Coordinates: 37°35′N 26°10′E (1) Samos (2) Ikaria (3) Fournoi
Ikaria, also spelled is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles (19 km) southwest of Samos. It derived its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, who fell into the sea nearby. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Agios Kirykos.
Ikaria has been inhabited since at least 7000 BC, when it was populated by the Neolithic pre-Hellenic people that Greeks called Pelasgians.
Around 750 BC, Greeks from Miletus colonized Ikaria, establishing a settlement in the area of present day Campos, which they called Oenoe for its wine.
Ikaria in the 6th century BC became part of Polycrates‘ sea empire and in the 5th century BC the Ikarian cities of Oenoe and Thermae were members of the Athenian dominated Delian League. In the 2nd century the island was colonized by Samos. At this time the Tauropolion, the temple of Artemis was built at Oenoe. Coins of the city represented Artemis and a bull. There was another, smaller temenos sacred to Artemis Tauropolos, at Nas, on the northwest coast of the island. Nas had been a sacred spot to the pre-Greek inhabitants of the Aegean, and an important port of the island in antiquity, the last stop before testing the dangerous seas around Ikaria. It was an appropriate place for sailors to make sacrifices to Artemis Tauropolos, who, among other functions, was here a patron of seafarers; the goddess here was represented in an archaic wooden xoanon.
Read more about the history of Ikaria at Wikipedia’s website
It is one of the middle islands of the northern Aegean, 255 km² (99 mi²) in area with 102 miles (160 km) of coastline and a population of 8,312 inhabitants. The topography is a contrast between verdant slopes and barren steep rocks. The island is mountainous for the most part. It is traversed by Aetheras range, whose highest summit is 1,037m.
Most of its villages are nestled in the plains near the coast, with only some of them on the mountains. Icaria has a tradition in the production of strong redwine. Many parts of the island, especially the ravines, are covered in large bushes, making the landscape lush with green. Aside from domestic and domesticated species (small goat herds make their presence known with their bells, disturbing the serenity of the island) there are a number of small wild animals to be found, such as martens, otters, jumping spiders and toads. Icaria exhibits a typical Mediterranean climate.
• Official website of Ikaria