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Ikaria’s Villages, Beaches And Thermal Springs

Ikaria is a majestic island of the Eastern Aegean Sea and the home of the mythical Ikaros. Here you will find wild beauty, breathtaking panoramas, clean mountain air, therapeutic hot springs, truly unspoiled seas and friendly people. A rarity amongst the Greek Islands, Ikaria has remained true to herself and to the ways of her people—the Ikarians. Tourism on Ikaria is unimposing for all and reflects an "Ikarian Balance" between nature, freedom, time and development. Come visit Ikaria and see for yourself.

Ikaría’s Villages

Agios Kirykos: Seamen and captains had built their houses in the capital of the island to give it an air of marine tradition. In the archaeological museum this tradition lives on, as a great part of the exhibits had been fished out of the bottom of the sea. In the North there is another port village, Evdilos. Built around and above the port, the village is a beauty with traditional houses, cobbled streets, and a characteristic local colour.
Karavóstamo: It is the largest village and a very hard-working one; seafarers and the workmen who built the churches and the arched bridges of Ikaria used to reside here.

Karkinágri: It is an isolated fishing village, in the proximity of cape Papas, which is alleged to house the most fun-loving villagers of the whole island. It is also very impressive as it rests beneath a mountain with heaps of large stones. An old belief has it that the stones were thrown onto the island by God, when he had finished creating the world and had no longer need of building material.

Christós: One and two-storey traditional houses and cobbled streets mark the main village of the mountainous area of Raches. But tradition here does not hold strong only in architecture; in old times, farmers and unskilled workers of all kinds in an unrelenting need of making a living, would come here after the end of the working day, to trade their goods and shop. As a result, shops would be open when there would be no more daylight. Nowadays, shops in Raches keep the old habit; they are open from dusk till dawn!

Ikaría’s Beaches

Wild beauty is a landmark of Ikaría. When it comes to thick vegetation or high mountains, enchanting rivers or beautiful gorges, Ikaria is definitely the place to be. But that is no less true when it comes to beaches too. Sandy or pebbly, popular or isolated, easily accessible or non car-accessible ones, with or without food and drink amenities, the beaches of the island are known for their crystal clear turquoise waters.

Not far from the village of Magganitis there is a very beautiful beach. Its sand is surrounded by masses of rocks, which have been left after digging through the mountain to build a tunnel to the village. The exotic –somewhat uncanny- picture recalls Seychelles, which is actually what the locals have named that beach. In the NW, the village of Armenistis is very popular with the young, mainly thanks to the most famous beaches of the island, Livadi and Messaktí.

If you have arranged for your accommodation in Agios Kirykos, treat yourself with the joys of the sea at the beaches of Prióni, Lefkada, Faros, Drakano, while the area of Evdilos is closer to the beaches of Fytema, Fles, Kyparissi.

Ikaría’s Thermal springs

In the ancient times, the thermal springs had caused for a town to flourish; it was a town that celebrated the natural phenomenon and its therapeutic effects by its name: Thermai. In the roman years, an earthquake devastated Thermai, but not the springs, which are considered to be among the richest in the world as far as radium content is concerned. Rheumatism, arthritis, neuralgia, neuritis, skin, circulatory, endocrine and gynecological conditions bring people to the springs to seek and find a cure. Some of them dive not only into health, but into history also: they swim in the water coming out of an ancient basin, at the place where the ancient thermal site used to be.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013