Ikaria or Nikaria is a Greek island of the eastern Aegean and belongs to the homonymous regional unit of Ikaria. The capital and port of the island is Agios Kirykos on the southeastern coast of the island, while Evdilos on the north coast is the second largest port. Its name was taken from Daadalus’ son, Icarus, who was washed on the shores of this island.
In Ikaria we find a rare architectural element, the so-called “anti-piratical” houses. They were created in around 1700, when the inhabitants lived in the fear of pirates. They exploited the huge round rocks of the island to build houses without windows or chimneys,hidden carefully under trees to escape the pirates' attention.
Nicaritans' rich history is lost in time.They have been through many difficulties,and are very industrious and active.
Although there has been great influence from the East- Ionia and the wider Aegean region- and even immigration for various reasons from and to Ikaria has plagued them, the Nicarians managed to maintain most of their local characteristics intact, namely their way of thinking and behavior or the way they did things.They are optimistic, idiosyncratic, hospitable, different,adorable! The Icarians are unique people and they are worth meeting!
Ikaria is characterized by wild beauty of dense vegetation, high mountains, rivers, ravines, and several beautiful beaches. Apart from sandy beaches, many beaches are pebbly, and there are several remote ones inaccessible by car. The most famous beaches and tourist places are located in the northern part of the island in the Armenistis-Raches area: Messakti, Livadi, Ano, Gialiskari, and in the area of Evdilos: Kampos, Partheni, Karavostomos. In the southern part, in the area of Agios Kirikos, we find remarkable accessible beaches in Xylosyrti and Faros. A crowded beach on the southwest side is Seychelles, known for its blue color, created due to landslides from work on tunnel construction in Manganiti. More isolated beaches are just as beautiful: Mars, Kioni, Ai-Giorgis (Dracano), and others. Many of the northern beaches are exposed to the open, usually tricky Ikarios Sea, except in June and especially in September (but not exclusively). In some of these beaches (Messakti, Na), when there is bad weather, dangerous sea currents, as indicated by corresponding signs, are being formed, and attention is paid to the swimmers.
The history of the baths is connected with the history of our place. Ancient Greeks were among the first to use the baths, as well as ancient Greek physicists, historians, and geographers were the first to deal with the springs and the mineral waters. In Asklipieia from the 13th century BC the use of the baths for therapeutic purposes was known. The first observer of the thermal waters was the historian, Herodotus, who preceded Hippocrates, describing a number of thermal springs. The sources of Ikaria are considered among the most therapeutic springs in the world.
There are eight thermals between the seventeen major healing springs of our country, which flow in various parts of the island. The most famous is Therma, in the area of the Municipality of Agios Kirikos, mainly visited by elderly people. They belong to the category of warm radioactive algae (near the sea), differing in intensity and temperature.
From there, the thermals of Thermos and Chios are easily accessed,as they are at a distance of 2,500 m and 1,800 m respectively in the area of Lefkada. The Mustafa – Litza spring is located at a short distance east of the town of Ag. Kirykos.Five springs of the Pamphili Cave, Kratsa, Artemis and Apollo are located in the area of Thermes. There are unspoiled springs in Lefkada and Therma, which are located by the sea, In the area of Xylosyrti there is another spring,10 meters from the sea, called “Immortal water”. The water of this spring is diuretic and helps eliminate stones and sand from the kidneys and the bladder.
Fairs are a trademark of the island and you should visit them. Dance, food and wine dominate the scene and last till the morning. If you are single, then even better. It is guaranteed you will leave with a mate. Our favorites are those in Arethoussa (17/7), Karavostomos (26/7), Feidos (27th July), Stavros (6/8), Mandria (8/8), Kares (12/8) , Vrakades (20/8) and Mavratos (29/8).
On August 13, the Wine Festival in the village of Fles (the first village you will find on the left of the port of Evdilos) is something like a feast in a village of Galla with plenty of wine and nice food.You can walk there from the harbor.Finally,if you visit the island at a full moon, then the bourgeois village of Manganitis, where a full moon party is set at the awesome shop called In Yalos is a must.
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