Icaria – the name
is often spelled Ikaria – is situated in the
not far from Samos and the Turkish mainland. About 8000
people live on the island that has an area of 250 square
kilometres. Capital is the town of Agios Kirykos. The port is
located there as well.
Icaria is well known from Greek mythology. It derives from
Icarus. He was the son of famous Daedalus. Daedalus was a
genius artist and most skilful craftsman. Among other things
he build labyrinth in Knossos where the Minotaur was kept. To
keep the secret King Minos ordered to arrest Daedalus and his
son Icarus. The only way to escape imprisonment was through
Daedalus designed wings made of wax and
feathers and tried them out. They worked just fine for him so
he taught his son how to fly. He advised him to be careful
when using them. Icarus should not fly to high since the sun
would otherwise melt the wax and not to low either since they
must not get wet. Then they escaped.
Everything went well for a while but kids don't listen.
Icarus got overconfident and climbed higher and higher until
it was too late. The sun got too hot and the wax melted. The
wings disintegrated and Icarus fell. This allegedly happened
near Icaria. The mourning father named the island after his
son so he shall be remembered.
These days the island is well know for its hot springs. The
water contains sulphur and radium. That may not sound very
healthy but apparently is. They hot springs in the little
village Therma are close to the capital (app. 2 kilometres).
The capital Agios Kirykos - despite some new buildings - is
still quite nice and a typical Greek island capitol. You'll
find rooms to rent, some hotels, holiday homes and a number
of restaurants. More accommodation is available in Therma. In
the local museum are a number of interesting artefacts from
the islands long history. The first settlers came here about
Another good place to stay on the island is Armenistis, a
little village on the west coast. There you'll find a
fantastic beach. The village is surround by beauty; forests,
springs and streams. It is really laid back with some
fantastic restaurants. Needless to say that it is popular
There is a lot of green on Icaria, well at least by Greek
standards. Forests normally are a rather rare sight on the
islands. With plenty of shade the island is popular with
hikers. Maps are available; some of the paths are marked.
To get to Icaria take a ferry from either Athens or
high season there is a boat from Kavala as well. There might
be additional boats to other islands but you'd need to check
that at the ferry port.
Icaria has a small airport with connections to Athens,
Thessaloniki and Samos. There are no international flights.
The bus system on the island is not exactly brilliant but one
could call it sufficient.