Ikaria is a Greek island where time moves slowly and is home of warm smiles, clear water, delicious foods, natural beauty, quiet, brilliant stars and charm.
Granted, Ikaria doesn't necessarily have the glamour of Santorini or the party atmosphere of Mykonos, but if you're looking to immerse yourself in unspoiled Greek culture, thrilling mythology and history in order to escape the international tourist crowds, then it's hard to beat. Secluded beaches, thermal waters, life expectancy that tops 90 and wine straight from the Greek Gods, no wonder Icarus chose this spot to fall.
Exercise in Ikaria is a way of life; it’s called activity. It’s not scheduled. It flows and is a part of life. But what made the experience truly special is the people, truly strangers who will make you feel welcome, connected, happy, inspired and grateful. You learn to not live by the clock, put down your cell phones, reflect on our relationships and find permission to relax and simply enjoy. They embraced life with a purpose and set out each day to accomplish it. The crucial reason for their longevity and quality of life is the positive attitude towards life.
Words cannot express the beauty you witness.
Seychelles beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Ikaria. Located in a picturesque and intimate cove, this beach has bright pebbles and rocks, emerald waters and is surrounded by impressive rock formations creating a wonderful setting.
Nas beach is the most picturesque beach of Ikaria. This narrow coast is surrounded by rocky cliffs and the ancient temples of Artemis, it gives the best sunset on the island.
Messakti Beach has pure golden sand and crystal clear waters. Two small rivers are intersecting the beach, forming lovely small lagoons of fresh water. A canteen and some umbrellas and sun-beds for rent are available on the beach.
The experience of a local fair in Ikaria is unforgettable. The island is famous throughout the Greek islands for night-long festivals, known as panigiri, where locals celebrate the saints and other religious holidays. The glorious celebrations that take place once a year are attended by hundreds of locals and visitors in the surrounding countryside with traditional food, live music, and dancing that goes on till the next morning.
Icarus Festival presents various artists and groups whose music can be an inspiration for people. The festival also focuses on other forms of art, like painting exhibitions, dance lessons, and cinema.
Souvenir shops are selling the various excellent local products of the island such as golden honey, fine olive oil and cheese products. Ikarian bees gather nectar from oregano and thyme plants and their honey is prized. The island's olive is at the core of the Ikarian people's diet, and it is used in nearly every dish. Their olive oil is often associated with the remarkable longevity of Ikarian people as well as Ikaria’s thermal hot springs. They say that what lies beneath the surface is sometimes even more precious than what meets the eye, in fact the water is highly therapeutic.
A village called Christos Raches lies in the mountains and because so many people are farmers or smallholders and have to work late, they tend to socialise after 9 pm when the bars at the square actually open and everyone is invited. You won’t see old grannies in black on Ikaria but you will see them chatting to young people, even in clubs playing rock music. This social mixing helps prevent loneliness and is the guarantee for a long happy life.
After your vacation on a party island of Mykonos, staying in one of Aqualiving villas, give your self the opportunity to explore the the peaceful Ikaria.