Written by Missy Johnston
Agios Kirikos village Harbor, Ikaria Island, Greece
In Greek mythology, Icarus was the son of the craftsman Daedalus. The two were responsible for building the labyrinth that imprisoned the minotaur in Crete, among other accomplishments. Icarus and Daedalus, in their own attempt to flee Crete, crafted wings to fly away.
Daedalus made his wings from fine leather, which would safely hold him aloft, but Icarus opted to make his wings out of wax and feathers so he could fly higher and faster. Daedalus warned Icarus of the dangers of taking shortcuts, but Icarus was too impatient to listen. During their escape, Icarus flew so high he was warmed by the heat of the sun, which melted his wings and sent him falling back to Earth. He plunged into the ocean, where, according to the myth, the island of Ikaria formed in his place.
Though the island was named after one of mythology’s most famous mistakes, visiting Ikaria today is anything but a mistake. Instead of flying too close to the sun and falling into the sea, yachters enjoy the island as part of a luxury, private yacht charter. In fact, the island’s lovely beaches, rugged terrain, and wonderful experiences make it the perfect place to stop along a yacht charter from Kusadasi, Turkey to Rhodes, Greece.
Seychelles beach on the island of Ikaria in Greece
Seychelles Beach and Messakti Beach are classic examples of the beauty that can be found on Ikaria, but the island has so many stunning beaches that the yacht’s captain can always find a secluded location in which to anchor and enjoy a beautiful beach and lovely clear inviting water.
When it’s time to go ashore, plan to explore the harbor and marina at Agios Kirykos. There’s a tiny archaeological museum, the Agios Kirykos Church, and several cafes and shops to visit that make for a relaxing stroll.
Agios Kirikos village on Ikaria Island in Greece
The nearby town of Christos Raches is a must-visit to experience the historic daily schedule that the villagers follow. Traditionally, locals kept to themselves during the day and only came out at night so their town looked uninhabited and, therefore, less interesting to passing pirates. That custom continues today. Shops open in the evening and stay open most of the night. The laid-back daytime lifestyle is credited as one of the reasons locals on Ikaria live long, low-stress, healthy lives.
Ikaria is a “blue zone” area, where diet, lifestyle, and exercise help nurture good health and longer lifespans. Ikaria combines delicious Greek food with high-quality wine and a culture that embraces natural forms of exercise such as hiking around the island or swimming in the turquoise waters. When in Ikaria, emulate the Ikarians and sample some wine, indulge in a healthy lunch, take a walk down the beach, and enjoy the beautiful water.
View of Gialiskari Beach, Ikaria, Greece