Ikaria is mainly famous from the Ancient Greek mythology taking its name after Icarus, the first person that was thougt to fly. The myth tells us that Icarus escaped with his engineer father Dedalus from Knossos using wings from feathers attached to their body with wax. Dedalus had warned his son not to approach the sun, but the young playful Icarus forgot the advice and when he approached the sun, the wax melted, the wings were destroyed and he fell on an island, which was later named after him: Ikaria.
Another reason why Ikaria was famous in the Ancient times was the great Donysiac wine that Homer refers to in his epics. Also Dionysus the god of wine-making is believed to come from Drakano in Ikaria. Alexander the Great passed by Ikaria before leaving for the Persian expedition and built there a fortress.
Acclaimed New York Times Best Seller author of “Blue Zones”, Dan Buettner, has explored the secrets of longevity on Ikaria and declared it as one of only 4 Blue Zones worldwide (Okinawa-Japan, Sardinia-Italy, Nicoya-Costa Rica, Ikaria-Greece). It was found that the balanced and traditional lifestyle of the Ikarians is the reason why many people live passed the age of 90.
Ikaria offers many different types of beaches with sandy long ones, stone little beaches and isolated rock destinations by the sea. The colours of the sea changes from beach to beach covering all the different levels of blue.
The flora and fauna are very rich with many beautiful green landscapes. The island has beautiful and impressive mountains, lakes and waterfalls.
Ikaria’s abundant therapeutic spring sources have been identified as amongst the best in the world in terms of healing qualities, radio-energy and water supply. Since the fourth century B.C. Ikaria has been a known centre for hydrotherapy as evidenced by numerous references in historical texts and by the presence of archaeological remains of ancient baths and facilities such as the first century B.C. remains of Roman baths in ancient Therma pictured left.
Various monuments have been built in Ikaria throughout the Greek history. The Temple of Artemis can still be found in the so-called temple beach ‘Nas’, where sacrifices were made to the name of the Goddess of Hunt. The Fylakion is a fortress built by Alexander the Great in Drakano, also a likely birthplace of the God Dionysus. The second fortress of the island was built during the Byzantine times at 11 century A.C. Nowadays a church of Saint George is found at the place of the fortress.
Ikaria has some of the most beautiful sunsets in Greece as each sunset can differs from the previous ones, with a variety of sky colours.
All the villages in Ikaria are traditional and untouched by tourism. With stone houses and paved streets, they either spread around a small bay or perch from the slopes of mountainsides. A particular village of Ikaria is famous around the world, as till these days the inhabitants of Christos Rachon work during the night and sleep during the day. Ikaria is famous for its Village Festivals “Panagiria”, which are traditional feast days that celebrate the Saints’ name days that are dedicated in each village. Local products include: wine, local honey contains antibacterial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, sweets from local fruits.
Restaurants and Bars
“Carte postale" - café, all day bar with gourmet dishes
Location: Armenistis port
Tel: (0030) 22750 71031
Owner’s name: Myrto Glarou (Mrs)
“Mary – Mary“ Greek Restaurant with gourmet dishes