The Greek Island of Ikaria lies between Samos and Mykonos in the Eastern Aegean Sea. With an area of 255 sq. km and 102 km of coastline, the island's highest peak, Atheras (1,037 meters) divides the island into two parts; the north is characterized by sloping, fertile plains while the south decends sharply to the sea.
The Island's name is connected with the legend of Icarus, son of Daedalus, who fell into the sea near the island when the sun melted his wings. The island was colonized by Miltos and was conquered by the Persians during the Persian Wars. It later became a member of the Athenian Confederacy. The ancient cities on the island were Oinoe, Thermae and Drakanos.
Today Ikaria is characterized by wild beauty. Visitors to the Island find high mountains with clean mountain air, hot springs, beautiful beaches with clear water and simple friendly people.
Agios Kirikos, the capital and harbor of Ikaria, is a picturesque town spreading around the head of the bay, amidst lush vegetation. Lined with mulberry trees, cafes, taverns and shops, the main square is on the coastal road facing the sea. Therma, 1 km north of the capital, has been famous for the healing power of its springs for over three thousand years.
The coastal road continues on to Karavostamo, a beautiful village with houses reaching to the sea. A short distance away are beautiful inland villages with superb views and lush vegetation. This road then connects to Evdilos, the second largest harbor on the island, set amidst greenery, with traditional houses, narrow streets, and fine bays.
On the north coast of the island is Gialiskari, a small seaside settlement where pine trees extend all the way to the sea. Further on is the coastal settlement of Armenistis where the remains of the ancient temple of Artemis Tauropolos are preserved.
Finally, one will find Christos Rachon, blessed with abundant water and foliage and Karkinagri, a village on the seaside that remains warm throughout the year. These are two of the most traditional villages on the island.
There are many festivals on Ikaria at which traditional food and local wine is offered, followed by great celebrations with music and local dances. These festivities include the festival of Profitis Elias, the Panagia, the Analipsis, Agia Paraskevi, the Saviour and others. In mid-July, the festival of the Ikarian Eleftheria is an annual celebration of the liberation of the island from the Turks.