Ikaria is such a versatile island that it is a real challenge to create a top 5 list about the possible things one can do and discover on the island while on holidays. However we gave it a try, see below :)
#1 Walk on hiking trails
Ikaria has a dense network of hiking trails through which it is possible to reach all parts of the island. These paths lead through various ecosystems from the seashore through canyons, dense green forests to rocky plateaus. If you are ready for some real adventure or you simply like walks in nature this is the place for you to come. Are you ready to discover rocky landscapes, walk through pine forests, swim in water pools, shower under waterfalls, explore hidden cultural sites and enjoy spectacular sea views? Grab your hiking boots and your camera and start discovering what is out there!
Although Ikaria is not one of the islands with extremely busy nightlife, islanders do party hard. They don't do it at bars and clubs, they go to the panigiria instead which are feasts organized by villages all around the island during the months of summer. There are bigger and smaller ones but you will have fun once you attend any of them all the same. The orchestra is playing music all night (or day) long from all around Greece for young and elderly alike. Have a glass of wine (or maybe some more), learn the steps of Ikariotiko, join the circle and dance the night away!
When travelling to Greece you most likely expect to see beaches with beautiful, clear blue water. Ikaria is no different, there are many places to choose from along the coastline of the island which are suitable for relaxation, playing and water sports (see #4).
The most famous beach of Ikaria is Seychelles Beach without doubt. This beach is so isolated that it can only be reached by boat or on foot by taking a rocky path from the main road for 10 minutes downhill. The spectacular view that you get is priceless though so many visitors embark on an adventure to visit this hidden gem each year.
For those who prefer warm waters Ikaria has also something special to offer. The radioactive springs located on the southeast side of the island are known since the antiquity for their healing properties. Besides providing relaxation they can be beneficial for those with problems such as arthrosis, nervous complaints, gynecological disorders, endocrinological disorders, rheumatism, and arthritis.
Surfing in Greece??! - you might ask. Yes, you can actually do that in Ikaria starting from the end of May until late September. If you are up for active vacations all you have to do is to get down to Messakti Beach on the north side of the island. You don't even need to bring your own gear, boards are available for rent and if you need some help you are welcome to take lessons also.
Another great sport to try here if you don't have a thing for waves is paddleboarding. On those days when the water is as flat as in a swimming pool go ahead and climb on a board with an oar in the hand while get a nice tan and your workout for the day at the same time.
The gift of God Dionysus, God of Wine in the Greek mythology is highly appreciated among Ikarians. On the fertile hills of the island local varieties such as red Fokiano and white Begleri are cultivated. Some of the locals still follow the old traditions of wine-making thus using underground wine jars for fermentation.
Also it is very common among Ikarians to produce their own wine and share it with friends and family on special occasions. And you have a lot of these throughout the whole year! Locals always find a reason to celebrate: it is a birthday, name day, Christmas, Easter, wedding, baptism, panigiria, summer, winter and so on. They get together and enjoy the precious gift of Dionysus accompanied by local food and usually music staying up all night.
Ikaria is a real treasure of the Aegean and Greece and is very much loved by its inhabitants. This island provides tranquility as much as adventure and it is ready to give you that you need most: untouched nature, clear air, clean food, good wine and a good example of how to lead a simple but yet happy and fulfilling life.