The legend-island of Ikaria brings a sense of absolute freedom to its visitors. Ikaria, home of the mythical Ikaros, is made of pure magic. Hot springs, beautiful beaches, majestic mountain volumes, wild, contradictive, shocked in its excellent wine and the unspoiled local customs and cultures, this island is a rare “summer experience” that words seem too poor to describe. Music and folklore dances are on the island’s daily “agenda”. The Ikarians honour their past by celebrating the present, at all times and on any occasion. The traditional “panygiria” (local festivities) have become famous and attract thousands of visitors.
Where to swim
If your bathing suit feels “heavy” on you, then the rocky beach of Nah next to the free campers by the river of Halaris is your place. On the west, the beach of Armenistis is well organized, same as Kampos and Livadi. Nature’s surrounding at Evdilos is amazing, while Therma are more of “families”, having hot springs as well. However, the most popular on the island is the endless and sandy beach of Mesakti, a surfers paradise especially during August. At Magganitis, there is the infamous “Seyheles” beach, as of its deep emerald waters. Going down to this beach, you’ll find it a little adventurous, though, but it is worth the try. Faros, Anefantis, Kerame and Agios Giorgis at Drakano, are also beautiful beaches. At Karkinagri you can go by a boat.
Where to stay
With a view to the bay of Nah, are the rooms of Artemis (+30 71475). At Armenistis, Galini (+30 71293) and Fotinos (+30 71235) provide good stay. Three stars accommodations you’ll find at Messakti Village (+30 71331-4) at Yialiskari. In the centre of Evdilos, close to Kerame beach, are Atheras (+30 31434) and Kerame (+30 31426), while on the other side of the island at Agios Kyrikos, there is Kastro (+30 23480), watching the vast blue of the Aegean.
Where to eat
You should definitely try the local cheese “kathoura”, the goat meat and the excellent wine of Ikaria, served also at the “panigiria”. “Soufiko”, “rasko” and chickpea croquettes are among the island’s famous recipes you should indulge your appetite with. Zucchini flowers are also a surprising island’s traditional delight. All served at the islands taverns, plenty there are. At Therma, you’ll eat at Meltemi. You’ll go to the stone built traditional tavern of Peryialidi, at Livadi Chrysostomou. At Nah, there is Klimataria and at Faros, you’ll go to Miltiades. On the port of Agios Kyrikos, you’ll be served local recipes at Tsouris. At Armenistis you’ll go to Zeykin, and at Plaka you’ll find Arethousa, where you’ll try an amazing piglet dish. At Yialiskari, you’ll stop at Marinos and Kelari. A little further by the sea road at Karavostamo, enjoy the good Ikarian food at Mandouvala.
Time is “relevant” at Ikaria. The sun never sets and the nights and days become one during the summer. Of course, you’ll go to at least one, or as much as you can handle, panigiria (on the 15th of August there are 11 organized on the island). The most vivid night life on the island is “based” at Christos Rahon (the mountain village of Rahes). The village’s square is one big “night-club”. At Karavostamo, you’ll find Apaloumpe right on the beach, and Rebelos at Armenistis. Ftero at Agios Kyrikos, is a great night spot with a view to the Ikarian sea, however the full moon parties at Yialos are equally attractive. At Magganitis, you’ll drink at Kanei Fourtouna. There are also plenty of cultural events happening on the island during the summer, music lives are very frequent, check for updates.