Mostly known for the myth related to its name than for the real spirit and holidays’ offers. In fact, Ikaria owes its name to Icarus, a dreamy rebel son who disobeyed his father Daedalus and ended up crashing into the sea after his waxwings melted from the sun. Although this death-related story shouldn’t discourage you from leaning on to the attraction of fabulous beaches with golden sand and crystal waters. The rocky island in the North Aegean is made to give people rest and leisure. After coming to Ikaria you may completely lose the track of time, night and day becoming one and the same. Ikarians are famous for their ability to enjoy life in all its dimensions. You will experience a very special way of living day-to-day and you will probably wonder how is it possible to keep that pace every day in spite of the years passing by.
Indeed, Ikarians are proved to live, on average, 10 years longer than other Europeans. One may wonder what is their secret to longevity and even try every possible factor: the open door lifestyle, the mountainous land keeping you fit, the good local wine, the sun, hot springs or simply the relaxing atmosphere making your heart rate go slow and easy. Anyway, sandy beaches, running waters, mountains and lush green hillsides are a majestic combination, a summer destination one of a kind.
Rich historical past
Ikaria, like the majority of Greek islands in this area was highly marked by different communities ruling it one after another: the Romans, the Turks and the Knights of Rhodes. An interesting fact is that since the Antiquity it has been a place of exile for political dissidents. Historical spots to discover include mostly ancient ruins, museums, charming little chapels and temples, although you may find a rare architectural idea – anti-pirate hideaways from the 18th century. You may consider them a mark of the dark fearful times or, in a more positive tone, the marvels of ingenuity.
Ikarian way of life
It is important to mention this particular functioning of villages and the island itself for that is precisely what contributes the most to the Ikarian spirit. To be more precise, the villages on Ikaria hold fairs involving music, dancing, food, wine and raki tasting every time an important saint’s day comes. Every inhabitant of the village comes to participate: from the youngest to the oldest. At the same time, some villages (i.e. Christos) have their working time at night only. Banks, shops, restaurants and practically everything else, except the bakery, are closed during the day. Other noteworthy lovely villages are Manganitis and Karkinagri.
Chilling on the beach
Ikaria has an endless number of beautiful beaches of all kinds: organized, partly organized and non organized. Most of them are family friendly, others are renowned for being the most beautiful naturist beaches; the area is just perfect for backpackers too. If looking for a nice sandy beach with sunbeds and umbrellas, you may like to check out the Livadi, Messakti and Kambos beaches boarded with a belt of green plants and the soft sandy shore. On the other hand, if you are more into picturesque and free of sunbeds sites, the sandy beach of Nas and the pebbled Sychelles surrounded by rocky cliffs may please your eye.
If you are not much into laid-back holiday stay, Ikaria offers great places for hiking. The most famous one is the Halari Gorge, leading to the ancient temple of Artemis Tauropolou, the hunt goddess, and to the Nas beach. This area is another amazing place to wander around, for it hides many undisclosed natural wonders. Ikaria may have a hold on you.