Ikaria Sports Activities
Because of Ikaria's uniquely diverse nature and topography, the island offers a large choice of outdoor sports activities for visitors to enjoy. Choose from: Cycling, Mountain Biking, Surfing, Windsurfing, Kayaking, Mountain Hiking, Nature Trail Walking, Sailing, Bouldering, Fishing, Snorkelling and even Moto-Cross. Bring your own equipment and set off on your own or hire a guide/tour company to arrange everything for you.
Ikaria's beautiful and rugged coastline and many beaches and coves is a paradise for kayakers. The south side of the island around Faros Beach is preferable because it is protected from the prevailing north wind and waves, but on calm days kayaking is also possible on the north side of the island around the beaches of Messakti and Livadi where basic sit on top kayaks can be rented in summer.
Island Ikaria Outdoor Activities offers Guided Kayaking Day Trips which feature single and tandem sit inside expedition sea kayaks, guide, all equipment, snorkelling gear, and picnic lunch on the beach. Their tours take you to beautiful remote beaches for kayaking, swimming and snorkeling.
Ikaria's scenic mountain, forest and coastal areas offer many routes for cycling, mountain biking and even rugged downhill. Basic mountain bikes can be rented in Armenistis at the car/bike rental shops. There are two designated bike routes that can be explored - one in Pezi region near the water resevoir and one near the village of Akamatra. Cycling along the paved relatively flat coastal main roads between Agios Kirikos and Faros, and Nas and Evdilos is also possible if you rent a bike and are on your own, The best routes are in the mountains and forests and are an uphill ride to reach, but well worth it for the easy and scenic coast back down to the beaches.
Island Ikaria Outdoor Activities offers Guided Mountain Biking Day Trips which feature a selection of mountain and cruising bikes, guide, all safety equipment, transportation, picnic lunch, short hike to a waterfall and admission/tasting at a local winery. The tour takes you cycling along a flat high mountain plateau and continues with a leisurely coast back down to the sea.
Ikaria is of special interest for hiking & walking. For thousands of years Ikarians have been traversing the many mountain paths of Ikaria. In former times these paths or "monopatia", made up a transportation web that connected Ikaria's farflung villages with the people's farming and commercial activities in the mountains and at the sea. Today, through a combination of continued use and local & international preservation efforts, many paths are still in operation and able to be enjoyed by visiting hikers/walkers of all ages and abilities. Your stay in Ikaria would be incomplete without making a trip on a "monopati", a worthy holiday experience that connects Ikaria's history, culture and nature. See Hiking for more information.
Island Ikaria Outdoor Activities offers Hiking/Walking Day Trips on a per person or group basis. The trip includes knowledgeable mountain guide, transportation and picnik lunch.
Faros Beach on Ikaria's south shore and near the airport offers the best windsurfing conditions on the island. In summer the water is mostly flat and winds are steady from the north. The beach is part of a natural cove, but winds are offshore so care is needed. Ikarians and visitors to the island have been windsurfing here for many years and an informal windsurfing school has recently opened on the beach near the small pier. Besides offering lessons, the school also offers windsurf rentals. If you bring your own equipment you can easily launch your windsurf as cars can park close to the beach.
In summer it is possible to surf at Messakti Beach because of the occassional strong northerly winds that bring surfable waves of up to 1m in height.
The Ikaria Surf School on Messakti Beach offers surfing and stand up paddle board lessons as well as equipment rentals. The school also sponsors various seminars throughout the season. Over the past few years Ikaria's north side has become popular with young surfers who typically visit in mid-August.
Ikaria is full of granite rock formations and has recently become of interest to climbers through the mapping and identification of bouldering routes throughout the island. A new guide -
Ikaria: a Bouldering Guide to the Island, features 300 bouldering routes that have been designated at Agios Isidoros, Pezi, Prine, Mavri, Mavrianu, Kalamos, Acrotiri, Karkinagri, Magganitis, with engravings on photos, sketches and maps. Contact Bouldering Ikaria for more information.
Ikaria's crystal clear waters, interesting underwater terrain and ample sea life make snorkelling around the island a fun activity.
The best spots to snorkel are in and around the Faros Beach area and along the south coast towards the airport, but fish, mysterious undewater rock formations and reefs are everywhere to be found. Snorkelling gear can be bought on the island or bring your own.
Island Ikaria Outdoor Activities offers Kayaking & Snorkeling Trips which feature equipment, guide, transportation and picnic lunch. On this trip you will experience first hand Ikaria's most beautiful coastline and views, visit the island's most significant ancient ruin and swim and snorkel on secluded pristine beaches.
The Aegean Sea around Ikaria is a sailing paradise and the short distance between Ikaria and its island neighbor, Fourni Islands, makes Ikaria's south coast an ideal base for day sailing trips. You can choose from 2 different sailing boats depending on your budget and the number of people in your group. A 44 foot sloop and a 50 foot classic ketch offer day sailing trips in the summer to Fourni's beautiful beaches and hidden coves. Enjoy a fun filled day of adventure. A typical trip includes stops for snorkelling and swimming in hidden coves and beaches, a visit to the scenic port of Fourni and a stop at a seaside taverna for lunch. The sailboats can be chartered from either Faros Beach or the capital Agios Kirikos, and multi-day bareboat or crewed charters are also available for those wishing to visit other islands.
Visit the Sailing Trips page for more information.
Island Ikaria Outdoor Activities offers Sailing Day Trips on a per person or group basis.
A Moto-Cross park is located in the region of Pezi, near the water resevoir, and the local sports club Enduro Ikaria organizes periodic moto-cross races there. The circuit is open to the public during non-race days and features jumps and obstacles. Besides the race park, Ikaria offers an abundance of mountain trails of varying difficulty for moto-cross enthusiasts. If you are interested moto-cross touring/racing in Ikaria email the organizers to arrange a tour and rental bike.