Ikaria, or Icaria as it’s sometimes known, has been in the news a lot recently for the extended lifespan of its inhabitants.
The island is usually better known as the place where Icarus plunged from the sky after flying too close to the sun when escaping with his father Daedalus but has recently been dubbed ‘The Island Where People Forgot to Die’ by the journalist Dan Buettner.
Just off the Turkish coast, scientists are at a loss to explain why the inhabitants of Icaria are two and a half times more likely to live to ninety than the average American and those that do are three times as likely to be physically active as the average ninety year old.
For years now, scientists have been setting up camp on the island checking the diet and the lifestyle of the inhabitants and seem to have drawn the conclusion that longevity and physical fitness boils down to the healthy organic food and drink that’s produced and consumed there, the climate that promotes living and working outdoors and the lack of stress that helps prevent heart problems and strokes.
So how can you get a little bit of this fountain of youth?
Flying in isn’t too much of a hardship as you can get flights with Olympic Air from Athens and with Sky Express from Crete, Thessaloniki and Lemnos. Or you can take the ferry which departs from Athens and many of the Greek islands. We recommend renting a car from Athens Airport
sea port and taking it on the Ferry and then use it to get to your accommodation and to explore the island.
Accommodation on the island is very traditional with guesthouses or rooms attached to people’s homes. The top place to stay voted for on Trip Advisor is the Carme Villas whilst the Erofili Beach Hotel comes in second.
For exploring the island, there’s easy to arrange car hire at Ikaria Airport. The island has plenty to see and it promotes its tourism in an unusual way focusing on an almost Zen-like approach with a balance between man and nature, freedom and timelessness. The beaches are attractive, the people friendly, if a little old but convivial evenings enjoying the amazing food and drink will possibly add a few more months to your life and tempt you to taste longevity if not eternity with a permanent move to Ikaria.