The island of Ikaria


ikaria-beachAccording to ancient Greek mythology, Ikaria owes its name to Ikaros, the son of Daedalus who was the architect hired by King Minos to built the famous Labyrinth where the Minautor was held.

Since Daedalus and Ikaros were the only ones who knew how to escape from the Labyrinth, King Minos had forbidden them to leave the island of Crete, in order to prevent the spreading of the Labyrinth’s secrets.

Daedalus created wax wings for him and his son in order for them to fly away from the island of Crete.

Ikaros, ignoring his father advice, came too close to the sun, out of pride that he was equal to the gods, but his wings melted and he fall into the deep sea surrounding Ikaria, which was then named after him.

 

Ikaria is part of the Eastern Aegean Islands and is located 144 NM east of Piraeus (Athens).
Nearby islands include Mykonos to the west, Patmos to the south, Samos to the east and Chios to the north. The topography is a contrast between verdant slopes and barren steep rocks. The island is mountainous for the most part. It is traversed by Aetheras range, whose highest summit is 1,040 metres. Most of its villages are nestled in the plains near the coast, with only some of them on the mountains. Ikaria has a tradition in the production of strong red wine.

Ikaria has its own unique characteristics like every place. These include the calmness and politeness of the locals and the unique way of celebrating in every occasion. Ikariotikos is a traditional dance and accompanying song originating in the Greek island of Ikaria. Music & dancing are major forms of entertainment on Ikaria, and figure prominantly in the lives of IKARIANS. Throughout the year Ikarians host baptisms, weddings, parties and religious festivals where one can listen and dance to live traditional Ikarian Music. While in Ikaria don't miss the chance to experience firsthand the "IKARIOTIKO" (traditional dance of Ikaria) by attending one of the many PANIGIRIA (religious festivals) which take place mostly during the summer.

Ikaria has to offer many alternatives concerning the beaches. At the southern part of the island you should visit the beaches of Faros, Ai Giorgis, Kerame, Tsoukala (in Agios Kirikos), Xilosirti and Seychelles (near Maganitis). At the northern part of the island Mesakti, Livadi, Kampos, Armenistis, Nas and Karavostamo.