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Ikaria, an Island Like No Other

14 June 2014 / 17:06:47  GRReporter
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The island was named after Icarus and is considered to be the birthplace of Dionysus, the god of joy and wine producers. Here, near the temple of Artemis, the Nereids sea nymphs lived. Greek mythology loves this eastern Aegean island with its strong contrasts of natural terrain, deep wooded gorges, rocky landscapes, streams and hidden beaches with turquoise waters. Rumors about the Zen temperament of its inhabitants are largely true, so do not worry about whether you will easily adapt to the tranquil pace of the island.

In the Campos area of today are preserved the ruins of the ancient capital of the island, Inoi, also known as Dionisia. In Drakanos and Fanari is a tower dating back to the 4th century BC and the remains of an ancient fortress. If you head north, find the village of Kasikia, where the church of Saint George is located. Like a little mushroom snuggled among the rocks, the little church of Theoskepasti offers us one of the best views of the island. In the Ethnographic and Historical Museum in Agios Kirikos are displayed vessels, tools made of bronze, idols of clay and many other findings from the excavations.

Undoubtedly, however, the main tourist attraction is the dozens of fairs organized by the local communities. The local guests, after drinking a lot of wine, start dancing in the town squares Aegean and Icarian dances until dawn. The main dish usually served is baby goat with potatoes with strong red wine made by the locals. The best feasts are Langada, Akamatra and Arethusa.

The roads leading to the beaches of Ikaria are not always accessible, but they are definitely worth it. The longest sandy beach Pharos is located in the eastern part of the island and overlooks the island of Fourni. Pharos is the starting point for Drakanos, the mythical beach of Dionysus, and the hot waters of the mineral springs in the region reach Agios Kirikos. The most famous spa centre is Thermes.

One of the most popular beaches is Nas, near Armenistis, where nudists sunbathe.

Mesakti is a suitable place for water sports, especially surfing. The fine sand on the beach of Livadi makes it an excellent camping place. From the gorge of the river Halari, near Nas, an area included in Natura 2000 begins a path leading to the beach of Christo. The absolute number one, however, is the beach of Seychelles in Manganitis area. This place is just as exotic as its name implies and its white sand and turquoise waters make it unique.

If you decide to spare a day of your precious time, dedicate it to the island group of Fourni, halfway to Samos. These islands are easily accessible from Agios Kirikos and the best places for swimming and sunbathing are Psili Amos and Kampi. The other port of Ikaria is Evdilos. The island is connected by ferry with Syros, Mykonos, Mytilini, Samos, and of course Piraeus. The airport is located in the southern part of the island.

Where to Stay

Erofili Beach Hotel (22750 71058-9, www.erofili.gr) is located in Armenistis. Its big balcony overlooks the sea and will become a favorite place to relax. An alternative option is Cavos Bay Hotel (22750 71381-3, www.cavosbay.com.gr) as well as the Kimite apartments  (22750 71545, www.ikariarooms.gr), where one can use a kitchen, www.atherashotel.gr)

Ferries

Hellenic Seaways: 210 4199000, www.hellenicseaways.gr

Nel Lines: 210 4115015, www.nel.gr

 

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