Ikaria is one of the largest islands in the eastern Aegean, with 8500 inhabitants and 160 km coastline. The topography of the island is contradictory, as it displays slopes with bare cliffs. The island is crossed by the Mount Atheras (or Pramnos), with its highest peak at 1,041 m. The majority of villages are mountainous, due to the need to protect the inhabitants from pirate raids, during the Middle Ages. The island is covered by various vegetation, oak and pine forests, and there are plenty of fresh water springs. In the west, there is the forest of Ranti, one of the rarest prehistoric Mediterranean forests. The climate of Ikaria characterized of its relatively hot dry summer and wet and mild winter.
Ikaria has been inhabited since before 7000 BC, when the Pelasgians settled there. Around 750 BC, Greeks from Miletos colonized Ikaria establishing facilities in the Kampos area, which then called Oinoi, known for its famous wine cultivation. In the 6th century BC, Ikaria combined with Samos and became part of the maritime empire of Polycrates. Then, the temple of Artemis at Nas was built. Nas was a sacred place for residents, an important port in ancient times, a place to make sacrifices to Artemis, the protector of sailors. In the 14th century AD Ikaria was part of a Genoese Aegean empire. The Knights of St. John of Rhodes exerted control over Ikaria until 1521 AD, when the Ottoman Empire incorporated Ikaria into its realm. The Ottomans imposed a very loose administration, but according to records of this period, the 1,000 inhabitants lived on the island were considered as the poorest in the Aegean.
In 1827 Ikaria broke away from the Ottoman Empire, but was forced to accept Turkish rule until July 17, 1912 when chased the small Turkish garrison during the "Ikarian Revolution". Because of the involvement of Greece in the Balkan wars, Ikaria was unable to be united with Greece until November 1912 and for five months remained an independent state with its own armed forces , seals and anthem and the name "Free State of Ikaria". These five months of independence were difficult, with shortages of supplies, without transportation and postal services. By decree of its National Assembly, Ikaria was united with Greece and became part of the motherland.
The rich history of the island, since ancient times, the picturesque sceneries, the beautiful beaches for all tastes, the perseverance and patience of local residents to live and work on the island, despite all adversities, the local cuisine and insularity fun way are leading to the selection of Ikaria as your perfect Holidays place!