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Ikaria is a place unto itself. Famous for living at it's own pace - here many shops, restaurants and cafes have their own opening hours decided by the daily whim of the owners - Ikaria has never been as hungry for the tourist dollar as the rest of Greece. Indeed the best places to stay on Ikaria are also very low key.
This is a heaven of old Greece. The island's main source of income is goat farming, and most folks here grow much of what goes onto their tables themselves. And the island is lush enough to make farming a relatively stress-free venture.
Instead of regular nightlife, this island celebrates its festivals with abandon. Between May and October they have between two and four events a week where islanders and visitors come together for all-night dancing, feasting (on goat), and potent red wine. These things contribute to the island's fame of having one of the world's highest life expectancies and best quality of life - it's in the top five.
Ikaria's interior is rugged, and explorations inland will discover a green landscape criss crossed by rivers, frequently diving down dramatic waterfalls or through craggy gorges.
Explorers who stick to the coast will find turquoise waters and wonderful cliff top views from which to enjoy some particularly spectacular sunsets.
As you might have guessed, Ikaria is named for Icarus. And there's a certain independence of spirit the island shares with this myth. This was also where communists were exiled during the Greek Civil War.
For Beach lovers
Ikaria doesn't have the best beaches in the Aegean, but that's quite a high bar. The best places to stay on Ikaria for beach lovers are near Armenistis or Agios Kirikos. Nas beach, near Armenistis harks back to the hippie era, while Seychelles beach, near Agios Kirikos has idyllic white sand and pebbles.
For the hot springs
If you're here for the hot springs Agios Kirikos is the best place to stay on Ikaria. This is also where you can dive to the ruins of ancient Therma, which slid into the sea during an earthquake in 205BC.
For great value
- For a good value hotel in an unbeatable location, one of the best places to stay on Ikaria is Cavos Bay. It's only 500metres walk from a long stretch of course sandy beach, but it's got beautiful sea views from its own terraces. Armenistis, the village the hotel is built in, is ideal if you're looking for a small village with an excellent choice of bars, cafes and tavernas.
Still not sure where to book? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay on Ikaria, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. Alternatively check out our other Cyclades suggestions in Mykonos, Santorini or Naxos.
Best Hotels in Ikaria
Cavos Bay 63 rooms from £90Ikaria
Good value hotel with few frills but bright and cheery rooms in an unbeatable location on the enchanting north coast of Ikaria, and within a ten minute walk to a large beach.Great walks - Hundreds of waymarked footpaths around the island.Swimming Pool - Outdoor poolViews - Great views from hotelSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Erofili Beach Hotel 32 rooms from £60Ikaria
Perched looking out over the Aegean Sea, the Erofili Beach Hotel's positioning couldn't be much more picturesque. Rooms are simple and elegant, the best of which offer sea views and the hotel's pool is perfect for mid-afternoon relaxing. A seaside gem.Sights nearby - Explore the charming history of the nearby Koskina Castle.Great walks - Beautiful walking trails on the surrounding coastline.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Views - Great views from hotel