Ikaria is one of the world’s Blue Zones, a region whose residents enjoy the longest lifespans. This is thanks to a healthy diet that includes whole grains, olive oil, and fresh vegetables.
Unlike most Greek islands, Ikaria is lush and green. It is home to a large forest of Quercus Ilex holm oak and pine trees, gorges, refreshing streams and waterfalls, and beautiful beaches.
1. Ikaria Bondi
A breezy new Greek meze bar has opened in Bondi Beach, inspired by the little Aegean island that straddles the boundary of Asia and Europe. Joaquin Saez (Alberto’s Lounge, Cho Cho San) and Emily Abay – both of fashion photography fame – are bringing the spirit of Ikaria to Sydney’s beachside strip. The venue oozes Mediterranean charm – with a design overseen by Abay that features textured whitewashed walls, neutral-toned tiles and sweeping views of the ocean. The menu is also a tribute to the island. Chef Robert Young (Quay, Born by Tapavino) offers a share-focused menu with dishes such as horiatiki salad, keftedes and saganaki served with chestnut honey and lemon.
Ikaria is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. A walk along the trail from Maganitis to Seychelles Beach will reveal emerald-green waters and a combination of fine white sand and granite pebbles. And that’s just one of the many hikes you can do on the island. It’s a great way to get in touch with nature and discover the beauty of Ikaria. The island’s hiking trails will take you through forests and pine trees, fresh streams and waterfalls and the best beaches in Ikaria.
You’ll find Ikaria is full of pure products – from natural herbs, flowers and olive oil to homemade soaps and shower gels, healthy herbal tea blends and ointments. The island’s farmers have embraced the concept of a ‘closed circuit’, with locals producing their own natural ingredients and selling them locally and online. A favourite is the Icaria Pure range, whose soaps and body scrubs are scented with essential oils and infused with Ikarian wild herbs.
There are also a number of boutique Ikarian wineries, where you can sample some of the local produce and learn about its production. The best is Pramneios, a natural wine with a high alcohol content and low acidity, that you can enjoy with grilled meat, fish or vegetables. It’s a must-try for anyone who wants to experience the authentic taste of Ikaria.
2. Mythos Restaurant
Mythos Restaurant is a full-service restaurant that serves Greek cuisine. It is located in The Lost Continent area of Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort. It is a popular restaurant and is rated as one of the best in-park dining experiences at Universal.
The dining room is decorated to resemble a grotto at the bottom of a sea, and the menu features traditional dishes such as grilled octopus paired with lukanika, a type of Greek sausage, and kouvanese lamb meatballs with salsa verde. The restaurant also offers vegetarian and gluten-free items on its menu.
Guests can order from a selection of wine, beer, and soft drinks at Mythos. There are also a variety of desserts available, including the classics like baklava and galaktoboureko. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. Reservations are recommended.
In addition to their delicious food, Mythos offers a great wine list, which is extensive and includes a large number of Greek wines. The staff is also very knowledgeable and will help you find the perfect wine for your meal. They will also be able to recommend other restaurants on the island.
Another feature of Mythos is its outdoor seating, which provides an excellent view of the beach and the ocean. It is a great place to sit and relax, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and sip some wine. It is also a good place to watch the sunset.
Ikaria is named after the mythological Icarus, who according to legend tried to escape imprisonment from King Minos in Crete by flying with wings that his father, master craftsman Daedalus, had made for him. He was believed to have flown too close to the sun and to have crashed on the island.
While there are many places to eat in Ikaria, Mythos is the best of them all. It is a wonderful Greek restaurant with amazing food and beautiful scenery. It is a must-visit if you are in the area. Whether you are looking for a romantic evening or just want to grab a bite to eat, Mythos is the place to be.
3. Afianes Winery
The island of Ikaria may not be a big wine destination like other Greek Islands, but there are some great wines to be found. The Afianes Winery near Rahes is an excellent place to find top-notch Ikarian wines, including the internationally lauded white Begleri wine. The winery also produces the red Fokiano wine.
The winery has been around for almost 20 years and is dedicated to preserving ancient techniques while combining them with modern day practices. The owners, Nikos and Maria Afianes, are passionate about preserving the local culture and bringing it to a wider audience. They have a long tradition of making quality Ikarian wines and their international recognition is a reflection of this dedication.
They started their journey with one dream in mind, to create a space where wine and life are celebrated. Their family-owned and operated winery is a local treasure that elevates Ikarian wine and welcomes guests from all over the world who come to share moments, experiences, good company, and of course, great wine.
Located at Profit Ilias, the winery is spread out over a vast area of land that features terraced vineyards planted with Ikarian varietal grapes. The vineyards are surrounded by an ancient-type stone amphitheatre and the main building houses the wine production, storage “cave”, fermenting and bottling equipment. The wines are produced with both traditional and modern winemaking methods, resulting in some of the best wines from Ikaria.
Afianes’ leading labels include the natural sparkling Begleri wine, a dry white that pairs well with seafood, and the Icarus Black Dry Red Fokiano, which is an ideal pairing for meat dishes. In addition to producing their own wines, Afianes also offers wine tasting tours and events to learn more about the local culture and winemaking process.
Wine has been a part of the Ikarian culture for thousands of years. Even Homer’s Odyssey mentions the Ikarian drink of Pramneios Oinos, a strong deep red wine, that was used by warriors before battle to cure illness and strengthen their military fury. The Afianes winery is a must-visit for any wine lover on Ikaria.
4. The Aegean Restaurant
The Aegean Restaurant is a hidden gem. The service is excellent, the food delicious and the atmosphere welcoming and relaxed. This is a great place to dine for a group or with a date. The house platter is a must and don’t forget to try the galaktoboureko (cheese pie) or honey cake for dessert!
Icaria is a beautiful Greek Island with a long history of religious devotion. It takes its name from the legendary Icarus, who used his wings to escape imprisonment by a tyrannical king and ended up landing on the island. The island is well connected to the mainland and nearby islands by ferries that operate daily.
Halfway between Mykonos and Samos, Icaria is a quiet island dotted with blue-domed Orthodox churches and charming little tavernas. The island is also famous for its natural springs, which are said to have curative properties.
With its laid-back atmosphere, friendly staff and live music nights, this is a great place to relax and enjoy a drink or a meal. The menu offers a variety of Greek meze dishes, such as grilled shrimps and taramosalata. For something a bit more substantial, the restaurant also serves pork steaks and tigania.
A traditional, family-run business, this restaurant is one of the best places to dine on Icaria. It is located above Armenistis Beach and offers a fantastic view of the sea. The owner is always present, greeting guests and offering assistance in choosing their meals. The food is authentic and reasonably priced.
Skilled cook Eleftheria prepares mouth-watering dishes in a leafy courtyard with a breathtaking view of the islands of Samos, Patmos and Naxos. The restaurant also specializes in pitarakia, a variety of small pies made with local cheese, as well as the mouth-watering kolokythokeftedes.
The Aegean Restaurant is a bright, airy space with both bar and dining seating. The kitchen is open to the dining room, giving the restaurant a warm and welcoming feel. There is a full bar and a selection of wines, spirits and beer. They also offer catering services. I’ve been missing this spot since it closed in Framingham back in 2020, but I am happy to say that it is back and better than ever on Moody Street!