Greek Guide

Ikaria Day Trips Greece Ikaria

Ikaria Tourist Attractions Day Trips Greece Greek Travel Guide

The island's capital and main port of Ayios Kirykos is a charming, laid back town flanked by thermal springs said to cure all manner of ills including rheumatism, arthritis and female infertility. The town has a plentiful supply of tavernas, ouzeris and kafeneia where you can enjoy good quality, reasonably priced fresh fish and standard Greek fare. If you're interested in the island's history visit the town's Archaeological Museum, near the hospital, which houses many local finds including a well preserved 500 BC gravestone depicting a couple with their four children.

There are radioactive springs in the town (take the steps up from Dolihi Tours Travel Agency near the police station) and daily taxi boats run north east along the coast to the popular spa resort of Therma. It's a pleasant 1.5 kilometre walk to the springs which consist of stone tubs, often occupied by elderly ailing Greeks. There's an entry fee for both the town and Therma springs so you might prefer to head to the natural shoreline hot springs at Therma Lefkadhos, three kilometres south west of the capital. The radioactive water at this derelict spa wells up into the shallows of the sea between giant volcanic rocks. Other springs around the island were so highly radioactive that they were closed down many years ago.

From Ayios Kirykos you can take a caique over to the island of Fourni which offers some good walking, beaches and fish tavernas. The island is home to the Aegean's biggest fishing fleet which sends much of its catch to Athens. If you're a shellfish fan look out for a taverna offering the local "astakos" Aegean lobster.

Evdilos, on the north coast, is the island's second port and home to the Hellenic Cultural Centre which offers courses to foreigners in all things Greek from language and culture to literature, cookery and dancing.

Hikers should head for the area known as Rahes, inland from the island's single major beach resort of Armenistis. Explore the somewhat idiosyncratic town of Khristos Rahes and its neighbouring villages on foot with the aid of two good local guides The Round of Rahes on Foot and the Road and Hiking Map of western Ikaria. Both are available at island book shops and tourist offices.

The locals of these villages are an oddity in so far as the older residents speak an ancient dialect and all inhabitants keep peculiar hours. They rise just before noon, sleep throughout most of the evening then start their shopping and social activities as midnight approaches. The design of many of the older pirate proof houses, with their low doors and lack of windows and chimneys, is also unique to the Rahes district.