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Ikaria

I am considering a stay on Ikaria for October. Prices for Aegean/Olympic from Athens to the island are around 60/euros round trip, a super deal.

I'll have 9 days on the island. I know October is off-season which is why I go that time of year. My research shows it to be a very nice and still not over-the-top touristy Greek Island whose people live on their own clocks rather than the tourist clock.

I am thinking of staying in Agios Kirykos and maybe a couple days on the nearby island of Fourni, depending on the small ferry schedule.

Any thoughts on Ikaria?

Posted by
2146 posts

My husband and I spent 3 nights on Ikaria about 10 years ago, in mid-September, as part of a 3-week island hopping trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. As others have said, it's not a typical Greek island, full of tourists. Instead it's very rugged, with mountains and lakes and sheer cliffs. Absolutely gorgeous. Very quiet. Very few tourists.

Ikaria has two ferry ports: Evdilos and Agios Kirykos (the capital). We arrived in Evdilos on a ferry from Samos and stayed in Armenistis for 3 nights. We rented a car one day to explore the island and decided that Kampos might have been a better base. It has a 12th century church and, nearby, the remains of a Byzantine castle and chapel that you can hike to.

Driving on Ikaria is easy. The roads are uncrowded and fairly well marked. You don't need to reserve a car in advance. Your hotel owner can help you set it up; ours was delivered to our hotel and picked up there afterward.

We had planned to ferry from Evdilos to Patmos, our next stop. But a mechanical problem delayed that ferry for a few days, so instead we took a bus to the ferry at Agios Kirykos, then back to Samos overnight, and on to Patmos the next morning. The bus ride to Agios Kirykos passed through some spectacular scenery along the coastline, reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast. We wished we had driven into this part of the island.

We didn't stop in Fourni, but if you're considering adding another stop, I wonder if you could fly into Ikaria and out of Samos for the same low price? This would allow you to take a day trip to spectacular Ephesus in Turkey ... a must-see, if you haven't already.

Posted by
1178 posts

I just booked my flight to Ikaria from Athens for an outstanding price of 60.24 euros round trip, three times less than the cost of a flight to Lesvos if you want reasonable departure/arrival times.

Now the fun part of determining where to stay for all 9 nights or split my time in the north and the south. I do want to go to Fourni but the small ferry's schedule is hit-or-miss. We'll see if I can manage a couple days on Fourni.

Otherwise there appears to be plenty of villages throughout the island, a few archeological/historic sites, rugged landscape, beaches and a more traditional and Greek atmosphere which is what I want when I go to Greece and off-season travel will be even better!

I'll be there in October 5-14 and the last festival will be held Oct. 8 in Ploumari . I will definitely make sure I get to it.

Posted by
21 posts

Great choice of an island!

While you are there, you can stay at Thea's Inn - she is located in Nas. The area is beautiful and quaint, and Thea's is very welcoming.

Posted by
1178 posts

I am considering Nas and have already continued Thea's. Great minds think alike!

Posted by
2146 posts

Nas is a great place to watch the sunset but I recall it being really really really small.

Nearby Armenistas is small too but has a bit more of a town. We stayed there at Atsachas Rooms ... inexpensive rooms, great views, good restaurant, nice people.

Posted by
6 posts

We rented a car in 2016 and stayed at Thea’s. Great choice. Not much to Nas, but a great jumping off spot for hiking up to waterfalls or driving to the west end of the island. Also recommend Island Ikaria Activity Tours. Peter took us on a personal tour of monastery, winery, and up on the high plateau that we would never have managed in our rental car. A great island for relaxing, hiking. There is a temple ruin walkable fro Thea’s near the beach. Go for it.

Posted by
1178 posts

Armenistis is an option, so is Christos Rachon, in addition to Manganitis and Gialiskari. Nas looks nice but may be a bit small for things to do after a day on the road and wanting some options for dining and markets. I'm finding Ikaria to be a great option to the Big Name Islands if you want a more "Greek" experience.

Still working on the trip with lots more research to do.