I’m trying to figure out what I’d say to someone who wants to visit Ikaria and I have so much to say… Ikaria is my island. I’ve always had there – since I remember myself – a grandfather and a grandmother, a house and a yard waiting for me every summer, so I can’t be objective at all with this island, but as a matter of fact why should I be?
In Ikaria you will usually go by boat and you will need about 7 hours to arrive. But don’t worry, the holidays start as soon as you leave Piraeus port. You’re going down to Eudilos, and before you hurry to your room, you’ll find the shop that serves hot doughnuts. And you’re going to sit down. You’re going to take a deep breath and…welcome to Ikaria!
The island is big, so you’d better have a car. If you can’t, hitchhiking is a very widespread sport, so you’ll find your way. Ikaria is divided into two sections, the north and the south. The north has sandy beaches with rough seas – and be very careful. It has lush vegetation, natural springs and many tourists. The southern part is more isolated, with steep rocks ending in the sea, heather (calluna) and thyme, calm waters and strong winds. You’re going to start from the north. But don’t just stay there.
You will definitely swim in Messachti, the most famous beach of the island and in Na -the beach under the Temple of Tavropolos Artemidos. You’re going to eat at the “Poppy’s” WineHouse in Fytema, walk to the Armenistis and go up the evening to the Rahes. That’s where everything works differently. Cafes open late at night and close early in the morning. You’ll eat the traditional sweet in the women’s village cooperative and continue for cocktails in the Treehouse (Dentrospito).
Let’s go to the south. You’re going to Seychelles Beach in the morning. It’s going to take a 20-minute descent to get there, but trust me, the waters will amaze you. You will swim in the Iero, in Ai Giorgi, in Faro, the island has many beaches and you will surely find your favorite. If you have enough patience you can reach Karkinagri, at the southwest end of the island for an ouzo with meze on the most beautiful balcony on the sea.
And in the evening we go to the feast -Panigiri! The festivals on the island in the summer months are countless, with Lagada’s larger being the largest. That’s where you don’t need directions. Only good mood, durability to dancing and closed shoes for “skorfides” (scorpions). Listen to Cariotikos, eat a goat, dance a waltz at dawn and clink a glass of red wine with the locals who stay behind in winter. With a wish to find them there again next summer…