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Ikaria
Ikaria
Ikaria

Ikaria

Green coves, rocky cliffs, steep valleys and a broken canopy of scrub and olive groves, not mentioning the beautiful streams and idyllic beaches; Ikaria from above appears to be floating on the Aegean blue.

The relaxed, stress-free rhythm of life is one of the reasons for the islanders particularly long life expectancy; in fact, the people of Ikaria live on average 10 years longer than those in the rest of Europe and America!

The impressive longevity of its residents combined with the climate, diet, and daily exercise has won Ikaria a place in the “Blue Zone” list compiled by New York Times Best Seller Author, Dan Buettner.

There are only 5 identified “Blue Zone” locations at the moment. One each in Italy, Costa Rica, Japan and California, but Ikaria is by far the winner in the most healthy people over 90 worldwide.

The island has been the focus of many studies throughout the years, as scientists tried to uncover the secret of its centenarian inhabitants.

The food could be one major factor; the Ikarians follow their take on the Mediterranean diet, eating a lot of home-grown fruit and vegetables and drinking one or two glasses of the famous Ikarian red wine a day. Not so bad for a diet, is it?

ikaria-boat-view-sea
Ikaria Beach
© Definitely Greece

The island is indeed blessed with a natural environment of unique beauty.

In general, life here is largely unaffected by the westernised way of living.

Locals tend to stick together, helping each other out even in times of crisis. There is a strong sense of solidarity, a great ”us” rather than ”I” that you can read on the faces of the locals. Ikaria is famous for their warm hospitality and cheerful mood.  Ikaria is host to more than 50 paniyiria, or religious festivals, that are celebrated with an abundance of food and wine, singing and dancing.

Yet Ikarian people also recognize the need for rest.

Greeks playfully refer to Ikaria as “our Mexico”, hinting at the habit of Ikarians to take afternoon naps similar to the Mexican siestas. Still, they are anyhting but lazy, waking up early in the morning and spending the rest of the day hard at work.

The quiet capital of Agios Kirikos is a must for the hip traveler.

Walk among the well-preserved stone houses, through narrow streets to catch a stunning view of the sea below; alternatively, head for funky Evdilos for a greater choice of restaurants and cafes.

For visitors who don't want to indulge in lazy afternoons, Ikaria is the perfect setting to go on an adventure.

There are many hiking trails that cover the whole island and lead to hilltop villages and private bays, whereas its beaches are mostly off the beaten track, offered for naturism and camping. The strong winds of the Aegean make Ikaria an ideal location for water sports enthusiasts and its crystal clear waters promise to thrill even the most demanding scuba diver.

You will undoubtedly discover why it is preferred by many for its amazing beaches and the laid back atmosphere.

Τhis destination belongs to the trip: The Land of Heroes: The Peloponnese

This trip also contains the following destinations: Kythira, Mani, Mycenae, Kalavrita, Monemvasia, Nafplion, Olympia

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