An easy guide for how to get to Ikaria by Ferry, schedules and prices for the Ferry to Ikaria and recommendations for public transportation services. Explore the website and find all necessary details for the Ferry to Ikaria; Destinations and Routes with schedules and prices, Accommodation options with real time Availability and helpful tips for transfer opportunities in Ikaria!
Here you will find useful information on how to get to Ikaria by ferry, how to get to your accommodation by public transport, the port addresses, timetables and prices as well as departures by ferry to Ikaria in real-time.
The ports of Ikaria
Ikaria has two ports, one on the north and one on the south side, in order to serve the guests around the island.
- Agios Kirikos, it is the main port of the island. Therein lies the main port police and it mainly serves the south side of the island
- Evdilos, it's the second port of the island, and mainly serves the north side of the island
How to get to Ikaria by ferry
There is a selection of conventional and high-speed catamaran ferries that run frequently to/from Ikaria with short stops on between them.
The most popular connections to Ikaria
- From North: Kavala, Limnos, Lesvos, Chios
- From West: Piraeus, Lavrio, Syros, Mykonos
- From South: Patmos, Kos, Rhodes
To get the latest schedule, it is best to check the timetables on our booking platform.
Ikaria ferry tickets
Arrange your ferry journey in advance
It is very important that you have organized your ferry to or from Ikaria in advance, having arranged all the details. You don't want anything to go wrong, and you can achieve perfect holidays with a great organization. In addition to hotel accommodation and air-tickets, when you book the boat tickets to or from Ikaria you know that everything is under control even before leaving home.
There are many reasons why you should arrange to book in advance your Ikaria Ferry Tickets. Here are some of the most important:
Pay for Hotel in Ikaria without using it!
During the high season in Greece, and especially in July and August, it is likely that you won't find ferry tickets to popular islands if you don't book them in advance. So, don't make the mistake to book your hotel on Ikaria without having booked the ferry pass to/from Ikaria. The last thing you want is to get to the port and not find an available ferry to or from Ikaria!
Save time in Ikaria!
Although we charge a commission for acquiring ferry bookings to/from Ikaria, this allows you not only to secure your tickets but also to save time in Greece; besides receiving a service and attention of first.
Have a bigger choice of Ikaria ferry tickets!
Buying in advance gives you a better chance of getting the ferry tickets to/from Ikaria, on the ferry you prefer and at the schedule you want. It does not make sense that your trip to/from Ikaria is interrupted by not finding available ferry departures, but it is possible.
Find more ferry routes!
If you want to organize your trip to or from Ikaria, it is wise to check all the possible routes and timelines in order to make the right combinations between Ikaria and the islands as well as between the air and the ferry tickets. Online, you can have an overview of all the routes going to Ikaria.
Get the best deal !
Ferry tickets to/from Ikaria can be expensive, so it’s natural to want to get the best deal on them. It has become a regular practice for ferries to announce special rates and deep discounts for booking tickets to or from Ikaria up to 3-6 months in advance.
Feeling Great having Ikaria ferry confirmation in your pocket!
You will feel a great feeling when having the ferry confirmation to or from Ikaria in your hands. The reservation with us will allow you to secure your tickets to/from Ikaria, you will be relieved to have the confirmation in your hands or on your smartphone!
Ikaria is a place with a 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 its 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.
Ikaria, Icarus in classical antiquity, is a member of the Anatolian Sporades and is part of the same mountain range which connected Samos to Asia Minor. Ikaria has nearly an unbroken coastline and is without adequate ports. The sea around Ikaria, the Ikarion Pelagos, was known to Homer (Iliad 2. 145) as one of the most turbulent areas of the Aegean. The Ikarian Sea is especially tempestuous in July and August during the Meltemi season because the island, situated without a protective barrier to the north, has no buffer from these northeasterly gales known as Etesian in antiquity.
There are some neolithic remains on Ikaria, that are presently being excavated by a native, Themistocles Katsaros. Another native, the eminent anthropologist Ares Poulianos, has found a number of neolithic artifacts. Until their work is published we can say little about the neolithic period in Ikaria except that the island was inhabited in the seventh millennium B.C. The Greeks called these early inhabitants of the Aegean Pelasgians, and they probably controlled Ikaria until the second millennium B.C. when the Carians, another indigenous Aegean people, got a foothold in Ikaria. These terms, Pelasgians and Carians, are very vague and it is perhaps best to simply think of the early settlers of Ikaria as pre-Greek.
The Greeks entered the Aegean in ca. 1500 B.C., and by 1200 B.C. had taken most of the Aegean islands, though there is no sign of any Greek settlement on Ikaria until much later. The Greeks may have been discouraged by the lack of harbors, the shortage of arable land, and thick forests. Greeks from Miletus colonized Ikaria in ca. 750 B.C, probably establishing a settlement at Therma then Oenoe (modern-day Campos.) The purpose of these Milesian outposts on Ikaria was probably to aid Milesian ships on their way north to Milesian colonies in the Propontis.
The sources for the history of ancient Ikaria consist of random references in ancient authors such as Thucydides, Herodotus, Strabo, Pausanias, Athenaeus, Pliny, and a handful of inscriptions. Eparchides, a native of Oenoe, wrote a history of Ikaria about 350 B.C. We assume that he provided a capsule history of the island, but the main purpose of his work seems to have been to promote Ikarian wine. Only several fragments of Eparchides' history survive. Accounts by 17h. to 19th travellers are very helpful, especially the book of Bishop J. Georgirenes in the early 17th. century and the German archeologist L. Ross in the middle of the 19th century.
Sometime in the sixth century B.C. the Ikaria was absorbed by Samos and became part of the Polycrates sea empire. It was perhaps at this time that the temple of Artemis at Nas, on the northeast corner of the island, was built. It seems that Nas was a sacred spot to the pre-Greek inhabitants of the Aegean, and an important port in the Aegean, the last stop before testing the dangerous Ikarian Pelasgian. It was an appropriate place for sailors to make sacrifices to Artemis, who among other functions, was a patron of seafarers. The temple stood in good repair until the middle of the 19th. century when it was pillaged by the villagers of Christos, Raches for marble for their local church. In 1939 it was excavated by the Greek archeologist Leon Politis. During the German and Italian occupation of Ikaria in the Second World War, many of the artifacts unearthed by Politis disappeared. Local custom has it that there are still marble statues embedded in the sand off the coast.
In the first decades of the fifth century, Ikaria may have fallen into the sphere of Persia. In 490 B.C. the Persian expeditionary force to Greece touched upon Ikarian shores. After the war, Ikaria became part of the Delian League and prospered. Oenoe became known for its excellent Pramnian Wine. There were several areas in Greece which produced this type of wine, and we do not exactly know what its qualities were, though it seems to have been rather expensive and enabled Oenoe to pay a substantial tribute to the Athenians. The tribute list kept in Athens, which shows Oenoe paying 8,000 drachmae in 453, dropping to 6,000 in 449 B.C., and 4,000 in 448 B.C. Therma, which was less prosperous, never paid over 3,000 drachmae. A drachma was a substantial sum in the ancient world, and the total Ikarian tax placed Ikaria in the upper thirty percent of the tribute-paying states. It is not clear why the tax of Oenoe fell by fifty percent in the 440's B.C., but we can guess that the Athenians placed a military colony, a cleruchy, at Oenoe to keep watch on Samos which had rebelled from the Athenian empire. The great playwright Euripides visited the island. His trip may have been officially connected to the Athenian settlement.
Therma apparently did not share in the great wine industry, and apparently had little to do with Oenoe. There are no records that the two Ikarian cities had much contact. This division is reflected in the modern period when in 1912 the two sections of the island almost went to war with one another to determine the site of the capital. Therma's prosperity seems to have been based on its thermal springs which even then were considered highly beneficial.
We can estimate about 13,000 inhabitants on Ikaria in the fifth century B.C. The prosperity, which the island enjoyed during the Athenian empire, began to decline during the Peloponnesian War (431 B.c. to 404 B.C.) On two occasions Spartan admirals, Alcides and Mindarus, brought their fleets to Ikaria. After the war, Ikaria suffered from piratical raids. Conditions improved in 387 B.C. when Ikaria, that is Oenoe and Therma, became a member of the Second Athenian League.
Alexander the Great named an island, Failaka, in the Persian gulf Ikaria because it resembled Ikaria. In fact, there is no resemblance between the two islands, and it is unknown why Alexander would do this, but his gesture does signify that he held Ikaria in some degree of esteem, and perhaps had soldiers from the island in his Persian campaign. In the wars that followed the death of Alexander in 323 B.C., Ikaria became an important military base. One of Alexander's successors, possibly Demetrius Poliorcetes, built the tower at Fanari, Dracanum, and the adjacent fortress. It is one of the best-preserved Hellenistic military towers in the Aegean.
In the second century B.C. the Ikarians changed the name of Therma to Aslcepieis. The change in names only lasted for about thirty years. Apparently, it was an effort to advertise the medicinal qualities of the thermal baths and make Therma into an important resort. But this was generally a period of decline. Philip V (221-178) ravaged the Aegean islands. Though the Romans established control of the area they did not adequately patrol the seas. In 129 B.c. Samos was incorporated into the Roman province of Asia, which represented a coastal area of Asia Minor, and Ikaria seems to have been included in this province. A Roman general undertook to repair the temple of Artemis which had apparently fallen into a state of disrepair during the third century B.C, doubtless from piratical raids, but the Romans, preoccupied with domestic problems, neglected the Aegean, and by the early years of the first century B.C. pirates took control of the Aegean islands.
All the coastal settlements in Ikaria disappeared, and the few people who remained on the island retreated into the interior. Emperor Augustus (29 B.C.-A.D.14) reestablished order in the Aegean and encouraged Samians to develop Ikaria. The traveller Strabo, ca. 10 B.C., saw two small settlements on Ikaria, but noted that it was essentially a deserted island used mainly by Samian ranchers who kept herds of animals there. In the first century A.D. Pliny, the Younger was weather-bound on the island for several days and was struck by its rustic qualities.
By the end of the fifth century, A.D. Ikaria fell into the sphere of the Byzantine Empire. Campos became the administrative center and the seat of a bishopric. The Samians, given support by the government in Constantinople, maintained a local fleet that offered Ikaria some protection from pirates. In 1081 A.D. the emperor Alexus Comnenus established, only a few miles from Ikaria, the monastery of St. John the Theologian in Patmos. This became a cultural center in the Aegean and kept Ikaria from sliding into total oblivion.
By the end of the 12th. century the Byzantine empire cut back its naval defense and the Aegean became open to inroads from pirates and Italian adventures. The Ikarians built fortresses at Paliokastro and Koskino. A glimpse of conditions is provided by a document in the monastery of Patmos which recorded pirates fleeing Patmos and arriving in Ikaria where the local population executed them.
On the 14th. century the Genoese took Chios, and Ikaria became part of a Genoese Aegean empire. When the Turks drove the Genoese from the Aegean the Knights of St. John, who had their base in Rhodes, exerted some control over Ikaria until 1521 when the Sultan incorporated Ikaria into his realm. The Ikarians killed the first Turkish tax collector but somehow managed to escape punishment.
The Turks imposed a very loose administration not sending any officials to Ikaria for several centuries. The best account we have of the island during these years is from the pen of the bishop J. Georgirnees who in 1677 described the island with 1,000 inhabitants who were the poorest people in the Aegean. In 1827 Ikaria broke away from the Ottoman Empire, but was forced to accept Turkish rule a few years later, and remained part of the Ottoman empire until July 17, 1912, when it expelled a small Turkish garrison during the IKARIAN INDEPENDENCE. Due to the Balkan Wars, Ikaria was unable to join Greece until November of that year. The five months of independence were difficult years. The natives lacked foodstuffs, were without regular transportation and postage service and were on the verge of becoming part of the Italian Aegean empire.
There was considerable dissatisfaction with the Greek government which invested little in developing Ikaria which remained one of the most backward regions of Greece. Until the 1960s the Ikarians looked to the Ikarians in America rather than Athens for help in building roads, schools and medical facilities. Throughout the first half of the 20th. century the economy depended on remittances sent from America by Ikarian immigrants who began settling in America in the 1890s. In America, Ikarians demonstrated talent as steel mill workers and independent businessmen.
The island suffered tremendous losses in property and lives during the second world war and the German and Italian occupation. There are no exact figures on how many people starved, but in the village of Karavostomos over 100 perished from starvation. After the war, the majority of the islanders were sympathetic to communism, and the Greek government used the island to exile about 13,000 communists from 1945 to 1949. The quality of life improved after 1960 when the Greek government began to invest in the infrastructure of the islands assisting in the promotion of tourism.
What to see in Ikaria
A walk around the city will bring you close to the main sights. Do not forget to visit:
- The port where the monument of Icarus (his wings) is situated. It is an artwork by the local artist Nikos Ikaris
- The hill, with neoclassical building housing the police station and the port authority
- The coastal road with traditional coffeehouses and restaurants
- The Archaeological Collection with findings from various areas of the island, dating back from the Neolithic period till Roman years
Agios Kirikos Metropolis and Aghios Nikolaos church which was built by the village sailors.
Ikari rock (or Nikari) near the southern coasts. According to the tradition, this is the point where Ikaros lost his life.
Agios Dimitrios church in Katafigi (8 km NE). There is a hatch underneath the sanctum, which according to tradition was used by the island inhabitants to escape from pirates.
CASTLE OF KOSKINA
The Castle of Koskina is an 11th century A.D. Byzantine fortress located on a mountain peak overlooking the village of Kosikia in the center of Ikaria, 30km from Evdilos. Inside the castle is the church of St. George Dorganas. Access to Koskina Castle is via an unpaved road near Kosikia which branches off from the central mountain pass connecting Evdilos to Agios Kirikos.
One of the best preserved examples of Athenian military watchtowers from the Hellenistic period, Drakano Fortress and its fortifications were built during the time of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. This 44 foot high limestone tower served as an observation point for Aegean Sea traffic sailing the channel between Ikaria and Samos. The tower was part of a larger garrison and eventual Ikarian city that was noted for its wine production. In 1827 the tower was damaged by Greek naval forces who used it for target practice. Near the tower stands the solitary Church of St. Georgis, and below the church is the remote sandy beach of St. Georgis. Access to Drakano is via a dirt road leading from the seaside village of Faros. The road ends where a footpath begins, and visitors must then hike about 15 minutes north to the fortress area.
BYZANTINE ODEON OF ANCIENT OENOE
The Byzantine Odeon is located at the village of Kampos in the northern part of the island. It is on the ancient site of "Oenoe", known to be one of the most fertile places on the island and wealthy ancient capital of Ikaria. Oenoe was a prosperous city known throughout the ancient world for its viticulture.
The Byzantine or Roman Odeon, literally translating into “small theatre” was built in the 1st Century A.D. The remnants show that the Odeon has the same construction plan as the Roman theatres and is divided into three main sections including the scene, the orchestra and the cavea. It served as a meeting place where the noblemen of Oenoe could gather and enjoy musical and theatrical events.
Apart from theatrical events, the Odeon is also thought to have been used for auditions reserved to magistrates, as well as important civil, military and religious people and their families.
ROMAN BATHS AT ANCIENT THERMA
Built during the Hellenistic Period, the ruined walls of Roman baths situated at ancient Therma are all that remain of the once prosperous Ikarian city that thrived as a result of the visitors who came to bath in its therapeutic hot mineral springs. Ancient Therma ceased to exist after a devastating earthquake hit the city circa 205 BC. Via snorkeling one can still see the underwater remains of the city where it slid into the sea just offshore from the Roman baths. Access to the site is via a footpath marked with green leading from the back of the Agriolycos Pension in Therma. There is a cave on this path that was used as a hiding spot by Ikarians in past times of danger. Walking further along the path brings one to a place on the coast where the hot mineral water flows into the sea, affording the opportunity to bath in it. All in all a worthwhile excursion.
TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS AT NAS - "TAVROPOLIO"
The sixth century BC temple of Artemis at Nas was built by the Ikarians to honor the mother goddess Artemis, patroness of sailors and protector of hunters and wild animals. Nas was probably the first settled area of Ikaria and throughout antiquity its safe anchorage was an important staging point for sea traffic sailing to Asia Minor. Around 1830 local Ikarian villagers melted down most of the temple's stone blocks in order to build a church. Legend has it that the ancient temple's statue of Artemis is buried somewhere in the river. Snorkelling just off the coast one can see the massive columns of the temple. The pier of the ancient port and the floor of the sanctuary still survive as does the beautiful setting of Nas Beach.
Tavropolio was the shrine of Artemis who among other names was also called Tavropolos, goddess of the bull or Tavrovolos. The temple of Tavropolio must have been a late Minoan structure as the goddess was worshipped in the late Minoan period. The "Xsoanan" a carved wooden cult image of the goddess which is said to have been discovered by favor of the heavens proves that the shrine was one of the most ancient temples dedicated to the goddess Artemis.
Ikaria was one of the first stops of Artemis from Asia Minor and Tavropolio a shrine celebrated throughout Greece. Tavropolio prospered in the years when worship of the goddess was at its peak in the era of Attic civilization. According to the historian Ioannis Melas, Tavropolio was probably not only the temple of the goddess Artemis but also a settlement, one of the four ancient settlements on Ikaria, but no evidence has come to light to prove it. Today at the place of worship where magnificent religious rights were once performed, only ruins survive, parts of the floor and columns of the ancient temple. The whole area is studded with remnants of worn awat marbles. The remains of an old lime kiln reveal that in the early 19 Century the structures of Tavropolio were melted down to obtain building materials for the erection of churches.