History – The Legend
Ikaria is mainly famous from the Ancient Greek mythology taking its name after Icarus, the first person that was though to fly. The myth tells us that Icarus escaped with his engineer father Dedalus from Knossos using the latest discovery of his dad: wings from feathers attached to their body with wax. Although Dedalus had warned his son not to approach the sun, the young playful Icarus forgot the advice and when he approached the sun, the wax melted, the wings were destroyed and he fell on an island, which was later named after him: Ikaria.
Another reason why Ikaria was famous in the Ancient times was the great Donysiac wine that Homer refers to in his epics. Also Dionysus the god of Winemaking is believed to come from Drakano in Ikaria. Ikaria was believed to trade its exquisite wine with the Athenians, but also the Persians that had touched upon the Ikarian shores in their 490 B.C. expedition. Alexander the Great passed by Ikaria before leaving for the Persian expedition and built there a fortress as the location of the island was found to be very strategic. He recruited many soldiers from Ikaria in his fleet.
World Record in Longevity
Acclaimed New York Times Best Seller author of “Blue Zones”, Dan Buettner, has explored the secrets of longevity on Ikaria and declared it as one of only 4 Blue Zones worldwide (Okinawa-Japan, Sardinia-Italy, Nicoya-Costa Rica, Ikaria-Greece). It was found that the balanced and traditional lifestyle of the Ikarians is the reason why many people live passed the age of 90!
- Ikaria as its history suggest continues the production of wine.
- The local honey contains antibacterial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, because the nectar comes from pine trees.
- Sweets from local fruits are called spoon-sweets “Glyka tou koutaliou”
- An old water mile in the northern eastern part of the island that is set in a quite secluded area.
A home for you in Ikaria!