After a bumpy but beautiful flight from Athen to Ikaria in a small propeller plane we arrive safe to a very small airport with only one luggage belt. While waiting for our backpacks, we realize that the two people next to us talk swedish and as it is abroad, we directly start a conversation. Barbro and her partner Zvonko are from Falkenberg and are at the island for the second year in a row. Luckely they are aware of the non existing connections from the airport to the villages on the island, and have pre-reserved a taxi. We are extremly lucky as our hotel is located only 30 m further down the street from theirs, so we can share their taxi and arrive to our hotel in Therma only 20 minutes later.
Therma, a cute village on the south-east coast, famous for their thermal sea baths, hot springs of mildly radioactive water. The island Ikaria is known as one of the five blue zones in the world. The people here lives in average 10 years longer than the rest of the europeans, which is explained by the healthy ecological food, the thermes, and a life without stress.
We start our first day in Therma with a great lunch consisting of tzatziki with bread, grilled octupus, fried zuccini balls and a shrimp pasta. Everything enjoyed under a big tree with a fantastic view of the sea.
The late afternoon hours we spend on the beach and it is a pure pleasure to enjoy the sand between the toes, the wind in the hair and the sun warming our salty bodies.
This evening the mountain village Mavrato is organising a traditional panygiria that we decide to join. We go there by the local bus and as the greek old ladies has a tough will and sharp elbowes, we don’t manage to get on the first bus. The hour we have to wait for the bus to return, we talk to a greek that lived in Germany for several years back in the 1980th. Well at the Panygiria we sit down next to Barbo and Zvonko that arrived with the first bus, and can spend the evening with nice food, good wine, music and traditional dance until middle of the night. It is a great first day and both of us fall asleap within a second.
Our first mission this day is to rent a scooter, which is a bigger challenge than we had expected. We are recommended to go to Agios Kirykos which is a 25 minutes walk over the hill with a nice view of the sea. After asking more or less everyone in the village, we get a phone number to call and 30 minutes later, around noon, we have our scooter.
Unfortunately we are not able to find suitable helmets but at his time, nothing can stop us. We buy some picknick for lunch and start our trip towards ”Seychelles Beach”. It is a fantastic one hour ride on windy, curvey roads that lead us to a beach with turkis wather and white cliffs. As it’s hardly any wind at the beach, and we still are quite unused to the sun, we are constantly changing between enjoying the sun and to spend time in the shade. On the way back we spontainously decide to stop at Lefkada, a beach that we had read about in a blog due to it’s colorful water and white stones. We didn’t knew at this time that this would become one of THE highlights of Ikaria. Down at the beach we see several people at quite a small spot. Which makes me very curious. Lukas doesn’t want to go into the water at first, but as I can’t resist I realize that we have come to a natural hot spring as soon as I dip my toes into the water. Luckely I can convince Lukas to join me and we spend at least 1,5 hours at this beach enjoying this fantastic natural phenomen.
On the way back to Therma we stop in Aigos Kirikos to change our ferry reservation to tickets and the evening we enjoy at a restaurant in the port of Therma. We share several delicious appertizers and we both order a nice glas of wine to celebrate a fantastic day.
During breakfast that like everyday (at least for me) consists of greek yoghurt with honey, we have the pleasure to look at some kittys that were born in the backyard of our hotel during the last day.
We goes back to our room to pack, both to be able to check out as we will leave Ikaria in the middle of the night but also to be ready for a day of exploring the island. After one hours scooter ride we reach Evdilos, a nice port village on the north side of the island. After a short stop, we continue for another 45 minutes before we reach Nas. We have a very nice lunch at gorgious restaurant ”Thea’s Inn” before we enter the fantastic beach in Nas with turkis water, lively waves and some nudists that don’t have anything they feel like covering.
After a few hours of swiming, sun bathing and playing strand ball, we jump on the scooter to discover Christos Raches, a small mountain village consisting of small stone houses. We stroll through the village in less than 15 minutes and decide to try some greek home made ice cream to get some energy for the rest of the trip home. The trip goes smooth and we return the scooter at 8 pm, walk back to Therma where we get our luggage and enjoy our last evening accompanied from Barbro and Zvonco at one of the restaurants next to the water.
Short after midnight we take our last walk between Therma and Aigos Kyrikos, this time with our heavy backpacks. The very last hours are spent by playing yatzy at a café and finally with getting some short power naps at the port. We enter the ferry at 4am, very satisfied about our choise of visiting Ikaria. Who knows, maybe we come back some day!
Highlights in IKARIA:
- 🛀 @ Hot springs
- 💃🏻🕺🏼@ Panygiria
- 🍴@ Thea’s Inn
- 🏖 @ Seychelles & Nas beach
- 👵🏼👴🏼 : many many…