A small guide to Ikaria, the island where you can’t get old.
Guide to ikaria: Ikaria is an island quite far from Athens. It owes its name to the mythological Icarus, son of Daedalus, who died trying to fly up to the sun.
It is a mountainous and wild island, with deep gorges filled with water and large pine forests, but yet populated and full of rich cultivations. Unlike the classical Greek tourist islands, it is a quiet place, perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in nature. At the same time it is well equipped and welcoming.
Ikaria is one of the five National Geographic’s “blue zones” of the world, areas where the population has the longest life expectancy in the world, resulting from a very healthy lifestyle. It is also one of the largest islands of the Eastern Aegean Islands, with 660 square kms, 160 kms of coastline and 7,000 inhabitants.
A small guide to Ikaria: How to get there and why visit it.
Ikaria can be reached by plane or ferry from Athens, the Greek capital. The ferry will bring you to Evdilos, port of Ikaria, in about seven / eight hours.
Ikaria is different at every step: a place where time passes slowly, where you can discover an almost untouched nature, green and lush. Ikaria has not much in common with the sunny Cyclades: it is a Greece where tourism is not monoculture and coexists with agriculture and pastoralism. Ikaria is also rich of thermal springs.
A small guide to Ikaria: Where to sleep and how to move around.
We recommend the Hotel Atheras.
It is located 200 meters from the port of Evdinos, along a road lined with stone, surrounded by old walls full of flowers hiding orange gardens.
Around the port you will find many tavernas and cafes frequented by residents, characterised by a very relaxed pace. For example coffee is served in 15 minutes. In the meanwhile you will have the time to enjoy the cool under the fig trees and plantains. After all NO STRESS is one of the key to live longer, no?
To visit Ikaria is indispensable a good vehicle.
A scooter can be a good option, but do not be fooled by the rent agencies trying to propose you a 50cc. You will need a more powerful vehicle to climb the often unpaved roads, close to dizzy ravines.
A small guide to Ikaria: Recommended Routes
From Evdilos go to Kambos to visit the archaeological museum of Ikaria. Passing through the small Pigi village (55 inhabitants) arrive at the beautiful Theoskepasti monastery, carved into the rock. From there head to Moni Theoktistis, and then reach the enchanting village of Frandato, 500 meters above the sea level.
From Frandato quickly head to Hristos Rahes and reach the artificial lake of Megala Fragma, surrounded by vast forests that offers views of hundreds of hives. Higher up the landscape appearance, windswept and reduced to stones by goats, becomes more arid, almost lunar.
With your loyal scooter continue until you reach an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. While at that altitude you will be in the middle of a fog worthy of Milan, you will soon dash towards the sea, and get to Agios Kirikos, the capital. There do not miss the hot springs of Lefkada, who are considered miraculous.
A small guide to Ikaria: The beaches.
The few beaches of Ikaria are windy and full of currents, but very charming.
Among the various we would like to remind you:
Meesakti and Livadi beaches, both with long golden coast; Karavostamo beach close to Evdilos, with a fine gravel sand;
Armenistis beach, named from the homonymous fishing village which is facing the sea with its white houses.
But there are two beaches that you cannot absolutely miss:
Nas beach, located in a picturesque cove in the proximity of the union between a river and the Aegean Sea.
It is washed by a crystalline sea.
Emplaced about 60 km northwest of Agios Kirikos, you can find it surpassing an ancient temple dedicated to Artemis and the small church of Gialiskari. To have a perfect view of the beach, we suggest to enjoy a nice meal in one of the many fish taverns.
Last but not least: Seychelles Beach. Beautiful, located 25 km south of Agios Kirikos. Here the sea is emerald green, surrounded by steep cliffs that make it undoubtedly the most beautiful beach in Ikaria. You can get there with a magnificent but dizzying descent through the village of Dafni.