Ikaria is one of the largest islands of the Eastern Aegean, an area of 660 square kilometers and a population of 7,000 inhabitants. Mountain for the most part, Ikaria has a great variety of topography. Green slopes, and bare rocks, inaccessible but also cosmopolitan and well organized beaches make the island unique. Besides the rare flora and fauna are protected by the program Natura 2000. World phenomenon certainly are the residents of the island because of their longevity, which has hosted in dozens of tributes in newspapers worldwide. Like the one of the Daily Mail, where Incorporates Ikaria to the list of "Blue Zones", the five regions in the world where residents live longer than anywhere else on Earth.
Despite the very few residents, Armenistis is the most touristic village of the island with many hotels, restaurants and tourist shops. It also creates a wonderful combination of sea and landscape. Well-known are the two large, sandy beaches and the picturesque little bay below the walkway with the tourist shops.
It is the largest village on the north side of the island, with about 300 residents. Located in a dense green forest it maintains its traditional architecture. The village has been known for erratic day- schedule residents and shops have, cause it seems that everything and everyone is working during the night. The paved square with its imposing church in the center is a meeting point with many visitors sitting in cafes and local restaurants or enjoying a drink in the local bars. We suggest you visit "Rahes" on August 6th when there takes place one of the biggest festivals of the island.
Monastery of God-made Saint
In the northern part of the island, near the village "Pigi" and in a location of tall green pines is built between two rocks, the Monastery of Saint Theoktisti. It is estimated that it was built in the 16th century according to an old legend, while today vissitors can admire frescoes depicting Bible.
It is located in the village of Kosikia near Evdilos, in the middle of the island, built by the Byzantines in the Dolichi city center at the top of the hill in order to be able to accommodate small military unit to oversee the region. Today part of the wall that surrounded it is preserved. Also, there are tracks of settlement in the northwestern slope of the hill, while you can visit the church of St. George Dorgana too.
We start with Drakano that although you have to walk a bit, the beach definitely worth it. Windy days take a shelter in "Iero", an aquamarine, sheltered cove. Instead surfing enthusiasts chasing the waves wil lsurely love and Mesakti. For everyone who loves snorkeling we recommend Anefanti because its beautiful seabed and the ideal for exploring underwater caves. At the end of a river, lies the beach "Na" where you 'll reach descending a few stairs, while you can dive in the water under a waterfall. Finally "Seychelles" although they require a little walk, will compensate you as the waters reminds exotic Caribbean destinations.
The Archaeological Museum of Agios Kirikos is a real jewel in Ikaria, because of the classic building and findings including vases, jars, tools, coins and utensils. Also the Agios Kirikos, worth visiting the Folklore Museum too. It contains several interesting exhibits, such as traditional costumes, textiles and various other items that highlight the islands tradition. In Vrakades village, the old stone house of Mikis Theodorakis, has been transformed into a museum. Here the famous composer lived with his companions during his exile on the island. It contains many artifacts from everyday life during his exile. Finally worth mentioning are the folklore museums in St. Polycarp, Perdiki and Vrakades.
Ikaria's capital, Agios Kirikos is located in the southeast of the island. On the north side Ikarias second port is Eudilos. Movements within the island is not ideal as the road is difficult, twisty, with narrow streets and and the frequency of the bus is not the best. However, there are buses that start from Agios Kirikos and go throughout the rest of the island. For greater comfort and freedom of movement you can hire a car, motorcycle or bicycle. In any case, take the time to walk, beacause according to residents walking is one of the secrets of longevity.
We start with the Sufiko which is not something impressive, natural delicious ingredients make the difference. The inspiration comes from last summers vegetables, and the need to find a way to cook it all together. For the same reason Gemista are also a specialtie. Famous are the zucchini-balls and chickpea-balls in Ikaria. The variety of fish is very large, as well as the recipes which are cooked. Have your meals while drinking "Pramneio Wine", a local, but a little strong wine.