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Discoveries - Anemi
The …menhir of Ikaria. In the region of “Propezoulopi” near Drakano and Iero bay you will meet a series of prehistoric limestone columns, with a height ranging between 1.22 to 2.80 metres, adjacent to each other in an almost straight line. Many are facing the ground while others remain in an upright position. Near these megalithic monuments there are many gravel mounds. There has been no further research in the area.
The “anti-pirate” houses. The most remarkable architectural feature is the so-called “anti-pirate” houses created in 1700, the era of “invisibility”, when the residents lived in fear of pirates. Many of them exploited the huge round rocks (the so-called “lourous”) and fortified them with stone, with no windows and no chimney. Other hide thoroughly under trees, half submerged in the ground, and use large rough slabs of slate for the construction of the roof. All of them are fully integrated into the landscape, camouflaged up until today and of course invisible from the sea. Inside they had an underground hiding place for the whole family with a second emergency exit and stored supplies. Usually the exposed sides exposed surrounded by a stone wall, so it looks like a natural continuation of the rural landscape from afar, with the stone partitions built in the islands to exploit agricultural soils in sloping areas.
Papas lighthouse. At the southwestern tip of the island, near the settlement Karkinagri, is the imposing Papas lighthouse. It is said that it took its name because a Pope ended up here after a shipwreck while travelling from Rome to Constantinople. It was built in 1890 and it was formerly known as Cavo Mavro. It has a height of 11 metres and it is situated at an altitude of 64 meters above sea level. During the Balkan wars it was included in the Greek lighthouse network and in the Second World War it was an Italian outpost. Today it has been renovated and it operates with automatic mechanisms. You can get there on foot if you follow the path, but also by sea.
The festivals and Ikariotikos. The traditional festivals of Ikaria are organized by volunteers of each village, who do not only cook boiled or roasted goat, potatoes, and other sides, but they also serve the visitors. The bands are dominated by the violin and a necessary component of a successful festival, other than the stong local red wine, is the famous Ikariotikos dance. Many festivals last all night. The proceeds from the festivals are used in community projects in the village. One of the most famous festivals in Ikaria is the festival of Agia Marina, which coincides with the anniversary of the Revolution of Ikaria which is celebrated the refugee of Agios Kirikos and in Arethousa, Evdilos, as well as the festivals of August 15th. In recent years, the festivals are experiencing a new prime on the island, with the participation youngsters and summer visitors. However if you find yourselves in a festival in Ikaria, beware, because the local red wine is very strong…
Ranti forest. In the west, towards the centre of the island you will find Ranti forest, one of the most unique Mediterranean prehistoric forests. It is surrounded to the northeast by the villages Frantato, Petropouli, Kosikia to Agios Dimitrios and to the southwest by the old path to Raches, Papoutsokryftis, to “Megalofo” and “Arnopeza”. The ancient oak forest of Ranti covers an area of 16,000 acres and it is protected by the international treaties. The dominant species of the forest is the evergreen holm oak, which reaches a height of 15 metres. In fact, a dating back to the early 15th century has been identified. Also the geomorphology of the terrain with the strong transitions of height and depth is of great mineralogical interest which indicates the primal creation of the island for the savvy researcher.
Hiking. It is very popular in Ikaria, as is evedinced by the numerous marked trails running through it. For more details you should contact the Mountaineering Hiking Society of Ikaria or other local naturalist clubs. One of the most beautiful hiking trails in Ikaria is the crossing of the Halari gorge. The river and the namesake gorge are located on the southwest side of the island near the beach of Nas. The popular Halari waterfall and its pond will appear in front of you after 30 minutes of easy walking, following the “red footprints” alongside the overgrown riverbed. Upstream of the river, in “Ano Halari”, you will encounter the impressive waterfall Ratsos, who falls from a height of 45 metres, but the path is difficult and usually the gorge is accessed via Prophet Elias.
Afianes wines. Nick Afianes has the only pharmacy in the prefecture of Rahes and the most modern winery built with love and respect for the tradition of wine production. He might be a pharmacist, but wine making is his passion. The varieties of wine are the predominant local ones, i.e. red fokiano and white begkleri. The winery has been operating since 1997 and since 2007 it is housed in the new, modern facilities in a beautiful location in the village of Karydies. During the summer he organizes a folklore and ethnic festival along with theatrical shows in his amazing theater made of stone. He serves wine of his own produce. You can try the wines of Afianes everywhere in Ikaria and on-site in the winery, which is open to visitors during July and August from 5:30 to 8:00 pm, or on request by calling at: +30 6977893731.