Ikaria is one of the most special islands of the Aegean. It is a symbol of youthful enthusiasm and the search for freedom. This element seems to have passed into the character of the hospitable Ikariotes who are distinguished for their optimistic and carefree approach to everyday life. “Island of longevity”, Ikaria belongs to the top – 5 of the regions of the planet with the highest life expectancy, a phenomenon that is a timeless object of scientific study!
The Pearl of the Aegean
The island is famous for its natural beauty, an impressive mosaic of dense vegetation, running water, thermal springs, idyllic fishing villages and picturesque mountain settlements with authentic traditions. The Ikarian beaches steal the show with their exotic landscape while its mountains offer unique routes for hiking and discoveries. Ikaria also has a primitive wine tradition and continues to produce fine wine from Homeric times to the present day.
What about the name?
The story of the name of this island goes back to when the humankind started having the desire to tame the skies.
Man sought to free himself from the shackles of nature and to conquer the air.
Having as an example the birds, which with their wings cross the ethers, and having as their weapons the mind and the ambition, he succeeded in replenishing with technical means all the instruments and properties that he was deprived of by nature and to realize to the maximum his grandiose plans.
Our ancestors were very curious and ambitious
Our ancient ancestors became pioneers in this human conquest.
The Greeks were always attracted by the difficult and dangerous and when they could not approach it and realize it, they achieved it with their imagination in the myths. Therefore, in antiquity flights to the ethers of gods and heroes abound.
Hermes and Iris often flew while Daedalus and Icarus can be considered the first mythical aviators, who flew by human and not by supernatural and divine means.
According to mythology around 1400 BC. the king of Crete Minos wanted to build a palace such that there is no other similar. For this purpose, he called from Athens the famous craftsman Daedalus. Thus, was built the huge palace in Knossos. A huge building with 1300 rooms, courtyards and warehouses, decorated with magnificent murals. Minos, however, because he was afraid that Daedalus might make something similar elsewhere, with various pretexts would not let him go. Soon, however, Daedalus fell out of favor with the king of Crete.
Minos was terribly angry when he was informed that Daedalus made it easy for Pasiphae (his wife) to satisfy her insane love affair with the bull of Poseidon (from this paradoxical union the Minotaur was born). Enraged, Minos definitively forbade the departure of Daedalus and his young son Icarus from Crete. Icarus had been acquired by Daedalus with Nafsikrates, one of the slaves of Minos. Daedalus began devising ways to escape them. Escape from the sea was impossible. Armored ships patrolled the Cretan coast. Only from the air would their escape be possible. But how?
Daedalus’ inventive mind was quick to find the solution. He made giant feathers out of wicker twigs and cloth and glued them with wax. He advised his son how to fly, waxed his wings on his shoulders and they flew together over the high mountains of Crete for freedom.
The spectacle they saw was unique and the trip to the ethers was unrepeatable. For the first time man tore the blue horizon and conquered the celestial roads.
They left slavery behind and traveled to distant and dreamy places. Like a newly hatched bird, flooded with happiness, Icarus sometimes flew high, greeting the bright Sun and sometimes low, cooling its wings in the blue waters of the sea. In vain his father shouted at him not to approach the bright disk of the Sun.
The only escape was through the air. But How?
Evil came quickly (or a the Greeks say: “Den argise na erthei to kako”) The hot rays of the Sun softened the candle and melted the bindings of the wings.
The unfortunate young man fell into the sea near an island and drowned.
Fate stood hard for the mindless and reckless young man. Daedalus, in agony, came down and looked around the dead body.
The island that was buried was named Ikaria and the sea that drowned Ikaros, Ikario.
Uncomforted, Daedalus arrived in Kymi, where he built a temple in honor of the god Apollo, to whom he dedicated the wings that gave him freedom.