Ikaria EN

Her er link til Ikaria i google maps: https://www.google.com/maps/@37.6072213,26.1541159,12.29z?entry=ttu

Ikaria belongs to the north-east Aegean islands and lies south-west of Samos, between Samos and Mykonos. Ikaria’s closest island neighbor is the lovely island of Fourni. The area of Ikaria is 255 km². The name Ikaria is named after Ikaros, who according to Greek legends, was imprisoned in Knossos in Crete with his father Daidalos. The only escape option from Knossos was through the air, so father Daidalos fabricated 2 sets of wings for him and his son. Ikaos was warned by his father, not to fly too high into the hot sun, as the simple construction of branches and canvas was assembled and secured with beeswax. As most probably remember, Icarus did not follow his father’s advice, with the result that the wax melted and he plunged into the sea and drowned. Icarus’ body later floated ashore on Ikaria, thereby giving the island its name.

Since ancient times, the inhabitants of Ikaia have lived a frugal and rather isolated life around the island’s mountainous nature. The small stone houses were scattered in the wild nature, and the island therefore looked rather uninhabited and uninteresting to the many pirates who ravaged the Greek islands earlier in the day. The isolated life gave the islanders their own traditions and development compared to other Greek islands. The inhabitants of Ikaria have been self-sufficient in food until recently and they were, and are, experts in making use of nature’s resources for food. Ikaria’s inhabitants have the highest life expectancy in Europe and one of the highest in the entire world. It is assumed that this is due to their frugal and active physical life, which continues into old age. The locals of Ikaria also have a reputation for being very friendly towards visitors to their island. Especially the slightly older generation is very friendly.

The nature on Ikaria is nothing short of fantastic. The more than 1 km high mountains that dominate most of the island are covered with large wild-growing forests that soak up the rainfall and slowly release it into the many streams and rivers. Even in the middle of summer, there is still running water in the many streams and lagoons. It is difficult to describe this overwhelming lushness, with wild forests, lots of water and at the same time the beating Greek sun in the middle of summer. There are also areas on Ikaria that are more sparsely forested and here it is the wild nature with huge stones, that are scattered around the landscape that impresses.

There are also several hot thermal springs on Ikaria. They are found in the eastern part of the island and have been considered healing since ancient times. Here are glues for nails from the various sources:





Agia Kyriaki40,354

(source: Municipality of Ikaria, 2006)

Accommodation There are many good, and cheap accommodations, on the island. We stayed on the northwest island in the village of Armenistis, which we were very happy with. Small cozy Village, with a few tavernas and lovely sandy beaches with plenty of space and within walking distance.

We usually rent a scooter, but this time we had rented a car for our entire stay. It provided a good opportunity to get around and explore most of the island. There are most tourists on Ikaria in the latter half of July and in August, when a number of Italians and Greeks have their holiday on the island. Outside this period, it is very easy to find accommodation, and even at very attractive low prices. It should be noted that Ikaria is FOR tourists who love the Greek nature, people and their traditions. Ikaria is NOT for tourists who love tourist shops, discos and night life, as well as packed organized beaches with beach bar etc. The island is by no means an exclusive party place, but in fact the exact opposite of that. For those who, like us, appreciate this, it is a Greek paradise.

Wine on Ikaria. Wine production has always been widespread on Ikaria. In the past it was completely local with each family and today more at the “wineries” that you can find more of in Ikaria. We visited Karimali’s winery and it was a really good experience. Link to karimalis winery here: https://en.ikarianwine.gr/ This lovely place, beautifully situated in the mountains, very close to the famous monastery Teoktistis monastery, with the very special Theoskepasti chapel built hidden under a very large rock.

We were shown around the vineyard by the winegrower Karimalis personally. A very friendly man who spoke freely about their wine and the local traditions. They are part of the “Blue zone” concept, that spreads awareness of naturally processed healthy foods and therefore better health and longer life. Cooking classes are also offered on this place, In an old beautiful stone building on the grounds. Very interesting visit, which we would like to repeat. Of course, we didn’t leave without taking the opportunity to buy some bottles of their lovely and naturally grown 100% organic wine.

The trip to Ikaria can be done in several ways. We had a flight to Samos and from the port of Pythagorion we sailed first to the lovely island of Fourni, where we had a few lovely days, before sailing on to one of the port cities of Ikaria, namely Agios Kirikos. Here we had rented a car during our entire stay, so that we could transport ourselves and our luggage around the island. We rented from “Ikaria Way” and it was completely problem-free. We ended the holiday on Ikaria, in the port town of Evdilos, from where we sailed back to Karlovassi on Samos. Ferry routes to and from Ikaria are from the towns of Aghios Kirikos and Evdilos. Ferry between Ikaria and Samos takes about 1.5 hours. Ferry from Athens/Piraeus takes about 7 hours. Check the options at ferryscanner.com.

There is also a small national airport on Ikaria, so national flights from Athens are also an option. Check possible options at: skyscanner.com

We are by no means done with Ikaria and will definitely come back for more wonderful holiday experiences on this lovely island.