Ikaria is a place with rich mythological past, and it has connected its name with the mythical figure Icarus. Sandy beaches, running waters, mountains and lush green hillsides compose the majestic relief of the island.
Ikaria is also famed for its thermal springs, unique in the whole world for their chemical composition and radiation. Moreover, the unparalleled local lifestyle with a unique work-rest schedule, the famed festivals with traditional dances, the local manners and customs, are very impressive features for the visitors.
The island extends over a surface of 260 km2, its coastline is 102 km long and it has 8,500 inhabitants.
It was originally inhabited during the pre-historic era and its previous name was Makris (or Dolichi), due to its elongated shape. Current name derives from Icarus, son of Daedalus, who according to the myth, fell in Ikarian Sea while attempting to fly higher than his father. Since antiquity, it has been a place of exile for political dissidents.
During Byzantine era, the city of Oinoi was the center of the island and a place of exile for members of the Royal family. In the beginning of the 13th century, Ikaria was a part of the Latin empire of Constantinople, while in 1484 came under the authority of the Knights of Rhodes and in 1521 was occupied by the Turks. The island was liberated in November 1912.