MUSEUMS & MONUMENTS WORTH VISITING

  1. Ikaria
  2. Museums & Monuments

Kambos: The Archaeological Museum of Kambos is located in a two-storey neoclassical house. It exhibits various findings from excavations on Ikaria, such as sculptures, grave carvings from the Classical and the Hellenistic period, Neolithic tools, pottery vessels, coins, columns, and other objects.

Agios Kirikos: The long awaited new Archaeological Museum is situated in a neoclassical building, which served as the first secondary school for the island. Findings date as far back as the 5th millennium B.C. and lead visitors chronologically through ancient periods thereafter. Findings come from settlements all over Ikaria. Handmade tools, figurines, spindles, incense burners, lamps, funerary stele and other artifacts breathe life into the island’s layers of history, ancient rituals, styles and influences.

Foklore museum of Agios Kyrikos: The collection includes exhibits such as traditional costumes, hand-woven textiles and other objects that showcase the lifestyle of the inhabitants and their folk culture.

Folklore Museum in Perdiki: This museum exhibits about 400 items from the Ikarian life, dating back from the 17th century. 

Folklore museum of Vrakades: The museum was founded on the initiative of Ikarian scientists in Athens.  The exhibits of the collection display the history and folklore of the island. Some of them are traditional utensils and old bee-keeping and farming tools.

Museum of Mikis Theodorakis: It is actually the old stone house of Mikis Theodorakis, known as the “House with scorpions”. An old Ikarian farmhouse that hosted the famous music composer and his companions, during his exile on the island. This house is now a museum and it includes many exhibits of his everyday life during his exile.

Wine History Museum: It is located at the Afianes Winery in Profit Ilias village. The exhibit room, which is also used for wine tasting, features a variety of ceramic wine vessels, woven baskets, wine making tools, implements and machinery as well as memorabilia and documents. The winery has also an outdoor amphitheater where performances are held in the summer.

Roman baths: Situated at ancient Therma are all that remain of the once prosperous Ikarian city that thrived as a result of the visitors from Greece and Asia Minor who came to bath in its therapeutic hot mineral springs. They were built during the Hellenistic Period. In its heyday the Ancient city of Therma was well known, but it ceased to exist after a devastating earthquake hit the city circa 205 BC. Via snorkeling one can still make out some evidence of underwater remains of the city. The ancient Acropolis of Thermai is also called the Castle of Katafygi, located just outside the village Katafygi at an altitude of about 500 meters.

Castle of Koskinas: It is a 10th century A.D. Byzantine castle fortress located on a mountain peak overlooking the village of Kosikia in the center of Ikaria. It was used to protect the Ikarians from attacks of pirates and enemies, thus its stategic position on such a steep mountain. Climbing up to the castle is of medium difficulty, but the breathtaking view from the top is well worth the effort. Today, there are preserved only some parts of the wall of the castle, while the interior is maintained by the church of St. George Dorganas, with aisled vaulted basilica, where inside are found the columns of ancient buildings.

Archeological site of Kampos: In the current area of Kampos, a visitor can see the ruins of the ancient capital of the island, Oinoe. It was inhabited since the Mycenaean era to the late Roman and early Byzantine period there are still traces of the wall encircling the city. The visitor will also notice the ruins of Odeon, dating to Late Antiquity, the post Roman Aqueduct with important ruins of baths, reservoirs and water pipelines. There are also visible the ‘Palaces’, which form an early Byzantine secular building.

Castle of Perdiki: Otherwise known as the Kefalas Castle or Castle of Lefa as the locals call it, is located a few minutes outside the village of Perdiki in a spectacular hillside, a solid rock, the ‘Kefala’.

Drakano fortress: One of the best preserved examples of Athenian military watchtowers from the Hellenistic period, Drakano Fortress and its fortifications were built during the time of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. This 44 foot high tower served as an observation point for Aegean Sea traffic in the channel between Ikaria and Samos. The tower was part of a larger garrison and eventual Ikarian city that was noted for its wine production. The tower is three storeys, built with massive white marble plinths. In 1827 the tower was damaged by Greek naval forces who used it for target practice. The full restoration of the tower has been completed recently.

Kapsalino Castle: It is located on the eastern side of the island, on the mountaintops of Atheras at approximately 800 meters.  The position of the Castle demonstrates that it was a powerful fortress and watchtower during the Paleolithic period and that it could supervise the entire eastern Ikaria. The view is unique from above! Today, however, there are only few surviving parts of the castle.

Rock of Ikaros: It is located in the sea about 50m offshore on the sea coast below Vaoni village. According to mythology it is supposedly the spot where Ikaros fell into the sea. The site was designated as the ceremonial base for lighting the flame of the World Air games and the organizers built a stone amphitheater and impressive flame base for the ceremony that took place.

Temple of Artemis/Tauropolion: The sixth century BC temple of Artemis at Nas was built by the Ikarians to honor the goddess Artemis, patroness of sailors and protector of hunters and wild animals. Around 1830 local villagers melted down most of the temple’s stone blocks in order to build a church. Legend has it that the ancient temple’s statue of Artemis is buried somewhere in the river. Snorkelling just off the coast one can see the massive columns of the temple. The pier of the ancient port and the floor of the sanctuary still survive as does the beautiful setting of Nas Beach.

Palaiocastro of Miliopo: It is located at an altitude of about 300 meters up to the Mount Gerakas. Today, there are some remains of the walls of the castle and of the settlement that was there. The most remarkable point is the early Christian basilica of Taxiarchis or else the Prayer of the Archangel, which is the oldest Christian church on the island. Today, the apse of the sanctuary is preserved, a square altar and columns.

Lighthouse of Kavos Papas: It is located on the southwestern tip of the island and it is a property of the Greek government-Lighthouse Service of the Greek Navy. It was declared by UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage. The original mechanism of the lighthouse is considered an important technical and scientific evidence for the lighting systems of lighthouses in the late 19th century. The Lighthouse was built between 1886 and 1890 by the French Company of Lighthouses during the Ottoman Empire. It defines one of the most difficult passages in the central Aegean, between Mykonos and Ikaria.

Menhir rocks: Near the airport in Faros in the area called “Propezoulopi “, ancient stone monuments called “Menhir” are found scattered along the mountainside. The surrounding terrain is rugged, beautiful and offers excellent views. The place has a “spooky” feel and there are scattered ruins of old stone houses and broken pottery vessels from the settlement that once existed there.

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