TOWNS & VILLAGES WORTH VISITING

  1. Ikaria
  2. Towns & Villages

Evdilos: Built amphitheatrically, Evdilos is situated in the northern part of the island, 40 km northwest of Agios Kirikos. Its name means the visible, the one with open horizon. It is the second port and capital of the island, and the center of northern and western Ikaria. Together with its nearby villages they form the community of Evdilos and number about 2.400 permanent inhabitants. Built upon a small hill has a great variety of architectually interesting houses. The visitors can explore its narrow streets, the paved stairways, the old impressive mansions. Along with the picturesque small port, Evdilos is an ideal base to explore the north/west part of Ikaria.

Karavostamo: A large beautiful seaside village. It has approximately 485 inhabitants, divided in an upper and lower village. It is a must see for any visitor owing to its small houses amphitheatrically built, two big churches, plethora of chapels, streams with  crystal clear waters, old watermills and beautiful beaches.

Nelia: Nowadays a small settlement with about 30 inhabitants, characterized mainly by its generous vegetation and ample water.

Perdiki: It is a large village spread over a plateau. It has about 400 inhabitants. Its beautiful houses are hidden away in forests and surrounded by crystal clear running waters. The beautiful square, the big church, a traditional loom workshop, a folklore museum and of course the traditional windmills compose a picture of a still thriving Ikarian mountain village.

Faros: It takes its name from the lighthouse that existed on the cape. In ancient times it was called Drakano. It is considered one of the most popular touristic villages in the south.

Oxe: It is one of the oldest villages of Ikaria and perhaps the most mountainous, at an altitude of over 700 metres. Its name comes from the beech trees (‘oxia’) scattered in the village.

Mavrato: A tiny small village also up in the mountains with its most famous spot being the monastery of St. Onoufriou dating from 1809.

Therma: The name of the small town means the one with the hot springs and of course is the main spa town of Ikaria. Situated 2 km east of the capital is celebrated since ancient times for its therapeutic radioenergic hot mineral springs. The white-washed houses, with their flowery balconies, come into view only a few meters from the beach.

Agios Kirikos: It is the island’s capital, containing most public services, schools and the hospital of the island. It’s one of the two main ports. Its home to 2.955 inhabitants and it was formed in the 16th or 17th century. Its patron saint is Saint Kirikos and its big, blue-domed church stands just above the harbor. The locals refer to the town just as the Agios (the saint one). A nice feature of the harbor is the modernist metal statue depicting Icarus with his wings, the Ikariada. The town structure is dense, amphitheatrical, with narrow cobbled alleys. Surrounded by shops, taverns, coffee shops and bars the paved square attracts many visitors.

Glaredo: A tiny village where you can a visit a neolithic settlement which contains megalithic structures, with ruins of houses and numerous sherds of ceramic vessels and fragments of obsidian preserved.

Christos: Also a very small village which is named from its main church. The village has lush vegetation. A fair is held every August 6 on the village square.

Xilosirtis: Located to the west of the capital it is known as the village of apricots. On the 26th of July a traditional feast takes place in the village. A little outside of Xilosirtis towards the monastery there is a famous spring called “Athanatou Nero,” A little further on stands the permanent guard “Gria” or “Nerayda” or Maiden of the Seashore overlooking the sea. It is a huge rock formation by the sea which resembled an old woman and which a few years ago the sculptor Ikaris lent the features of a Nymph.

Chrisostomos: It numbers about 300 inhabitants and it is situated to the west of Agios Kirikos at an altitude of 350 meters. This pretty village with its houses built amphitheatrically among the lush vegetation of the mountainside, its large church and many chapels. Climbing up the mountain slope we find the old village with its ruined anti-pirate houses hidden away in the dense vegetation.

Plagia (=’slope’): Lies next to Chrysostomos village, built on a mountain slope. The centre of the village is a paved square of traditional houses, an old stone school, 2 traditional cafés, and a church built in 1953 on the site of an older one. Every year, a village feast is celebrated on the 8th of September.

Frandato: A small settlement which lies almost in the centre of Ikaria at an altitude of about 600 meters. It’s in a mainly rural area that once had great production in pears and many vineyards.. In the village square stands the church of Transfiguration of the Saviour, featuring characteristic red windows

Akamatra: The name of the village is quite unique and it means the lazy woman, the one without skills. Although the bad reputation of its name, Akamatra is a small but picturesque village with 150 permant residents, many old houses, a folklore exhibition, an oil press and numerous chapels. Its central square with the traditional kafeneio is marked by the central old oak tree.

Dafni: The village which its name means oleander is spread out amphitheatrically on a lush slope. The traditional feast of Dafni is held on the 6th of August every year.

Kosikia: It is the highest of the Messaria villages. Its name derives from the word “kosifikia” which mean dwellings in a very high altitude. Today it has about 100 inhabitants. In and around the area of Kosikia are located many of the island’s best vineyards.

Magganitis: It is situated in the southwestern part of the island and it has about 150 inhabitants. The entry to the village is impressive, passing through a tunnel cut into the gigantic granite bluffs that surround it. Manganitis has pretty little houses, cobble paths lined with fig and fruit trees, a traditional oil press, two watermills and its quaint port, known as “Sirtiko,” is a refuge for the small boats of the locals who have traditionally been a seafaring people.

Karkinagri: Located near the southwestern tip of the island, it is a small picturesque fishing village sloping down a mountain side. At the western end of the village lies Cape Papas, with a famous lighthouse, popular to hikers for its breathtaking view. July 26th is the traditional feast day, celebrated in the square of the church of Agia Paraskevi, the patron saint of the village.

Pezi: It’s a small settlement situated on a plateau in the western part of Ikaria. It belongs to the community of Christos-Rachon and has about 20 inhabitants. In 1994 a dam of 1,200,000 cubic meters of water was built near the village. Aside from creating a refuge for local wildlife, it is responsible for irrigating the entire area. The parish church is dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul and the local feast is held on the 29th of June.

Langada: The famous village lies in the western part of the island and has about 15 inhabitants. This lush green valley almost completely hidden from view was once the sacred ground of the Ikarian people’s survival during the century of the pirate’s raids. Now desolate, it is cultivated agricultural area and a popular excursion for the locals. On the day of the “Langadia Festivities” on the 15th of August each year at the traditional village feast the valley of Langada comes to life.

Vrakades: The old settlement lies to the west of the island and it is a picturesque village spread out in an area of lush vegetation below the bare mountaintops of Atheras.

Kouniadoi: Another small settlement with no more than 45 residents. It’s amphitheatrically built on the slope of Mount Atheras and has scattered old and new houses in the old architectural style. The traditional village fair takes place on August 15th.

Proespera: The village lies in the west, a few kilometres north of Kouniadoi. Etymologically the word ‘pro+espera’ means ‘to the west’. Kato Proespera is a newly-built coastal village with new houses. Ιt is widely known for its vineyards, a source of the famous Ikarian wine.

Christos Rachon: Maybe the most famous Ikarian village it is is situated in the northern part of Ikaria and has about 350 permanent inhabitants. This impressive large village of the Raches plateau is built amphitheatrically amidst pines, oaks and vineyards. Its picturesque square with the shops all around, the imposing church with its marble belltower, the pretty old and new houses, retains the traditional color of the settlement and reveal its unique architectural appearance. The village holds perhaps the largest traditional feast of any Ikarian village on August 6th every year, the day of the transiguration of Jesus Christ. Also the village is famous for its peculiar working hours, if a visitor visits the village during morning or even early afternoon suprisingly he will find all the shops closed! Since the majority of the locals are working in the fields they open their shops late at the afternoon after they enjoy their famous siesta, and along with a few cups of ikarian wine the village stays awake until the first morning hours.

Nas: Another famous village with about 50 residents, lies on the north coast of the island. Based on abundant evidence, scholars believe that Nas was a key ancient settlement. Its name derives from either the word ‘Naos’ (=temple). Today the area is known for its beautiful beach while the ravine displays lush springs and creates a picture of exotic beauty.

Armenistis: It is a small sea-side settlement in the northern part of Ikaria. It has about 70 permanent inhabitants, a number which increases substantially in summer. Locally speaking, Armenistis is a small fishing village with a picturesque harbor. In recent years it has become a major tourism center for the island with a  variety of the tourist facilities offered and the convenient and quick access through the port of Evdilos make Armenistis the suitable base for excursions to western Ikaria.

Gialiskari: It is a northern seaside village with intensive fishing activity and approximately 165 permanent inhabitants. Two of its most outstanding features are the small chapel of Analipsis (Ascension) and the small harbour for the fishing boats. The very enjoyable village feast day is the 15th of August.

Avlaki: It is a seaside settlement and has about 100 permanent inhabitants. The village has lush vegetation and its pretty houses are hidden away in dense pine forests with trees that stretch down to the sea. The small village port is particularly interesting. Here the locals anchor their fishing boats and caiques, prepare their nets for the next catch, and swim and dive from the rocks.

Kampos: An amphitheatrically built seaside village. Its name suggests that it is a fertile plain (=’kampos’), with lots of water. Under today’s village are found the ruins of the ancient capital of the island, Oinoe.

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