Attractions In Ikaria

Explore The Attractions Of Ikaria
Afianes Wines, Profitis Ilias
North Aegean / Ikaria

Afianes Wines was created in 1997 with the aim of putting Ikarian wine in its rightful place on Greece’s winemaking map. The winery is located within its vineyards on the edge of the village of Profitis Ilias, sitting at an altitude of 650 m. Here, the entire winemaking process takes place, from the vine to the bottle. Visitors can tour the lower level of the complex which houses the fermentation and bottling systems as well as the maturing and storage areas. The upper level consists of the winery’s showroom and exhibition centre, where guests can sample the finished product whilst enjoying views of the Aegean.

Ancient Oinoe, Kambos
North Aegean / Ikaria

The well-known city of Oinoe was once the island’s most important city and has been associated throughout the ages with the worship of Dionysus. Today, the ruins of ancient Oinoe include the area around the mouth of the river Voutside in the northern part of the island near the present-day village of Kambos.

Ancient Therma, Katafygi
North Aegean / Ikaria

At a short distance just east of the present village of Therma, lie the ruins of the ancient city of Thermai, once well-known for its numerous hot springs and baths.

Archaeological Museum of Agios Kyrikos, Agios Kyrikos
North Aegean / Ikaria

A true gem of the island, this museum is housed in the former junior high school of Ikaria’s capital. The building itself is impressive, as an excellent example of neoclassical architecture dating back to 1925 and featuring unique pediments and a large, marble staircase leading to the main entrance and front yard of the building. Inside, the museum contains over 200 artifacts which have been unearthed throughout the island and the waters surrounding Ikaria. Visitors have the opportunity to see pottery, columns, stone and bronze tools, well-preserved amphoras, pedestals, pillars, clay wares, weapons and other personal objects. The most important of these is the funerary sculpture of Katafygi, a work of an artist from Paros dating back to the Archaic/Early Classical period.

Archaeological Museum of Kambos, Kambos
North Aegean / Ikaria

Located within the archaeological site of Kambos, this museum contains artefacts from the areas of Kambos (ancient Oinoe), Nas (temple of Tavropolio Artemis), Arethousa, Christos Raches, Proespera and Frantato, among many others. Within the museum’s exhibits, visitors will find pottery, statues, grave goods, sarcophagi, idols and building fragments. Of particular interest is a marble sarcophagus dating back to the Late Archaic period. It’s believed to have been produced in Asia Minor and features carved reliefs of fruit, garlands and roses.

Archaeological Site of Kambos, Kambos
North Aegean / Ikaria

The archaeological site of Kambos consists of the ancient area of Oinoe, which was inhabited from the Mycenaen Age to the Roman and early Byzantine eras. The centre of the site consists of the theatre, Roman aqueducts, and an early Byzantine building, bearing the name “Palaces”. The theatre is an example of impressively-built architecture of late antiquity, featuring stone masonry and large, stone arches.

Atheras Mountains
North Aegean / Ikaria

Ikaria is a mountainous island and the mountain range of Atheras (Pramnos) cuts through a large section of it. With its highest point reaching an altitude of 1,042 m., the frequent occurrence of fog and mist create high levels of humidity during the entire year. A closer look throughout the thickets and protected areas of Ikaria, reveals that the island was once completely covered by forests. Even the mountain range’s limestone cliffs shelter several types of endemic plants. Caves dot its coastal cliffs, and have ben known to be inhabited by the Mediterranean Monk Seal. Overgrazing of goats, arson (with the intent to create more grazing found) and the extension of the island’s road system, all threaten the survival of the region’s ecosystem. As one of the island’s chief protected areas, its thick vegetation is home to several rare plant species as well as a variety of birds, amphibians and reptiles, such as the “Lizard of Ikaria” Lacerta oertzeni certzeni).

Castle of Koskina, Kosoikia
North Aegean / Ikaria

Just outside the village of Kosoikia Evdilou in the northern part of the Ikaria, lie the remains of the Castle of Koskina, at the peak of Mount Koskinas. Also known as the castle of “Messarias” or “Nikarias”, the structure was once a strong fortress during the Byzantine Era and later, the Frankish rule. The Byzantines built the castle at the top of a conical hill around the 10th century A.D. Due to the excellent visibility it offered, a small military base was established at the site, allowing soldiers the ability to survey the entire area, both over land and sea. Today, multiple fragments survive. The wall surrounding the top of the hill can be accessed  by the entrance at its northern side. Within the inner area of the hill, the church of St. George of Dorgana still exists, with ancient columns standing within its interior. At the northwestern side of the hill, crumbling remains of a settlement can be seen. According to legend, the castle was never penetrated, except on one occasion due to treason. Despite a path making it accessible, the castle sees few visitors due to its remote location.

Cave of Halaris (Parathiri), Chrysostomos
Cyclades / Ikaria

The cave of Halaris or Parathiri as it’s also known, can be found near the village of Chrysostomos in the southern part of the island, just a few metres from the riverbed of Halari. The entrance is four metres above ground, and the cave is divided into two parts: the entrance and the main chamber. Getting to the main area involves crawling through the long, narrow entrance. The round open area has a height of 14 metres and is full of multi-coloured stalagmites and stalagtites. Fragments of ancient pottery as well as bones have been found throughout, and the cave is full of archaeological and paleontological interest. According to studies, the bones belonged to large and miniature species of deer, as well as goats and humans, all of which date back to the Neolithic period. Although the cave holds great interest, a special permit must be obtained by anyone wanting to enter it.

Cave of Rahos Noutra, Petroupoli
Cyclades / Ikaria

This cave is located between the village Petroupoli and the area of Arvopeza within the northern section of the island. Like most other caves, this one has been connected with legend for years. Today a handful of stalagmites and other formations are still in good condition. Neither archaeological nor speleological studies have been carried out within the cave and visitors should know that they will visit at their own risk and should take their own equipment with them.

Church of the Ascension of Jesus
North Aegean / Ikaria

The church of the Ascension of Jesus can be found in the quaint village of Gialiskari. The spot on which the church is located was formerly an island, where a returning native Ikarian decided to build a church.

Drakano Tower, Faros
North Aegean / Ikaria

The ancient city of Drakano once stood in the area known today as Faros (Fanari) on the eastern edge of the island, and included the acropolis and tower of which, ruins can be seen today. The tower represents the city’s most well-preserved building as it stands at an altitude of 50 metres and affords visitors incredible views of Samos and the Fourni Islands in the distance. Form a construction standpoint, it is considered an impressive work of art and remains as one of the most well-preserved towers throughout the entire Aegean.

Drakospilio, Perdiki
North Aegean / Ikaria

This cave can be found within the northeastern side of the island near the village of Perdiki, in the area of Avgolimena, near the banks of a river. It’s location near a ravine and the fact that its covered by thick vegetation, make accessing the cave difficult. It stretches 18 metres long from west to east, and its interior is divided into three sections, featuring vertical walls, horizontal floors and no stalagtites. Archaeological expeditions have found various fragments of pottery and shells within the cave. Visitors wishing to explore its interior will need to have the appropriate equipment as well as a special permit.

Estuaries of the rivers Halari, Voutside, Mirsona and Haraka
North Aegean / Ikaria

The three estuaries of the Halari, Voutside, and Mirsona rivers are located respectively within the areas of Nas, Kambos, Gialiskari and Armenisti. All four rivers flow year round with brackish water and serve as a natural irrigation system to the small cultivations scattered along the riverbanks. Additionally, these wetlands feature rich biodiversity of both flora and fauna, among them a large number of protected and endemic species. A large variety of trees and bushes can be found here, such as reeds, bushes (oleander and schinous) and trees (alderwood and tamarisk). Several types of birds, amphibians and reptiles also inhabit the estuary. The Halari Gorge is home to several rare and protected species, among which are the Turkish lizard, river otter, a rare type of freshwater crab, and a bottom-dwelling fish of the salaria genus. Most interesting of all is the European eel, a species which migrates from America, crosses the ocean for three years before reaching the rivers of Ikaria. The gorge also provides shelter to dozens of permanent and migratory birds, such as falcons, egrets and bitterns. Overgrazing and extreme draining for agricultural purposes pose the greatest risks to the estuaries’ ecosystem. Recently, increased tourism during the summer months has also had a negative effect, as the estuaries frequently drain into beaches full of tourists.

Folklore Museum of Agios Kyrikos, Agios Kyrikos
North Aegean / Ikaria

Housed in the former cultural centre of the island, the Folklore Museum of Agios Kyrikos showcases a large collection of noteworthy objects, such as traditional costumes, textiles and various every day items which bring the island’s cultural tradition back to life, both for visitors and Ikaria’s younger generations.

Folklore Museum of Agios Polikarpou
North Aegean / Ikaria

This small Museum of Agios Polikarpou is located in the eponymous village within the area of Raches. It includes a small selection of important, cultural artefacts.

Folklore Museum of Vrakadon, Vrakades
North Aegean / Ikaria

The Folklore Museum of Vrakadon can be found in the northwestern area of the island known as Raches, in the village of Vrakades.It was founded by Ikarian scholars from Athens and displays the history and heritage of the island via a wide variety of traditional household wares, as well as old agricultural and bee-keeping tools. Visitors can also examine original documents dating back to the revolutionary period, as well as impressive objects from the church of Profitis Ilias in Vrakades, as well as the Monastery of Evangelismos in Mavrianos. Those wanting to visit the museum need to contact the museum’s board ahead of time.

Holy Church of Agia Sofia (St. Sofia)
North Aegean / Ikaria

The small chapel of St. Sofia is built on a rock north of the village of Monokambi. According to local tradition, Zacharias Karapetis, a native Ikarian who had immigrated to the U.S., had a vision of an icon in the cavity of the rock on which the church is built today. After painstaking excavations done by the villagers on site, the remains of St. Sofia and her three daughters were found. The are said to have been brought to the island by a monk from Ioannina named Ioannis Muraios, in an effort to save their remains from the Turks. Karapetis managed to build the church on this site. Later, a portion of the bones were stolen, though the rest of the remains can be found on site.

Holy Church of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicolas)
North Aegean / Ikaria

This church is the oldest remaining of its kind within the old town of Agios Kyrikos. Located in the capital’s central square. According to historical accounts, the sanctuary was built sometime between 1820 and 1840, while the bell tower dates back to around 1860. During the construction of the church, foundations of an older church were found, which date back to the first years of Christianity on the island.

Holy Church of St. Kyrikos, Agios Kyrikos
North Aegean / Ikaria

The capital of the island takes its name from this young martyr, who also happens to be Ikaria’s patron saint. According to historical sources, Kyrikos and his mother Ioulitta were martyred in Asia Minor at Tarsus during the 4th century A.D. And were canonized by the church, with Kyrikos possibly being Orthodoxy’s youngest saint, losing his life at just three years old. The church was built between 1902 – 1911 under the auspices of Belgian architect Eugene Dypre. Architecturally speaking, it’s a three-aisled cruciform basilica with an impressive dome, that is visible from ships approaching the island’s harbour. The church was built by G.S. Fountouli while the inner sanctuary is the work of A. Vlachogeni. The icons were painted on marble plaques by the painter Nikos Sitara of Samos.

Holy Church of St. Paul, Akamatra
North Aegean / Ikaria

This relatively unknown church near the village of Amamatra, represents one of Ikaria’s prized gems. The small, single-spaced church consists of two marble dividers which separate the inner and outer sanctuaries. As one of the oldest churches on the island, it features several colourful frescoes.

Holy Monastery of Evangelismos (Annunciation to the Virgin Mary)
North Aegean / Ikaria

Near the village of Xilosirti, a few kilometres outside of Agios Kyrikos, stands the Holy Monastery of Evangelismos, in the area of Lefkada. It was built in the 18th century by two priests from Agios Oros, who took refuge from pirates on the island, and build this church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In 1955, the church was turned into a monastery for women. Today the small chapel of St. Makarios has still been  preserved, featuring the cell where the saint stayed, as well as mosaic floors underneath which, a crypt is located. A bit further from the main church, lies the confessional of the nuns, as well as two mills, an olive press, and the docks where monks kept their boats. Enough of the structure has survived to warrant a visit.

Holy Monastery of Evangelistrias Mavrianou, Nanoura
North Aegean / Ikaria

This church can be found in the western side of the island, a few kilometres south of the village of Nanoura. From an architectural point of view, the church doesn’t stand out; only a marble column base and various marble and clay fragments point to the existence of an ancient settlement or temple which once stood in the same location. The sanctuary of the church contains a wood carved statue that dates back to 1820, as well as an icon of the Virgin Mary.

Holy Monastery of St. Onoufriou, Mavrato
North Aegean / Ikaria

Located between the villages of Oxe and Mavrato, this church represents an important piece of the island’s history and culture. Remains of monks’ cells, and an icon depicting St. Onoufriou can be seen within the church’s interior, while a marble plaque adorns the outer wall of the monastery. The grounds of the complex contain gardens and vineyards which the monks cultivated, as well as the ruins of a kiln, where the monks created and later sold ceramic wares. The remnants of an olive press can also be seen, as well as a hawthorn tree, which grows throughout the highlands of Ikaria and is prized among the islanders for its healing properties.

Holy Monastery of Zoodohou Pigi (Fountain of Life)
North Aegean / Ikaria

This monastery otherwise known as “Monastiraki” to locals, is located in the island’s capital within the neighborhood of Christo. It was first built in 1890, though it has been abandoned since 1955. A large portion of the church was destroyed in the large fire of 1993. Though it holds little interest architecturally, the remains of the monks’ cells can still be sen today, as well as a wall overlooking the west.

Iero Cave, Faros
North Aegean / Ikaria

Once can find the Cave of Iero in the eponymous seaside village in the area of Faros. According to legend, the cave was once a site of worship and offering to the god Dionysus, who was said to have been born on the nearby mountain of Drakanos. The remains of a paved road lead visitors from the village to the cave. The length of the cave is about 17 metres and its roof has collapsed. Fragments of pottery, vessels and coins representing different chronological periods have been found both in and around the cave. The majority of artefacts date back to the Hellenistic period. Access to the cave is only possible with a special permit.

Kapsalino Castle, Mavrato
North Aegean / Ikaria

This castle can be found in the eastern part of the island. It stands at an altitude of 800 metres within the Athera mountains and can be accessed by a single path which starts at Mavrato and continues towards Karavostamo. The castle’s location and its imposing views over Ikaria’s entire eastern region suggest that it once acted as an important fortress and look-out point. Unfortunately, only fragments of the castle have survived but its impressive views make the journey worth the while.

Karimali Family Estate
North Aegean / Ikaria

Built in 199, the estate’s winery continues a legacy of over 1000 years of winemaking on Ikaria. Modern production methods in combination with a passion for wine, create an inviting atmosphere for visitors to learn about one of the island’s oldest traditions. The winery is kept at a constant temperature of 18 degrees Celsius and includes aging and storage units in oak barrels. As a certified organic wine producer, Karimali Family Estate offers guests the unique opportunity to witness  winemaking in its purest, most natural form.

Lighthouse of Cape Papa, Karkinagri
North Aegean / Ikaria

The lighthouse of Cape Papa has been declared a cultural heritage site. Built sometime between 1886 and 1890 by the French Lighthouse Company while the island was still under rule of the Ottoman Empire. The lighthouse illuminates one of the central Aegean’s most treacherous passes – that between Mykonos and Ikaria. It hone for the first time on May 20th, 1890. During the years of WWII, it was turned into an armory by the Italians and remained unlit due to damages it had sustained. It began shining again in 1945 as its damages began being repaired. With a focal height reaching 75 metres, its light can be seen from 2.5 miles away, with a characteristic white blinking light every 20 seconds. The height of its cylindrical tower is 11 metres and contains 32 stone and metal steps leading towards the top.

Megalithic Figures, South East Ikaria
North Aegean / Ikaria

Ikaria’s south east region is dotted with unexplained ancient artefacts which have yet to be studied extensively. They point to the existence of a civilisation which inhabited the island during prehistoric times. It’s worth noting that important artefacts have been found around the acropolis of Drakanou, where ruins of ancient quarries, graves, dockyards and port structures can be seen. Just north of Drakano in the area known as “propezoulori”, there are large, single-stone columns, some still upright and most laying on the the ground. Made from slate or limestone, these columns do not surpass 2.5 metres. It has been suggested that they are the remains of an ancient, sacred area of the island.

Monastery of Osias Theoktistis and the chapel of Theoskepastis
North Aegean / Ikaria

This monastery is located near the village of Pigi in the northern part of Ikaria, and is dedicated to St. Theoktisti from Lesbos. The date of its foundation remains unknown, though it is sure to have been in operation from at least 1688, when the church’s sanctuary was painted, as an original inscription reads on its southern wall. The entire complex is comprised of the sanctuary which contains elaborate frescoes, 15 cells and various other facilities. Just a few metres from the sanctuary lies the chapel of Theoskepastis, built into the interior of a cave, below  a large rock formation. According to local tradition, when the villagers discovered the remains of the saint within a crypt located behind the sanctuary, they brought them to the cave and designated the area as a chapel. Within its interiors remains an old wood-carved mantle dating back to 1894.

Museum of Carpentry, Katafygi
North Aegean / Ikaria

This private collection belonging to P. Safou can be found in the village of Katafygi and displays carvings inspired by mythology, religion, and the natural world, such as dolphins and turtles. The wood used is typically either Eucalyptus, Holm Oak, or Holly Oak found throughout the mountains of Ikaria. It stands out as a very unique museum on the island which is worth visiting.

Museum of Mikis Theodorakis, Vrakades
North Aegean / Ikaria

This museum is actually an old stone home of an Ikarian who once offered accommodation to the famous composer and his companions during their exile on the island. Known as the “house with scorpions” it has been officially recognized as a landmark by the state, and features several every day items dating back to the years of the composer’s exile.

Palaiokastro Miliopou
North Aegean / Ikaria

The old castle of Miliopou can be found standing at an altitude of approximately 300 metres on Mt. Gerakas. Today, visitors can view  the ruins of the castle and settlements  that were once there. Another notable site is the Early Christian church of Taxiarchis, also known as the “Evktirio of the Archangel”, which constitutes  some of the oldest remains of a church on the island. It is believed to have been first erected around the end of the fourth century A.D., and today, remains of the sanctuary’s arch, square altar, pillars  and  their respective capitals, can still be seen. A few metres away  lie  the old churches of St. Kyrikos  and Ioulitas.

Perdikiou Castle, Perdiki
North Aegean / Ikaria

Perdiki castle gets its name from its location just outside a village bearing the same name. It’s also known as the castle of “Lefa” or “Kephala” from the impressive slope of the rock also called Kephala. Reaching the castle is only possible on foot via a path which leads towards Faros and passes through the old settlement of Skales, where hikers can see the old, deserted houses and graphic church of St. Stavros.

Randi Forest, Central Ikaria
North Aegean / Ikaria

Located just west of the Athera mountain range in the central section of the island, lies the Randi Forest. Estimated to be over 200 years old, it features trees dating back to over 300 years, making it one of the oldest remaining forests throughout the eastern Mediterranean. It’s the home of a rare, protected type of Oak tree (Quercus ilex), which is believed to have evolved around five million years ago. Other species of trees found within the forest include Arbutus and Fyllyrea trees, as well as a variety of bushes, such as yew, heather and cistus. Several animals call the forest home as well, such as the rock badger, marten, (Martes fiona), the hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor) and different types of rodents.

Sanctuary of the Archangel, Miliopo
North Aegean / Ikaria

This sanctuary features some of the oldest remains of a Christian church on the island. It’s located near the village of Miliopo, in the northern part of the island and is known by the locals as the Church of Taxiarches. The first phase of its building dates back to the 4th century A.D. The church is 15 metres long and 6.5 metres wide, and consists of the arch of the pulpit, the square altar, two marble plaques and mantles, as well as columns made from real marble.

Semni Cave, Katafygi
North Aegean / Ikaria

In the southeastern section of Ikaria near the village of Katafygi nad just below the Rock of Paroufa, you’ll find the Cave of Semni. This cave runs from northwest to southeast, and is difficult to access due to the dense vegetation surrounding it. It’s a small cave, with a length of only 4.1 metres and a width of 1.5 metre. There are no stalagtites and there has yet to be an archaeological or speleological investigation done at the cave.

Tavropolion, Nas
North Aegean / Ikaria

The small coastal village of Nas is located in the island’s north western section, just a few kilometres from Armenistis.Here was where the harbour of the ancient town stood. It’s name is believed to have come either from the word “naos” meaning “temple” or from the word “Ma”, which was how the goddess Artemis was referred to in Asia Minor. The worship of this particular goddess came to the island during the post-Minoan era and prompted the construction of the temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis “Tavropolios”. This unique version of the deity’s name was derived from the word “tavros” meaning bull, as she was known as being a virile force of both nature and destruction.

The Cape of Fanari
North Aegean / Ikaria

The cape of Fanari is located in the northeastern edge of Ikaria and features sheer coastal cliffs and beaches. As frequently found throughout the Mediterranean, the area consists of important sea ecosystems found along the coastline and under the water, where sea grass grows in abundance on the seafloor. It’s an important haven for both the Mediterranean Monk seal (Monachus monachus) and the Loggerhead Sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

The Cave of Katafygi, Katafygi
North Aegean / Ikaria

Legend has it that the cave of Katafygi stretches from its entrance in the area of Xilino near Katafygi, just below the church of Agios Nikolaos, all the way to the village of Faros. According to local tradition, during the years of Turkish rule, a group of Turkish soldiers went to a local church to arrest some residents of the village that were attending services at the time. The priest begged the soldiers to delay the villagers’ arrest until after the ceremony. They agreed, though little did they know that while they were waiting outside, the priest along with those inside, escaped into the cave from an entrance that was under the floor of the church. After enough time had passed, the Turks entered the church, only to find it empty. Though both archaeological and speleological studies have taken place within the cave, those wishing to visit the cave today, must bring their own equipment and obtain a special permit before doing so.

The Chapel of Panagitsas (Presentation of the Virgin Mary)
North Aegean / Ikaria

Though small in size, this chapel is a local gem, featuring original Ikarian architecture and dating back to 1806. Today visitors can visit the church which leds between the villages of Christos and Agios Dimitrios within the area of Raches. Within the church’s interior, visitors will see ornate frescoes and a wooden cross above the mantle. Also of intererst are a copy of the Holy Gospels dating back to 1872, and a liturgical pamphlet from the 19th century. Near the monastery lie the remains of an old watermill which supplied the village of Christos with water.

The Church of Agia Eirini (St. Irene)
North Aegean / Ikaria

One of the most important Byzantine monuments of Ikaria is the church of St. Irene, which was built on top of an early Christian basilica, parts of which, can still be seen today. At one time the church’s foundation had been dated between the 9th and 10th centuries, though it has recently been revised to somewhere during the 11th or 12th century A.D. Belonging to the simple, four column cruciform style, the church is rectangular, with the points of the cross supported by gabled roofs and a dome which stands atop an eight-sided drum. The church’s roof is covered by slate shingles, while the original walls have been re-coated.

The Rock of Icarus
North Aegean / Ikaria

Located in the middle of the sea, about 20 metres from the village of Chrysostomos, lies the rock of mythological Icarus, who is said to have lost his wings and fallen into the sea at that point. A small stone amphitheatre has been built on site, and many various events are frequently held there. In a field across the water, lie the pieces of a broken iron mine cart, which is referred to as the “blood of Icarus”, according to local tradition.

Tsantiri Winery, Ano Prospera
North Aegean / Ikaria

Tsantiri winery produces trhee of Ikaria’s native wines, including Begleri, Fokiano and Mandilaria. The organic vineyard covers 50 stremmata of land which forms terraces, as is the traditional way of grape cultivation throughout the island. Located in the north-western village of Ano Prospera and reaching altitudes between 350-450 m., Tsantiri winery gives its visitors the opportunity to tour its grounds as well as witness the wine-making process up close and personal.

Vathes & Pezi Lakes
North Aegean / Ikaria

The man-made lakes of Vathes and Pezi are respectively found in Kastanies and Christos. Both were created by dams on the rivers of Mirsona and Halari, and both wetlands are located within an area designated for the protection of birds. Dense vegetation grows around the lakes’ borders, and most of the greenery is in the form of trees, such as pine, plane and oleander trees, as well as wicker and schinias bushes, and reeds. Not surprisingly, the area is inhabited by a large variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Ancient Oinoe, Kambos
North Aegean / Ikaria

The well-known city of Oinoe was once the island’s most important city and has been associated throughout the ages with the worship of Dionysus. Today, the ruins of ancient Oinoe include the area around the mouth of the river Voutside in the northern part of the island near the present-day village of Kambos.

Ancient Therma, Katafygi
North Aegean / Ikaria

At a short distance just east of the present village of Therma, lie the ruins of the ancient city of Thermai, once well-known for its numerous hot springs and baths.

Archaeological Site of Kambos, Kambos
North Aegean / Ikaria

The archaeological site of Kambos consists of the ancient area of Oinoe, which was inhabited from the Mycenaen Age to the Roman and early Byzantine eras. The centre of the site consists of the theatre, Roman aqueducts, and an early Byzantine building, bearing the name “Palaces”. The theatre is an example of impressively-built architecture of late antiquity, featuring stone masonry and large, stone arches.

Megalithic Figures, South East Ikaria
North Aegean / Ikaria

Ikaria’s south east region is dotted with unexplained ancient artefacts which have yet to be studied extensively. They point to the existence of a civilisation which inhabited the island during prehistoric times. It’s worth noting that important artefacts have been found around the acropolis of Drakanou, where ruins of ancient quarries, graves, dockyards and port structures can be seen. Just north of Drakano in the area known as “propezoulori”, there are large, single-stone columns, some still upright and most laying on the the ground. Made from slate or limestone, these columns do not surpass 2.5 metres. It has been suggested that they are the remains of an ancient, sacred area of the island.

Palaiokastro Miliopou
North Aegean / Ikaria

The old castle of Miliopou can be found standing at an altitude of approximately 300 metres on Mt. Gerakas. Today, visitors can view  the ruins of the castle and settlements  that were once there. Another notable site is the Early Christian church of Taxiarchis, also known as the “Evktirio of the Archangel”, which constitutes  some of the oldest remains of a church on the island. It is believed to have been first erected around the end of the fourth century A.D., and today, remains of the sanctuary’s arch, square altar, pillars  and  their respective capitals, can still be seen. A few metres away  lie  the old churches of St. Kyrikos  and Ioulitas.

Tavropolion, Nas
North Aegean / Ikaria

The small coastal village of Nas is located in the island’s north western section, just a few kilometres from Armenistis.Here was where the harbour of the ancient town stood. It’s name is believed to have come either from the word “naos” meaning “temple” or from the word “Ma”, which was how the goddess Artemis was referred to in Asia Minor. The worship of this particular goddess came to the island during the post-Minoan era and prompted the construction of the temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis “Tavropolios”. This unique version of the deity’s name was derived from the word “tavros” meaning bull, as she was known as being a virile force of both nature and destruction.

Castle of Koskina, Kosoikia
North Aegean / Ikaria

Just outside the village of Kosoikia Evdilou in the northern part of the Ikaria, lie the remains of the Castle of Koskina, at the peak of Mount Koskinas. Also known as the castle of “Messarias” or “Nikarias”, the structure was once a strong fortress during the Byzantine Era and later, the Frankish rule. The Byzantines built the castle at the top of a conical hill around the 10th century A.D. Due to the excellent visibility it offered, a small military base was established at the site, allowing soldiers the ability to survey the entire area, both over land and sea. Today, multiple fragments survive. The wall surrounding the top of the hill can be accessed  by the entrance at its northern side. Within the inner area of the hill, the church of St. George of Dorgana still exists, with ancient columns standing within its interior. At the northwestern side of the hill, crumbling remains of a settlement can be seen. According to legend, the castle was never penetrated, except on one occasion due to treason. Despite a path making it accessible, the castle sees few visitors due to its remote location.

Drakano Tower, Faros
North Aegean / Ikaria

The ancient city of Drakano once stood in the area known today as Faros (Fanari) on the eastern edge of the island, and included the acropolis and tower of which, ruins can be seen today. The tower represents the city’s most well-preserved building as it stands at an altitude of 50 metres and affords visitors incredible views of Samos and the Fourni Islands in the distance. Form a construction standpoint, it is considered an impressive work of art and remains as one of the most well-preserved towers throughout the entire Aegean.

Kapsalino Castle, Mavrato
North Aegean / Ikaria

This castle can be found in the eastern part of the island. It stands at an altitude of 800 metres within the Athera mountains and can be accessed by a single path which starts at Mavrato and continues towards Karavostamo. The castle’s location and its imposing views over Ikaria’s entire eastern region suggest that it once acted as an important fortress and look-out point. Unfortunately, only fragments of the castle have survived but its impressive views make the journey worth the while.

Perdikiou Castle, Perdiki
North Aegean / Ikaria

Perdiki castle gets its name from its location just outside a village bearing the same name. It’s also known as the castle of “Lefa” or “Kephala” from the impressive slope of the rock also called Kephala. Reaching the castle is only possible on foot via a path which leads towards Faros and passes through the old settlement of Skales, where hikers can see the old, deserted houses and graphic church of St. Stavros.

Cave of Halaris (Parathiri), Chrysostomos
Cyclades / Ikaria

The cave of Halaris or Parathiri as it’s also known, can be found near the village of Chrysostomos in the southern part of the island, just a few metres from the riverbed of Halari. The entrance is four metres above ground, and the cave is divided into two parts: the entrance and the main chamber. Getting to the main area involves crawling through the long, narrow entrance. The round open area has a height of 14 metres and is full of multi-coloured stalagmites and stalagtites. Fragments of ancient pottery as well as bones have been found throughout, and the cave is full of archaeological and paleontological interest. According to studies, the bones belonged to large and miniature species of deer, as well as goats and humans, all of which date back to the Neolithic period. Although the cave holds great interest, a special permit must be obtained by anyone wanting to enter it.

Cave of Rahos Noutra, Petroupoli
Cyclades / Ikaria

This cave is located between the village Petroupoli and the area of Arvopeza within the northern section of the island. Like most other caves, this one has been connected with legend for years. Today a handful of stalagmites and other formations are still in good condition. Neither archaeological nor speleological studies have been carried out within the cave and visitors should know that they will visit at their own risk and should take their own equipment with them.

Drakospilio, Perdiki
North Aegean / Ikaria

This cave can be found within the northeastern side of the island near the village of Perdiki, in the area of Avgolimena, near the banks of a river. It’s location near a ravine and the fact that its covered by thick vegetation, make accessing the cave difficult. It stretches 18 metres long from west to east, and its interior is divided into three sections, featuring vertical walls, horizontal floors and no stalagtites. Archaeological expeditions have found various fragments of pottery and shells within the cave. Visitors wishing to explore its interior will need to have the appropriate equipment as well as a special permit.

Iero Cave, Faros
North Aegean / Ikaria

Once can find the Cave of Iero in the eponymous seaside village in the area of Faros. According to legend, the cave was once a site of worship and offering to the god Dionysus, who was said to have been born on the nearby mountain of Drakanos. The remains of a paved road lead visitors from the village to the cave. The length of the cave is about 17 metres and its roof has collapsed. Fragments of pottery, vessels and coins representing different chronological periods have been found both in and around the cave. The majority of artefacts date back to the Hellenistic period. Access to the cave is only possible with a special permit.

Semni Cave, Katafygi
North Aegean / Ikaria

In the southeastern section of Ikaria near the village of Katafygi nad just below the Rock of Paroufa, you’ll find the Cave of Semni. This cave runs from northwest to southeast, and is difficult to access due to the dense vegetation surrounding it. It’s a small cave, with a length of only 4.1 metres and a width of 1.5 metre. There are no stalagtites and there has yet to be an archaeological or speleological investigation done at the cave.

The Cave of Katafygi, Katafygi
North Aegean / Ikaria

Legend has it that the cave of Katafygi stretches from its entrance in the area of Xilino near Katafygi, just below the church of Agios Nikolaos, all the way to the village of Faros. According to local tradition, during the years of Turkish rule, a group of Turkish soldiers went to a local church to arrest some residents of the village that were attending services at the time. The priest begged the soldiers to delay the villagers’ arrest until after the ceremony. They agreed, though little did they know that while they were waiting outside, the priest along with those inside, escaped into the cave from an entrance that was under the floor of the church. After enough time had passed, the Turks entered the church, only to find it empty. Though both archaeological and speleological studies have taken place within the cave, those wishing to visit the cave today, must bring their own equipment and obtain a special permit before doing so.

Church of the Ascension of Jesus
North Aegean / Ikaria

The church of the Ascension of Jesus can be found in the quaint village of Gialiskari. The spot on which the church is located was formerly an island, where a returning native Ikarian decided to build a church.

Holy Church of Agia Sofia (St. Sofia)
North Aegean / Ikaria

The small chapel of St. Sofia is built on a rock north of the village of Monokambi. According to local tradition, Zacharias Karapetis, a native Ikarian who had immigrated to the U.S., had a vision of an icon in the cavity of the rock on which the church is built today. After painstaking excavations done by the villagers on site, the remains of St. Sofia and her three daughters were found. The are said to have been brought to the island by a monk from Ioannina named Ioannis Muraios, in an effort to save their remains from the Turks. Karapetis managed to build the church on this site. Later, a portion of the bones were stolen, though the rest of the remains can be found on site.

Holy Church of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicolas)
North Aegean / Ikaria

This church is the oldest remaining of its kind within the old town of Agios Kyrikos. Located in the capital’s central square. According to historical accounts, the sanctuary was built sometime between 1820 and 1840, while the bell tower dates back to around 1860. During the construction of the church, foundations of an older church were found, which date back to the first years of Christianity on the island.

Holy Church of St. Kyrikos, Agios Kyrikos
North Aegean / Ikaria

The capital of the island takes its name from this young martyr, who also happens to be Ikaria’s patron saint. According to historical sources, Kyrikos and his mother Ioulitta were martyred in Asia Minor at Tarsus during the 4th century A.D. And were canonized by the church, with Kyrikos possibly being Orthodoxy’s youngest saint, losing his life at just three years old. The church was built between 1902 – 1911 under the auspices of Belgian architect Eugene Dypre. Architecturally speaking, it’s a three-aisled cruciform basilica with an impressive dome, that is visible from ships approaching the island’s harbour. The church was built by G.S. Fountouli while the inner sanctuary is the work of A. Vlachogeni. The icons were painted on marble plaques by the painter Nikos Sitara of Samos.

Holy Church of St. Paul, Akamatra
North Aegean / Ikaria

This relatively unknown church near the village of Amamatra, represents one of Ikaria’s prized gems. The small, single-spaced church consists of two marble dividers which separate the inner and outer sanctuaries. As one of the oldest churches on the island, it features several colourful frescoes.

Holy Monastery of Evangelismos (Annunciation to the Virgin Mary)
North Aegean / Ikaria

Near the village of Xilosirti, a few kilometres outside of Agios Kyrikos, stands the Holy Monastery of Evangelismos, in the area of Lefkada. It was built in the 18th century by two priests from Agios Oros, who took refuge from pirates on the island, and build this church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In 1955, the church was turned into a monastery for women. Today the small chapel of St. Makarios has still been  preserved, featuring the cell where the saint stayed, as well as mosaic floors underneath which, a crypt is located. A bit further from the main church, lies the confessional of the nuns, as well as two mills, an olive press, and the docks where monks kept their boats. Enough of the structure has survived to warrant a visit.

Holy Monastery of Evangelistrias Mavrianou, Nanoura
North Aegean / Ikaria

This church can be found in the western side of the island, a few kilometres south of the village of Nanoura. From an architectural point of view, the church doesn’t stand out; only a marble column base and various marble and clay fragments point to the existence of an ancient settlement or temple which once stood in the same location. The sanctuary of the church contains a wood carved statue that dates back to 1820, as well as an icon of the Virgin Mary.

Holy Monastery of St. Onoufriou, Mavrato
North Aegean / Ikaria

Located between the villages of Oxe and Mavrato, this church represents an important piece of the island’s history and culture. Remains of monks’ cells, and an icon depicting St. Onoufriou can be seen within the church’s interior, while a marble plaque adorns the outer wall of the monastery. The grounds of the complex contain gardens and vineyards which the monks cultivated, as well as the ruins of a kiln, where the monks created and later sold ceramic wares. The remnants of an olive press can also be seen, as well as a hawthorn tree, which grows throughout the highlands of Ikaria and is prized among the islanders for its healing properties.

Holy Monastery of Zoodohou Pigi (Fountain of Life)
North Aegean / Ikaria

This monastery otherwise known as “Monastiraki” to locals, is located in the island’s capital within the neighborhood of Christo. It was first built in 1890, though it has been abandoned since 1955. A large portion of the church was destroyed in the large fire of 1993. Though it holds little interest architecturally, the remains of the monks’ cells can still be sen today, as well as a wall overlooking the west.

Monastery of Osias Theoktistis and the chapel of Theoskepastis
North Aegean / Ikaria

This monastery is located near the village of Pigi in the northern part of Ikaria, and is dedicated to St. Theoktisti from Lesbos. The date of its foundation remains unknown, though it is sure to have been in operation from at least 1688, when the church’s sanctuary was painted, as an original inscription reads on its southern wall. The entire complex is comprised of the sanctuary which contains elaborate frescoes, 15 cells and various other facilities. Just a few metres from the sanctuary lies the chapel of Theoskepastis, built into the interior of a cave, below  a large rock formation. According to local tradition, when the villagers discovered the remains of the saint within a crypt located behind the sanctuary, they brought them to the cave and designated the area as a chapel. Within its interiors remains an old wood-carved mantle dating back to 1894.

Sanctuary of the Archangel, Miliopo
North Aegean / Ikaria

This sanctuary features some of the oldest remains of a Christian church on the island. It’s located near the village of Miliopo, in the northern part of the island and is known by the locals as the Church of Taxiarches. The first phase of its building dates back to the 4th century A.D. The church is 15 metres long and 6.5 metres wide, and consists of the arch of the pulpit, the square altar, two marble plaques and mantles, as well as columns made from real marble.

The Chapel of Panagitsas (Presentation of the Virgin Mary)
North Aegean / Ikaria

Though small in size, this chapel is a local gem, featuring original Ikarian architecture and dating back to 1806. Today visitors can visit the church which leds between the villages of Christos and Agios Dimitrios within the area of Raches. Within the church’s interior, visitors will see ornate frescoes and a wooden cross above the mantle. Also of intererst are a copy of the Holy Gospels dating back to 1872, and a liturgical pamphlet from the 19th century. Near the monastery lie the remains of an old watermill which supplied the village of Christos with water.

The Church of Agia Eirini (St. Irene)
North Aegean / Ikaria

One of the most important Byzantine monuments of Ikaria is the church of St. Irene, which was built on top of an early Christian basilica, parts of which, can still be seen today. At one time the church’s foundation had been dated between the 9th and 10th centuries, though it has recently been revised to somewhere during the 11th or 12th century A.D. Belonging to the simple, four column cruciform style, the church is rectangular, with the points of the cross supported by gabled roofs and a dome which stands atop an eight-sided drum. The church’s roof is covered by slate shingles, while the original walls have been re-coated.

Lighthouse of Cape Papa, Karkinagri
North Aegean / Ikaria

The lighthouse of Cape Papa has been declared a cultural heritage site. Built sometime between 1886 and 1890 by the French Lighthouse Company while the island was still under rule of the Ottoman Empire. The lighthouse illuminates one of the central Aegean’s most treacherous passes – that between Mykonos and Ikaria. It hone for the first time on May 20th, 1890. During the years of WWII, it was turned into an armory by the Italians and remained unlit due to damages it had sustained. It began shining again in 1945 as its damages began being repaired. With a focal height reaching 75 metres, its light can be seen from 2.5 miles away, with a characteristic white blinking light every 20 seconds. The height of its cylindrical tower is 11 metres and contains 32 stone and metal steps leading towards the top.

The Rock of Icarus
North Aegean / Ikaria

Located in the middle of the sea, about 20 metres from the village of Chrysostomos, lies the rock of mythological Icarus, who is said to have lost his wings and fallen into the sea at that point. A small stone amphitheatre has been built on site, and many various events are frequently held there. In a field across the water, lie the pieces of a broken iron mine cart, which is referred to as the “blood of Icarus”, according to local tradition.

Archaeological Museum of Agios Kyrikos, Agios Kyrikos
North Aegean / Ikaria

A true gem of the island, this museum is housed in the former junior high school of Ikaria’s capital. The building itself is impressive, as an excellent example of neoclassical architecture dating back to 1925 and featuring unique pediments and a large, marble staircase leading to the main entrance and front yard of the building. Inside, the museum contains over 200 artifacts which have been unearthed throughout the island and the waters surrounding Ikaria. Visitors have the opportunity to see pottery, columns, stone and bronze tools, well-preserved amphoras, pedestals, pillars, clay wares, weapons and other personal objects. The most important of these is the funerary sculpture of Katafygi, a work of an artist from Paros dating back to the Archaic/Early Classical period.

Archaeological Museum of Kambos, Kambos
North Aegean / Ikaria

Located within the archaeological site of Kambos, this museum contains artefacts from the areas of Kambos (ancient Oinoe), Nas (temple of Tavropolio Artemis), Arethousa, Christos Raches, Proespera and Frantato, among many others. Within the museum’s exhibits, visitors will find pottery, statues, grave goods, sarcophagi, idols and building fragments. Of particular interest is a marble sarcophagus dating back to the Late Archaic period. It’s believed to have been produced in Asia Minor and features carved reliefs of fruit, garlands and roses.

Folklore Museum of Agios Kyrikos, Agios Kyrikos
North Aegean / Ikaria

Housed in the former cultural centre of the island, the Folklore Museum of Agios Kyrikos showcases a large collection of noteworthy objects, such as traditional costumes, textiles and various every day items which bring the island’s cultural tradition back to life, both for visitors and Ikaria’s younger generations.

Folklore Museum of Agios Polikarpou
North Aegean / Ikaria

This small Museum of Agios Polikarpou is located in the eponymous village within the area of Raches. It includes a small selection of important, cultural artefacts.

Folklore Museum of Vrakadon, Vrakades
North Aegean / Ikaria

The Folklore Museum of Vrakadon can be found in the northwestern area of the island known as Raches, in the village of Vrakades.It was founded by Ikarian scholars from Athens and displays the history and heritage of the island via a wide variety of traditional household wares, as well as old agricultural and bee-keeping tools. Visitors can also examine original documents dating back to the revolutionary period, as well as impressive objects from the church of Profitis Ilias in Vrakades, as well as the Monastery of Evangelismos in Mavrianos. Those wanting to visit the museum need to contact the museum’s board ahead of time.

Museum of Carpentry, Katafygi
North Aegean / Ikaria

This private collection belonging to P. Safou can be found in the village of Katafygi and displays carvings inspired by mythology, religion, and the natural world, such as dolphins and turtles. The wood used is typically either Eucalyptus, Holm Oak, or Holly Oak found throughout the mountains of Ikaria. It stands out as a very unique museum on the island which is worth visiting.

Museum of Mikis Theodorakis, Vrakades
North Aegean / Ikaria

This museum is actually an old stone home of an Ikarian who once offered accommodation to the famous composer and his companions during their exile on the island. Known as the “house with scorpions” it has been officially recognized as a landmark by the state, and features several every day items dating back to the years of the composer’s exile.

Atheras Mountains
North Aegean / Ikaria

Ikaria is a mountainous island and the mountain range of Atheras (Pramnos) cuts through a large section of it. With its highest point reaching an altitude of 1,042 m., the frequent occurrence of fog and mist create high levels of humidity during the entire year. A closer look throughout the thickets and protected areas of Ikaria, reveals that the island was once completely covered by forests. Even the mountain range’s limestone cliffs shelter several types of endemic plants. Caves dot its coastal cliffs, and have ben known to be inhabited by the Mediterranean Monk Seal. Overgrazing of goats, arson (with the intent to create more grazing found) and the extension of the island’s road system, all threaten the survival of the region’s ecosystem. As one of the island’s chief protected areas, its thick vegetation is home to several rare plant species as well as a variety of birds, amphibians and reptiles, such as the “Lizard of Ikaria” Lacerta oertzeni certzeni).

Estuaries of the rivers Halari, Voutside, Mirsona and Haraka
North Aegean / Ikaria

The three estuaries of the Halari, Voutside, and Mirsona rivers are located respectively within the areas of Nas, Kambos, Gialiskari and Armenisti. All four rivers flow year round with brackish water and serve as a natural irrigation system to the small cultivations scattered along the riverbanks. Additionally, these wetlands feature rich biodiversity of both flora and fauna, among them a large number of protected and endemic species. A large variety of trees and bushes can be found here, such as reeds, bushes (oleander and schinous) and trees (alderwood and tamarisk). Several types of birds, amphibians and reptiles also inhabit the estuary. The Halari Gorge is home to several rare and protected species, among which are the Turkish lizard, river otter, a rare type of freshwater crab, and a bottom-dwelling fish of the salaria genus. Most interesting of all is the European eel, a species which migrates from America, crosses the ocean for three years before reaching the rivers of Ikaria. The gorge also provides shelter to dozens of permanent and migratory birds, such as falcons, egrets and bitterns. Overgrazing and extreme draining for agricultural purposes pose the greatest risks to the estuaries’ ecosystem. Recently, increased tourism during the summer months has also had a negative effect, as the estuaries frequently drain into beaches full of tourists.

Randi Forest, Central Ikaria
North Aegean / Ikaria

Located just west of the Athera mountain range in the central section of the island, lies the Randi Forest. Estimated to be over 200 years old, it features trees dating back to over 300 years, making it one of the oldest remaining forests throughout the eastern Mediterranean. It’s the home of a rare, protected type of Oak tree (Quercus ilex), which is believed to have evolved around five million years ago. Other species of trees found within the forest include Arbutus and Fyllyrea trees, as well as a variety of bushes, such as yew, heather and cistus. Several animals call the forest home as well, such as the rock badger, marten, (Martes fiona), the hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor) and different types of rodents.

The Cape of Fanari
North Aegean / Ikaria

The cape of Fanari is located in the northeastern edge of Ikaria and features sheer coastal cliffs and beaches. As frequently found throughout the Mediterranean, the area consists of important sea ecosystems found along the coastline and under the water, where sea grass grows in abundance on the seafloor. It’s an important haven for both the Mediterranean Monk seal (Monachus monachus) and the Loggerhead Sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

Vathes & Pezi Lakes
North Aegean / Ikaria

The man-made lakes of Vathes and Pezi are respectively found in Kastanies and Christos. Both were created by dams on the rivers of Mirsona and Halari, and both wetlands are located within an area designated for the protection of birds. Dense vegetation grows around the lakes’ borders, and most of the greenery is in the form of trees, such as pine, plane and oleander trees, as well as wicker and schinias bushes, and reeds. Not surprisingly, the area is inhabited by a large variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians.

No Olive Mills Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Attractions.
Ancient Oinoe, Kambos
North Aegean / Ikaria

The well-known city of Oinoe was once the island’s most important city and has been associated throughout the ages with the worship of Dionysus. Today, the ruins of ancient Oinoe include the area around the mouth of the river Voutside in the northern part of the island near the present-day village of Kambos.

Ancient Therma, Katafygi
North Aegean / Ikaria

At a short distance just east of the present village of Therma, lie the ruins of the ancient city of Thermai, once well-known for its numerous hot springs and baths.

Cave of Halaris (Parathiri), Chrysostomos
Cyclades / Ikaria

The cave of Halaris or Parathiri as it’s also known, can be found near the village of Chrysostomos in the southern part of the island, just a few metres from the riverbed of Halari. The entrance is four metres above ground, and the cave is divided into two parts: the entrance and the main chamber. Getting to the main area involves crawling through the long, narrow entrance. The round open area has a height of 14 metres and is full of multi-coloured stalagmites and stalagtites. Fragments of ancient pottery as well as bones have been found throughout, and the cave is full of archaeological and paleontological interest. According to studies, the bones belonged to large and miniature species of deer, as well as goats and humans, all of which date back to the Neolithic period. Although the cave holds great interest, a special permit must be obtained by anyone wanting to enter it.

Drakano Tower, Faros
North Aegean / Ikaria

The ancient city of Drakano once stood in the area known today as Faros (Fanari) on the eastern edge of the island, and included the acropolis and tower of which, ruins can be seen today. The tower represents the city’s most well-preserved building as it stands at an altitude of 50 metres and affords visitors incredible views of Samos and the Fourni Islands in the distance. Form a construction standpoint, it is considered an impressive work of art and remains as one of the most well-preserved towers throughout the entire Aegean.

Estuaries of the rivers Halari, Voutside, Mirsona and Haraka
North Aegean / Ikaria

The three estuaries of the Halari, Voutside, and Mirsona rivers are located respectively within the areas of Nas, Kambos, Gialiskari and Armenisti. All four rivers flow year round with brackish water and serve as a natural irrigation system to the small cultivations scattered along the riverbanks. Additionally, these wetlands feature rich biodiversity of both flora and fauna, among them a large number of protected and endemic species. A large variety of trees and bushes can be found here, such as reeds, bushes (oleander and schinous) and trees (alderwood and tamarisk). Several types of birds, amphibians and reptiles also inhabit the estuary. The Halari Gorge is home to several rare and protected species, among which are the Turkish lizard, river otter, a rare type of freshwater crab, and a bottom-dwelling fish of the salaria genus. Most interesting of all is the European eel, a species which migrates from America, crosses the ocean for three years before reaching the rivers of Ikaria. The gorge also provides shelter to dozens of permanent and migratory birds, such as falcons, egrets and bitterns. Overgrazing and extreme draining for agricultural purposes pose the greatest risks to the estuaries’ ecosystem. Recently, increased tourism during the summer months has also had a negative effect, as the estuaries frequently drain into beaches full of tourists.

Folklore Museum of Vrakadon, Vrakades
North Aegean / Ikaria

The Folklore Museum of Vrakadon can be found in the northwestern area of the island known as Raches, in the village of Vrakades.It was founded by Ikarian scholars from Athens and displays the history and heritage of the island via a wide variety of traditional household wares, as well as old agricultural and bee-keeping tools. Visitors can also examine original documents dating back to the revolutionary period, as well as impressive objects from the church of Profitis Ilias in Vrakades, as well as the Monastery of Evangelismos in Mavrianos. Those wanting to visit the museum need to contact the museum’s board ahead of time.

Holy Church of Agia Sofia (St. Sofia)
North Aegean / Ikaria

The small chapel of St. Sofia is built on a rock north of the village of Monokambi. According to local tradition, Zacharias Karapetis, a native Ikarian who had immigrated to the U.S., had a vision of an icon in the cavity of the rock on which the church is built today. After painstaking excavations done by the villagers on site, the remains of St. Sofia and her three daughters were found. The are said to have been brought to the island by a monk from Ioannina named Ioannis Muraios, in an effort to save their remains from the Turks. Karapetis managed to build the church on this site. Later, a portion of the bones were stolen, though the rest of the remains can be found on site.

Holy Church of St. Paul, Akamatra
North Aegean / Ikaria

This relatively unknown church near the village of Amamatra, represents one of Ikaria’s prized gems. The small, single-spaced church consists of two marble dividers which separate the inner and outer sanctuaries. As one of the oldest churches on the island, it features several colourful frescoes.

Karimali Family Estate
North Aegean / Ikaria

Built in 199, the estate’s winery continues a legacy of over 1000 years of winemaking on Ikaria. Modern production methods in combination with a passion for wine, create an inviting atmosphere for visitors to learn about one of the island’s oldest traditions. The winery is kept at a constant temperature of 18 degrees Celsius and includes aging and storage units in oak barrels. As a certified organic wine producer, Karimali Family Estate offers guests the unique opportunity to witness  winemaking in its purest, most natural form.

Lighthouse of Cape Papa, Karkinagri
North Aegean / Ikaria

The lighthouse of Cape Papa has been declared a cultural heritage site. Built sometime between 1886 and 1890 by the French Lighthouse Company while the island was still under rule of the Ottoman Empire. The lighthouse illuminates one of the central Aegean’s most treacherous passes – that between Mykonos and Ikaria. It hone for the first time on May 20th, 1890. During the years of WWII, it was turned into an armory by the Italians and remained unlit due to damages it had sustained. It began shining again in 1945 as its damages began being repaired. With a focal height reaching 75 metres, its light can be seen from 2.5 miles away, with a characteristic white blinking light every 20 seconds. The height of its cylindrical tower is 11 metres and contains 32 stone and metal steps leading towards the top.

Museum of Carpentry, Katafygi
North Aegean / Ikaria

This private collection belonging to P. Safou can be found in the village of Katafygi and displays carvings inspired by mythology, religion, and the natural world, such as dolphins and turtles. The wood used is typically either Eucalyptus, Holm Oak, or Holly Oak found throughout the mountains of Ikaria. It stands out as a very unique museum on the island which is worth visiting.

Randi Forest, Central Ikaria
North Aegean / Ikaria

Located just west of the Athera mountain range in the central section of the island, lies the Randi Forest. Estimated to be over 200 years old, it features trees dating back to over 300 years, making it one of the oldest remaining forests throughout the eastern Mediterranean. It’s the home of a rare, protected type of Oak tree (Quercus ilex), which is believed to have evolved around five million years ago. Other species of trees found within the forest include Arbutus and Fyllyrea trees, as well as a variety of bushes, such as yew, heather and cistus. Several animals call the forest home as well, such as the rock badger, marten, (Martes fiona), the hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor) and different types of rodents.

No Wildlife & Fauna Found In This Destination. Please Check Other Attractions.
Afianes Wines, Profitis Ilias
North Aegean / Ikaria

Afianes Wines was created in 1997 with the aim of putting Ikarian wine in its rightful place on Greece’s winemaking map. The winery is located within its vineyards on the edge of the village of Profitis Ilias, sitting at an altitude of 650 m. Here, the entire winemaking process takes place, from the vine to the bottle. Visitors can tour the lower level of the complex which houses the fermentation and bottling systems as well as the maturing and storage areas. The upper level consists of the winery’s showroom and exhibition centre, where guests can sample the finished product whilst enjoying views of the Aegean.

Karimali Family Estate
North Aegean / Ikaria

Built in 199, the estate’s winery continues a legacy of over 1000 years of winemaking on Ikaria. Modern production methods in combination with a passion for wine, create an inviting atmosphere for visitors to learn about one of the island’s oldest traditions. The winery is kept at a constant temperature of 18 degrees Celsius and includes aging and storage units in oak barrels. As a certified organic wine producer, Karimali Family Estate offers guests the unique opportunity to witness  winemaking in its purest, most natural form.

Tsantiri Winery, Ano Prospera
North Aegean / Ikaria

Tsantiri winery produces trhee of Ikaria’s native wines, including Begleri, Fokiano and Mandilaria. The organic vineyard covers 50 stremmata of land which forms terraces, as is the traditional way of grape cultivation throughout the island. Located in the north-western village of Ano Prospera and reaching altitudes between 350-450 m., Tsantiri winery gives its visitors the opportunity to tour its grounds as well as witness the wine-making process up close and personal.