the village that never sleeps, aka Christos Rahon. To explore the turquoise waters of Seychelles. To experience the authentic festivals of Ikaria. Just to forget everything!

Photo Credits

×

Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Armenistis Village: Bibos by Panoramio

Chapel Agios Georgios: Argyris Angelopoulos by Panoramio

Christos Rahon Village: Anthi S by Panoramio

Drakano Tower: Dim Sar by Panoramio

Evdilos Harbour: Nikos Karaftis by Panoramio

Festival: Marietta

Karavostamo Village: Argyris Angelopoulos by Panoramio

Koskinas Castle: Giorgos Diplas by Panoramio

Livadi Beach: Visitikaria.gr

Messakti beach: Argyriss by Panoramio

Nas Beach: G.Giann by Panoramio

Randi Forest: Dasarxeio.com

River Rahes: Nikos Karaftis by Panoramio

Seychelles Cover: CanStockPhoto

Trapalou beach: Trapalou.gr

View to Fourni: Win De Weerdt by Flickr