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The village Christos is the center of the community of Raches where the heart of north Ikaria beats. It is built in the mountains in the heart of a pine forest, 15 km to the South West, of the port of Evdilos . The center of the village is a place of authentic atmosphere with pedestrianized  roads, shops and houses, with some of which have stood there for over a hundred years. There are coffee shops taverns and the imposing church of  Christos,composing a unique hospitable place which attracts the visitor and makes him feel that he belongs there. It is a place alive 24 hours a day, it is very common to see there all the shops to stay open all night not only the bars, but also the taverns, general stores, pharmacy etc(a part of the old tradition that the inhabitants keep alive). Raches is an excellent  choice for an excursion, as it surrounded by the most interesting sightseeing of North Ikaria, such as the Monastery of Moni Mounte, Pezi, Langada, Nas etc.


Nas is an idyllic small village 3 km West of Armenistis, situated on the site of the ancient “Tavropolio”. There are still some remnants of the temple of Artemis  (patroness of sailors, hunters, and wild animals) just above the little pebble beach, where the river Chalaris runs down to the sea. The name “Tavropolos Artemis” refers to the quality of the goddess  as a power of fertility and destruction as well. The modern name Nas derives from the word “naos”(temple), or from the ancient name of the goddess “Ma”. There was also a port of significant importance in ancient Greece  which served as a secret shelter of  ships, when piracy was at his peak. When the inhabitants  moved to the hidden villages of island Ikaria to defend themselves, obstructed access to the ancient port. Today only a small part of the ancient harbor exists, where the visitor can still see the iron bollards to which the ships were tied. The magnificent gorge of Chalaris river is one of the most impressive and it is renowned  for its wild beauty. A walk along the river bank it is something that the visitor  will never forget.

Halaris Gorge

Halaris Gorge in North Ikaria is a canyon that had special significance since ancient times and remains one of the last remaining natural forests in the Aegean. It supports a unique biodiversity of flora and fauna and populations of many endangered species. At the same time has special significance as a station for dozens of protected birds, especially during spring and autumn migration.


The village of Kampos is on the site of ancient “Oenoe“, and it is one of the most fertile places on Ikaria. The legend tells as that there, for the first time, grew  “Dionysia”, the holy grape from which the Pramniam Wine was initially produced. The trade of this wine gave Oenoe great wealth, made it capital of Ikaria and gave her relatively high significance in Athenian Alliance. In the Byzantine epoch renamed as Dolichi, its remains can be  seen  today next to the houses of the village: The remnants of roman Odeon, which was built in the First century AD offered a place to noblemen of ancient Oenoe for musical and cultural events, the Byzantine church of St. Irene, and the archeological museum, which contains over 250 finds from the whole Ikaria. It includes from Neolithic  tools  to statuettes, columns and carved headstones, it is open  three times a week  from 10:00 to 15:00. Visitor admission is free, but photos are prohibited.


Lagada was a secret shelter  of Ikarians during the hey-days of piracy. It is one of the oldest  villages of Ikaria, well hidden among the forested slopes of the Western part of the island Ikaria . Langada  existed from the beginning of Byzantine era and flourished after the franks had left. There are very old anti – pirate houses, the old church, the ancient jail, and the remnants of the government house of the “Free State of Ikaria” which remind us the historical past of Langada. Every year on the 15th of August there is a great traditional feast called a “panigiri” which lasts from the morning until the next day


Drakano is the third ancient town of Ikaria .Although its existence must have coincided historically with the other two towns of Ikaria it is not included in the lists of Athenian League. That means either it was a part of “Thermae’s “subscriptions, or it was exempted from taxes payment due to its defensive role. The origin of  the name is either from the adjacent mountain, or from the cape next to which it was built. Nowadays there are just few ruins of the ancient acropolis of the town. It was built during the Hellenistic period and the famous 10m high watch tower, which was repaired in the years of Dimitrios “poliorkitis” , was an ideal spot from which to observe  the sea  passage between Ikaria and Samos. Next to the tower is the church of St George with its remote beach. The visitor can go there by following the earth road from the village of Faros, and then through a footpath after  a 15 minutes walk.

Mounde monastery

Mounde monastery is situated in a thick pine forest in Vathes, an area of exceptional beauty, with a reservoir that has become a shelter for aquatic birds, 3km east of Raches. The monastery is dated from the 15th century, it has three aisled architectural structure, and it‘s dedicated to St Mary of the Annunciation. It has wooden carved temples and beautiful agiographic icons by Zosimas of Chios. Above the main entrance, there is a sign that says: “Holy Monastery of Mounde, first built in 1460 and renovated in 1893”. According to the legend, a hermit from Chios was the founder of the monastery, which was always a very popular place, created to meet the religious needs of simple people. During the time when Ikaria was an Island of Exile (1947-1949), exiles and locals who suffered from tuberculosis were sent there to recover.

Theoktistis monastery

Theoktistis monastery is situated in the north part of Ikaria near the village of Pigi in a lush green forest. The whole church is decorated with frescoes with faces and figures of Saints of Old and New Testament and also with the donors of frescoes. According to an old sign on the church, the monastery had been established in October 1688, but it’s considered to be founded before that. In 1500AD, it’s  most prosperous period, it had an average of 100 monks, the last two nans left in 1982. Today inhabitants of the area look after the place. There is also “Theoskepasti” (small chapel under a gigantic rock)that according to the legend, when the remains of Saint Theoktistis was found, without anyone knowing to whom they belonged, the locals took them to the nearest cave, where they built  this small chapel known as  “Theoskepasti” (it means that it’s roof is provided by God). In memory of Saint Theoktisti, there is a big commemoration, at the monastery every year on  the 9th of November.


The castle of Koskina was the most important and dominant of all the fortresses of Ikaria. It played the most important role in the defense of Ikaria and for that reason it is known as the Castle of Ikaria. It is said that was inaccessible and unpregnable and that it was one of the basic defense positions of Byzantine times. Undoubtedly its natural location, on a mountain peak, overlooking the entire area (both North and South sides of Ikaria to the sea), together with its sturdy structure and the courage of the Ikarian fighters, kept it unbeatable for ages. Within the castle there is a little chapel from that period dedicated to St. George. The visitor can get to the castle via the central mountain road from Evdilos to St. Kirikos and then through an old mountain path (one hour walk) above Kossikia village.