Atheras Mountains

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).

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