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Introduction - Anemi

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Ikaria, the Dolichi of the antiquity, is one of the largest islands in the northeastern Aegean Sea, it covers an area of 255 square killometres and a coastline of 160 kilometres. The island is mostly mountainous and it is dominated by the mountain range of Athera, of ancient Pramnos, with its highest peak at 1,041 metres. Do you not be surprised by the presence of many mountain villages, since in the Middle Ages the pirate raids were so frequent that the residents were forced to live away from the coast.


The strong red wine of Ikaria was mentioned by Homer as “Pramneios wine”, while it is also known from ancient times for its thermal springs. The island has plenty of water and sufficient vegetation, mostly pine forests and areas with maquis, arbutus and oak trees. Interesting animal species live on the island, such as “korkofylas” (the lizard Laudakia (Agama) stellio daani), the endemic lizard Lacerta oertzeni oertzeni, and “raska”, i.e. emi-wild free range goats, which are more than 2,000 animals.

According to one theory for the origin of the name of the island the word Ikaria comes from Indo-European root –kar, like the neighbouring Karia in Asia Minor. The ancient name Dolychi means elongated and it is due to the elongated shape of the island. Historically the island was referred to by other names such as Inoi, Ichthyoessa, Anemoessa and Makri (Byzantium). Last but not least the myth of Icarus who with his death gave his name to the Ikarian Sea and the island is universally known.