Ikaria is an island in the Eastern Aegean connected with the mythical figure of Icarus. Sandy beaches, mountains and lush green hillsides characterise this island, which is famed for its thermal springs (unique in the whole world for their chemical composition) and relaxed local lifestyle. Festivals with traditional dances and other local customs will also impress visitors.
The island extends over a surface of 260 km², its coastline is 102km long and it has 8,500 inhabitants.
Ikaria was originally inhabited during the pre-historic era and its previous name was Makris (or Dolichi), due to its elongated shape. The current name derives from Icarus, son of Daedalus, who, according to the myth, fell into the Ikarian Sea while attempting to fly higher than his father.
During the Byzantine era, the city of Oinoi was the centre of the island and a place of exile for members of the royal family. At the beginning of the 13th century, Ikaria was a part of the Latin empire of Constantinople, while in 1484 it came under the authority of the Knights of Rhodes and in 1521 was occupied by the Turks. The island was liberated in November 1912.
Ikaria is connected by ferry with Piraeus and by air with Athens airport.