When to Come - Seasons in Ikaria

Island Ikaria is year-round destination.

Summer

Summertime in Ikaria is a dream lifestyle and holiday experience full of fun, relaxation, friends and memorable moments. Besides the warm sun and beaches, there are many sites to visit, activities to participate in and events to attend. The famous Ikarian Panagiria are in full swing and happening regularly as well as various art, music, cultural and party events. Its also a time when Ikarians choose to get married or hold baptisms and these events are typically open to the whole island to attend; so do try to experience one.

The island's population can easily double during the summer peak around August 15th and planning your holiday in advance, especially accommodations and car rentals, is recommended for summer season visits. In summertime many Ikarians who live outside of Ikaria in other parts of Greece and other countries, return to spend their holidays on the island with family and friends.

Ikaria is authentic in its character and vibe even in summer and there is never an overwhelming amount of foreign tourists on the island, unlike many of the neighboring islands. Foreign tourists who come to Ikaria in the summer are warmly welcomed and treated like friends and not like numbers. Ikarians want is to show you their island and ensure you enjoy your stay. They aren't consumed with making money and this is why the island has preserved its Greek and Ikarian character.

You won't find "package tour" holiday makers in Ikaria. The island attracts discerning travelers of all ages and nationalities who appreciate authenticity and traditions, nature, adventure, sustainable forms of tourism and good music,food, wine and dancing.

Beaches crowded, panagiria, tourists from Athens and Europe, Ikarians from abroad return. Locals are working hard. Hot/dry weather with steady northly winds. Can bring large waves to north side.

Spring

Spring time in Ikaria is full of life, colors, sounds, running water and natural beauty. Its a great time to visit. All of the island's different types of landscapes have come alive and wildflowers are to be seen everywhere. Up in the mountains streams, rivers and waterfalls are flowing and the island's flora and fauna have emerged from winter's sleep.

Ikarian's are once again spending their days with outdoor pursuits and work such as planting their gardens, sowing fields, fishing, herding and preparing for Easter and the summer season ahead.

The sea is calm and just warm enough to swim in and the beaches are still solitary for those lucky enough to be visiting the island. This is the best time of year for hiking, walking, touring and other outdoor activities, as the weather is mild and not windy, there are no crowds and your days can be spent experiencing and relaxing.

Spring time also means Easter and Holy Week which are especially important, honored and celebrated in Ikaria. The Easter period is full of local flavor, traditions, ceremonies and events all around the island culminating in the traditional Ikarian Easter Sunday celebration feast. In Ikaria there are always spare seats at the table for guests, especially at Easter time and Easter is an experience not to be missed! Also not to be missed is one of the best "panagiria" of the season which takes place high up in the mountain at Agios Isidoros Church on May 14th.

Spring time, with its pleasant weather and vibrant nature, is the ideal season for participating in island tours and outdoor activities such as sailing, kayaking, cycling, hiking/walking, stargazing and everything else Ikaria offers to visitors. During the spring time availability of rooms and transportation is ample and prices are also lower throughout the island.

Fall

Ikaria's autumnal season passes quickly and encompasses the end of the wine making period and the beginning of the annual olive harvest. As an important and rooted tradition, Ikarians young and old devote time and energy to picking their family's olives and taking the olives to local presses to make the valuable oil they will consume for the next year. During this time the countryside and groves come alive with activity. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Ikaria in the fall, lending a hand in the olive harvest is an interesting and worthwhile experience and will get you in touch with nature and Ikarians.

The sunshine and hot days of the Ikarian summer ensure that the sea around Ikaria stays warm well into the fall season and it can be an ideal time to swim as the wind and waves of summer are now gone. Its not unusual to go swimming and enjoy the beaches in Ikaria even in late November and the thermal waters of the island flow all year round which makes swimming in some areas a year round possibility.

The Fall is an active time for Ikarians as they harvest whatever has remained from their gardens and fields and prepare their homes and land for the approaching winter season. Gathering wood, herbs and mountain teas, making wine, cheese and preserves, storing and curing meat and fish for the winter are just some of what you may witness or engage in on a fall trip to Ikaria.

The Autumne season, with its pleasant weather and changing nature, is an ideal time for participating in island tours and outdoor activities such as sailing, kayaking, cycling, hiking/walking, stargazing and everything else Ikaria offers to visitors. During the fall availability of rooms and transportation is ample and prices are also lower throughout the island.

Winter

Wintertime in Ikaria can be full of surprises, from snow-covered villages and mountains to sunny and warm days that beckon a visit to the beach. Ikarians are typically in "hibernation" mode which means: spending time with friends and family in front of their fireplaces, cooking with what they have raised and harvested all year, playing indoor games & music, reading, making wine and other spirits, visiting neighbors and engaging in story-telling and conversation.

Although the land is dormant, outdoor activity continues in the form of firewood gathering, tending flocks and winter gardens. Winter is also a time when Ikarians have the opportunity to go on trips away from the island on a holiday or for visits to the capital Athens. Its a time that allows them to focus on themselves and non-work related pursuits.

Christmas and New Years are the high points of winter in Ikaria and Ikarians return to the island from all around to celebrate in their villages with family and friends. Plenty of music, food, wine, dancing and Ikarian customs and traditions figure into the holiday celebrations on Ikaria.

During winter visits to Ikaria you get a different perspective about life on the island and its easier to have time to engage with the local people. It is also possible to still enjoy Ikaria's nature and a range of activities such as hiking/walking, horseback riding, cooking, dancing and wine making lessons, thermal baths and island tours.


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