Greek Guide

Ikaria Beaches Greece Ikaria

Ikaria Beaches Greece Greek Holiday Destinations

Ikaria is blessed with some of the loveliest beaches in the Aegean. You can take your pick of long sandy stretches with seasonal tourist facilities or quiet pebble coves where your only company may be a handful of local villagers. Give Ikaria a miss if you want banana rides and day long beach raves. But if you fancy a dip in a therapeutic hot spring or you like the idea of lounging in a freshwater lagoon on the beach then you've come to the right place.

The island's best sandy beaches are on the north coast but the south coast offers several beautiful and less crowded secluded coves.

One of the most popular day trips from the capital Agios Kirykos is to the radioactive springs at Therma, two kilometres north east along the coast. You pay for a half hour wallow in a stone tub filled with curative mineral water said to combat everything from rheumatism and arthritis to female infertility. It's an easy and pleasant walk from town or you can take one of the buses or water taxis which run regularly to and from the spa in high season.

At Therma Lefkadhas, three kilometres south west of the capital, the thermal waters of a now derelict spa bubble up into the sea between huge volcanic rocks.

Local youngsters tend to congregate at Tsoukala Beach, one kilometre west of Agios Kirykos. This tree fringed pebble beach is just off the main road beyond the town's night clubs. A beachside café serves drinks and snacks throughout the afternoon.

One of the best beaches near town is tranquil Xilosyrtis, seven kilometres west of the port. It's popular with the local villagers but few tourists stumble on this long pebbly stretch accessed via a stepped path leading down from the village. A small café on the beach serves snacks in the summer months and there's a pier at the start of the beach which makes a handy fishing platform.

Another beach which the locals tend to keep to themselves is beautiful Seychelles Beach 25 kilometres west of the capital near the village of Manganitis. You face a bit of a scramble to get down to it but you'll be rewarded with a picturesque cove lapped by dazzling azure water.

Both Evdilos and Kambos on the north coast have decent sandy beaches but most tourists gather at the island's main seaside resort of Armenistis which has two of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the Aegean. The twin beaches of Livadhi and Mesakhti are spectacularly sited, giving views to Mount Kerkis on Samos on clear days. Both have river fed lagoons and are backed by lush vegetation. The beaches are almost constantly buffeted by winds that bring keen windsurfers here from Athens. Sun beds and shades are available for hire, you can play beach volleyball or relax in one of several bars and tavernas that serve summer visitors.

The island's most precious seaside jewel lies three kilometres west of Armenistis at Nas where hippies and naturists gather to enjoy the stunningly beautiful sand and pebble beach at the mouth of the Chalares River. The river ends in a permanent deep pool on the beach and provides several rock pools for freshwater dips.

In the unlikely event that you tire of Ikaria's beaches you might want to take a day trip by caique from Agios Kirykos to the island of Fourni which offers excellent waterfront fish tavernas and many good beaches around its unspoilt coastline.