As one of the island’s most beautiful and unique routes, the path leading hikers from the seaside village of Nas to the mountainous region of Raches, never fails to impress. The path runs through the Gorge of Halari, alongside its eponymous river, the largest found on the island.
This route begins from the main square of Christos Raches and follows the characteristic red ‘footprints’ until the 9th marker. Here we turn left at the sign indicating Ammoudia and Magganitis. Continuing to follow the red footprints, we pass farmhouses and cross the dirt road, heading up the mountainside and following the stonewall which leads into the forest.
Historically made as a way to connect the western part of the island with its capital, this trail is one of the island’s most beautiful. The path’s starting point can be found at the chapel of Agios Dimitrios (indicated by a large sign) along the road from Evdilo towards Magganitis.
Undoubtedly Ikaria’s most popular trail, this circuit takes hikers on a grand tour of the region of Raches. Starting along the central road just outside Armenistis, (just behind the ‘Pleiades’ club) this path covers a distance of 25klm. The route is extremely well marked, with shapes of small red footprints showing hikers the way. The path was created and continues to be maintained by the Raches Resident Council, who have also made an exceptional map of the trail and wider Raches area. The map can be purchased throughout several press agents on the island. The trail itself is considered easy, and intersects many other trails along the way.
From the Pounta – Ammoudia trail, we begin this route at the juncture of Stavri. Here, we follow the path to the left heading south, and continue downhill towards the steep mountainside. Here the trail has been cut into the rock and is hard to make out at some points.
This scenic path offers amazing views and a balanced mix of uphill and downhill walking. On the paved road starting from the church of Arethousa, we continue uphill towards the highest houses in the village. On our left, we will eventually see a sign indicating the start of the path towards the direction of Chrysostomos.
Near the village of Glaredo a few kilometres west of Agios Kyrikos lie the thermal springs of Thero and Hilio-Thermo. The municipality has used large boulders to section off the coastal springs from the sea, creating a natural pool overlooking the waves. The characteristic red-coloured sand contains properties which treat and cure several different dermatological conditions. Access to the springs is free and easy, either on foot, by bicycle, or with a vehicle, thanks to the paved road which runs just above it from Agios Kyrikos.
The star of the island and one of the most impressive throughout the Aegean, the beach of Seychelles never fails to impress. Its aquamarine waters and odd rock formations give it the name taken from the similar-looking archipelago. It can be found along the island’s southern coast, near Magganitis.
Featuring fine, golden sand and turquoise waters, this is one of Ikaria’s finest beaches. Located between the beaches of Messakti and Armenistis, Livadi is a great choice for families with children, as the water is shallow and there are umbrellas and sun loungers available.
The public Hydrotherapy centre of Asklipios is located within Ikaria’s capital city of Agios Kyrikos, next to the police station. All four hydrotherapy centres have been completely remodeled and represent some of the country’s most modern thermal spring treatment centres. Fully equipped with ramps, the springs are accessible to all visitors. Well-trained personnel can be found at each centre, offering their expertise and assistance to address any need which may arise.
5 hours hiking this trail which cuts through the island from east to west and reaches its highest peaks, is the ultimate way to experience the real Ikaria. The route only briefly follows an official path, beginning along the trail marked “Mavrato-Kapsalino Castle”. Once reaching the stone shelter, a sign indicating directions can be seen.