Ikaria is simply a wonderful island to visit all year round, however the best time of year to schedule your vacations especially if you are into outdoor activities is definitely the period of late spring and early autumn.
The main touristic season in Ikaria is traditionally shorter compared to other Greek islands and typically lasts from the second week of July until the 20th of August. Those who like this busyness tend to seek out the most popular spots on the island while others prefer to experience its real face and character: a peaceful place with beautiful landscapes, natural richness and people leading a laid-back lifestyle and spending quality times with friends and family.
Perfect period for hiking and other outdoor activities
Although Ikaria is always a great option for hikers (it was chosen as the “Best Greek island for nature lovers” by CNN) due to its richness of various natural habitats and biodiversity we do recommend you to visit during low season meaning until the end of June and after September. Temperatures during the day tend to get pretty high from July on (35 degrees easily) which might make you feel more exhausted than usual. Ikaria has plenty of fresh water after the autumn rains which fill up the mountain rivers that has dried out during summer thus revitalizing nature. Autumn brings also beautiful colours and paints the forests with different shades of orange, yellow and red. If temperatures are ideal wild mushrooms will start popping up all over these forests so you can go for a mushroom hunt but don’t forget to ask an experienced local guide to accompany you.
Since Ikaria Island is basically a mountain, roads are curvy and tend to be very narrow at certain points so much so that many times you might find it challenging to drive around with a car. The situation gets even more exciting (for some more annoying) when the amount of traffic elevates on these narrow roads even for experienced drivers. Another issue that you should also consider is that you might find yourself in a situation of not being able to find available cars from the rental offices. These problems can be easily avoided if you book your holidays for out of main season.
Live like a local
After the end of August most tourists are gone and life in Ikaria gets back to its normal pace. Summers are long in Greece so September still gives you many possibilities for swimming, various water sports and outdoor activities without the extreme heat and crowds. Go ahead and visit the popular tourist destinations on the northwest side of Ikaria and you will find yourselves surrounded by locals at the village squares enjoying their coffee and meal at the taverns and restaurants of the area. If you are up for an authentic social experience look up the dates of the last village feasts (panigiria) of the summer where you can enjoy Greek music and dancing.
Have the beaches to yourself
Even during the month of June the most popular beaches of Ikaria seem very spacious with only a few people hanging around. The beach bars are already open, the parasols are out and you can still find the perfect spot if you don’t want to be surrounded by many people. In May it just seems unbelievable that by mid July these beaches – especially Livadi, Messakti and Nas on the northwest side – get so crowded that it might be difficult to find a spot for your towel on a hot day. The famous Seychelles beach near Magganitis - despite of its remoteness - is full of visitors who all wish to admire this beautiful location and swim in its turquoise waters. Come here in May or in September and you might find no one! Of course it is always possible – especially if you listen to local advice – to find less crowded but yet very spectacular beaches with a little bit of effort.
Find accommodation easily with economic options
Another reason for scheduling your vacations during low season is that you can choose from many options concerning accommodation and it is very likely that you will find offers at half a price even at the most popular locations compared to the peak period. Book a cozy studio with a sea view from the balcony at villages where all facilities are within walking distance. Whether you are travelling alone, with friends, family or as a couple you can have it all if you make your booking on time for out of season.
Contact our local experts today to find out about programs and activities during autumn in Ikaria!