Destinations, North Aegean Islands

Ikaria

Ikaria

The island of Ikaria belongs to the islands of the North Aegean. It took its name from Icarus, son of Daedalus, who according to Greek mythology escaped from King Minos with the help of wings that Daedalus made with feathers and wax. However Icarus fascinated by the flight, he disobeyed his father who had warned him not to fly too high because the sun would melt the wax. Icarus flew so high that the wings melted and he has fallen into the sea, costing his life.

If the island of Ikaria had to appear in a dictionary, the word that would define it would be “a fair”. Whether for religious or other reasons in Ikaria the festivals are held throughout the summer almost daily. The locals prepare goat meat dishes that they offer to the visitors and friends and they put parties in the squares of the towns that accompany traditional music and wine. Very characteristic in these parties is to dance the “ikariotikos” traditional dance very lively.

Ikaria is one of the five Blue Zones, places in the world where people live longer. In Ikaria, one in three people is over 90 years old. Its mountains, thermal baths and beaches seduce all visitors and it’s the ideal destination for a revitalizing holiday.

What to see in Ikaria

The main port and capital of the island is Agios Kirikos where you can find all kinds of services. Within walking distance of Agios Kirikos is Therma, a popular spa and nearby are the ruins of the ancient acropolis, which you can not miss. In the area around Agios Kirikos there are many hot springs with healing waters known since ancient times.

Evdilos is the former capital and the second port of Ikaria. It is a quiet village with a lot of charm, among its narrow streets you can admire beautiful neoclassical houses. In Evdilos is also the Byzantine fortress Nikaria. The village of Kampos is known for its vineyards, the archaeological museum and sandy beach. Mavrato, is another picturesque village. From Mavrato you can visit the islet of Diaspori with its church of the Assumption.

The Armenistis beach is undoubtedly the most touristic of Ikaria, its crystalline waters and golden sand attracts many visitors. In Armenistis you can also see the remains of the ancient Temple of Artemis Tauropolos. Near the Armenistis is the Nash beach with very fine sand, one of the most beautiful on the island. Other recommended beaches to enjoy the sun and tranquility are those of Mesakti and Livadi.

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