IKARIA offers an excellent diversity of beaches to suit all desires and occasions. From remote sandy beaches where one is unlikely to encounter anything else except pure nature, to cosmopolitan resort beaches that include facilites and amenities.
In Ikaria, your quest for the perfect beach ends. The clarity and brilliance of the waters surrounding Ikaria are unparalleled. The Ikarian Sea ranks amongst the cleanest in the world. Ikaria's most popular sandy beaches are predominantly located on the North side of the island. On the South side there are less crowded sand and rock/pebble beaches.
Located in the village of Faros, 10 km east of Agios Kirikos, Faros Beach is a popular weekend getaway for citizens of Agios Kirikos and the surrounding villages owing to its close proximity and ideal waters for swimming. The sandy-pebble beach stretches a long distance, running the full length of the village and then curving around towards the northern tip of the island.
Located on the beach front are several tavernas, bars/cafes, souvenir shop and mini-market. There is also a volleyball net and a short pier where small boats/yachts can tie up and one can fish. Faros beach is also the place where locals windsurf and kayak rentals are available. Faros is an ideal place to stay for a few days with a variety of rooms, studios and apartments for rent on and behind the beach. Faros is also the base for visiting Drakano Fortress and Agios Giorgis Beach.
Located on the North side of Ikaria in the Gialiskari resort area, Messakti Beach is Ikaria's most popular beach and is blessed with pure and natural golden sand and crystal clear waters. Two small rivers intersect the beach with small freshwater lagoons, and the church of Gialiskaris is visable in the distance jutting out into the sea on a small island. On the beach there are umbrellas and sunbeds for hire and several waterfront cantinas serving refreshments and light snacks. Informal volleyball games are also played in the afternoons and an annual tournament occurs in August. Surfers flock to Messakti in August to ride the waves when conditions are right and the surf school gives lessons and rents surboards and stand up paddle boards in summer. Kayak rentals are also available. Hotels, rooms for rent, pensions, restaurants, cafes and a nightclub are located on the main road near the beach. Shallow water makes it ideal for families but there are strong currents further offshore and care is needed when the waves are big. A lifeguard is present during the summer season.
Located approximately 8.0km east of Therma, access is via a path off the main road, look for the sign post marking the beach. Peaceful and beautiful sand-pebble beach with rock formations underwater at the eastern edge, interesting for snorkelling/spear fishing. There are no facilities on this beach.
Located 1km east of Agios Kirkos on the coastal road to Therma, Prioni Beach is a secluded natural sand/pebble cove. The cliffs and rocks at Prioni offer the possibility of diving/jumping from heights of up to 12 meters, and there is a small intimate cove adjacent to the main beach that is only accessible by swimming. The cove area is also of interest to snorkelers. Access to Prioni Beach is via the stairs leading from the north end of Agios Kirikos main square up towards the police station. The stairs turn into a narrow road that passes a small church on the right after about a 10 minute walk. Take the path down to the church and then continue down to the swimming area at the bottom. You have to swim the short distance from there to Prioni which is visible to the north. Sturdy shoes are recommended for the decent from the church to the swimming area.
Exw Plagia Map
Located approximately 3.5km east of Therma, access is via a dirt road turnoff from the main road. Nealia beach is a sand and pebble beach with crystal clear water and there are rarely more than a handful of people here. There are no facilities on this beach. Visiting yachts sometime anchor here outside in the bay.
Agios Giorgis Map
A nice pebble beach located below the village of Plagia and visited primarily by the summer residents of the village. The water here is deep and cooler than other beaches owing to the river that emptys here in winter. There are no facilities on the beach and access to the beach is from a steep path where the road ends. Note that some climbing down rocks is necessary to decend to the beach.
Agios Giorgis beach is a beautiful and remote sandy beach located at the extreme north-eastern tip of Ikaria in a protected cove. Above the beach stands the solitary Church of St. George and Drakano Tower & Fortress. Access to Agios Giorgis Beach is via an unpaved road leading from the seaside village of Faros. The road ends where a footpath down begins, and visitors must then walk about 15 minutes to the beach which is below and to the left of Drakano Tower and the church. Sturdy shoes are recommended and don't forget to close the church door if you visit it on the way to the beach.
Kavo Papa Map
Located on the North side of Ikaria in the Armenistis resort area, Livadi Beach is blessed with pure and natural golden sand. A year round river fed lagoon surrounded by lush green vegitation completes the beautiful setting. On the beach there are cantinas serving drinks/snacks and umbrellas, chairs and kayaks for hire. Descending down to the beach from the west side path/stairs there is a secluded small sandy cove beach ("Ammoudaki"). The east end of the beach features a beach bar/restaurant as well as the clifftop Atsachas Rooms & Restaurant overlooking the beach. Body/board surfing atop the waves is possible on some days. A parking lot for the beach is located at the bottom of the access road that descends to the beach from the main road above. Cars may also park along the main road above the beach.
Lefkada Hot Springs Map
Located on the south tip of Ikaria, just below the lighthouse of "Kavo Papa", Agios Giorgis (St. George) Beach bears the name of the small stone chapel located at the water's edge. This is seldom visited secluded beach in a small cove setting with pebbles and sand. To reach the beach follow the path from the road towards the lighthouse and then take the left branch. The decent to the beach is not easy and care should be taken.
Located 2km west of Agios Kirikos on the main road, across from a house and just before the curve leading to the intersection for Glaredos village. The natural radioenergic hot saltwater spring pool of Lefkada is a relaxing body experience and not to be missed. Boulders encircle the pool where the hot springs reach the sea. There are several streams of hot mineral water in the area and the salts/mud from the streams can be applied to the body for a natural skin/spa treatment. Access is from a path on the road where a sign reads "Hot Springs". The path decends down to the beach and then you must walk along the boulders west for 50m. Care & sturdy shoes are recommended. It is recommended not to bath for longer than 20 minutes and the natural sea pool is especially soothing and curative for many types of dermatalogical problems. You can also swim at the beach o nthe way to the springs or just outside of the thermal sea pool area where there are interesting shallow boulders and many warm water sub-sea bubbles streaming up.
Xilosirtis Beach is a peaceful long pebble-rock beach popular with the residents of the village bearing the same name. There is a small pier at the access to the beach which is ideal for fishing and a small cantina on the beach serves refreshments during the summer. Access is via a stairway path which begins from the lower portion of the village.
Iero Beach is located in the uppermost northwest corner of Ikaria behind the airport and near Faros. Legend has it that the "Iero" was the ancient site of a temple to Dionysos (Bacchus). The area of Drakano to the East is thought to be the god's birthplace. Iero Beach is ideal for snorkeling. It is a protected cove with some interesting rock formations above and below the sea. Walking around to the right of the beach there is a large cave that may have been Dionysos's temple. A marked path leads the way to the cave area that can be easily explored. Access to Iero Beach is via the road from Faros Village that leads east towards Drakano Tower and runs behind the airport.
Located just before the port city of Evdilos, on the North side of Ikaria, Kiparissi Beach is a long and quiet sand beach. There are no facilities on the beach, just crystal clear water and the surrounding natural beauty.
Kountou Tou Lakoma Map
This designated nudist beach is located near Faros between Kontou Tou Lakoma beach and Agios Giorgis Beach. Access to the beach is via a path leading down from the unpaved road from Faros to Drakano Fortress or by walking to the extreme north end of Kontou Tou Lakoma beach. Both routes are signposted. Within walking distance of the beach stands the solitary Church of St. George, the beautiful cove beach of Agios Giorgis and Drakano Tower. There are no facilities on this beach and sturdy shoes are recommended to access it.
Located just outside the village of Faros, this remote and beautiful beach is seemingly lost in time. Sandy & seldom visited. Take the road towards Drakano and then look for the turnoff on your right shortly after you ascend the hill after leaving the village. You can park at the end of the road that stops at the beach and walk north along the beach towards Drakano Fortress which is visible all along the beach. Its also possible to walk to this beach from Faros Beach by walking east and then north along the beach. A small second beach at the far north end of Kountou Tou Lakoma has been designated a nudist beach by the locals.
Located 1km west of Agios Kirikos on the main road, just past the night club, Tsoukala Beach is popular with the local residents of Agios Kirikos. Tsoukala is a pebble rock beach with some shaded areas located under the trees and umbrellas and sunbeds are sometimes available to rent in summer. There is a cafe/bar located atop the beach which serves refreshments throughout the afternoon and which becomes a popular bar in the evening.
Pebble-sand beach located just outside of the village of Mileopo. Access is from the main road west of the village via a narrow dirt road that winds back and forth down to the river bed that forms the beach. An intersting place to snorkel owing to the large boulers and rock formations below the water. Its also worthwhile to explore the river where water is present even in summer. This beach was also the site of a Rainbow Group gathering several years ago.
Located 6km west of Armenistis, Nas is an idylic place seemingly frozen in time. It is situated at the union of the Chalares River and the Aegean Sea, and was the site of one of Ikaria's earliest settlements. During the 6th century BC, the Ikarians built in Nas a temple to the Goddess Artemis, patroness of sailors & protector of wild animals and hunters. Only the temple's foundation and retaining walls of the Tauropolos waterfront of the ancient harbor are visible today and, but the natural beauty of Nas remains as it was in classical antiquity.
The beach is open to nudists and non-nudists. Hiking up the riverbed will eventually bring you to a small waterfall and pool. On the cliff above the beach there are a few peaceful tavernas in which to try the local cuisine and rooms for rent with breathtaking views of the canyon, sea and the majestic Nas sunset, the best sunset on the island and one of the most beautiful in the Aegean. The name "Nas" derives from the Latin word for a temple. In Greek the word is "naos".
Located in the village of Magganitis, The beautiful sand-pebble beach of Firodi is frequented mainly by the local villagers. It is called "Firodi" by transformation of the name which belonged to a queen who was buried there according to local tradition. A short walk southwest from the beach along the paved road brings you to the village port where there is a picturesque cafe/bar serving drinks and food.
This is one of Ikaria's most intriguing and beautiful beaches, and closely guarded by the villagers of the nearby village of Mangganitis who would prefer to keep it their secret and for good reason. The pebble-rock beach is located within a picturesque and intimate cove setting. There are interesting rock formations all around and the color of the crystal clear water is unmatched. A small "private" cove beach adjacent to the main beach features a large cave. Seychelles Beach is located approximately 25 kilometers west of Agios Kirikos, just after the tunnel that leads further on into the village of Manganitis. The access to the beach is via a path which starts on the main road and descends along a river bed. The path is of medium difficulty and steep towards the end. Wear sturdy shoes. It is also sometimes possible to take a water taxi from Mangganitis' fishing port and there are organized day trips to Seychelles in the summer from Armenistis and Agios Kirikos. A cafe/bar is located a short walk from the beach in the fishing port of Manganitis.
A nice pebble beach located just outiside of the village of Karavotamo and visited primarily by the summer residents of the village. The water here is deep and cooler than other beaches owing to the river Aris that emptys here in winter. There are no facilities on the beach.
Located in the village of Kampos, the ancient Ikarian capital of Oinoe, Kampos Beach is a long and sandy beach popular in the summer with residents of Kampos and Evdilos. Bamboo and other plants grow right up until the water's edge within the river delta that forms the beach. There are umbrellas and sunbeds for hire, a snack-bar on the beach and a popular bar/club just atop the beach. The nearby village has an archeological museum, Byzantine ruins, rooms for rent, restaurants, village mini-market and cafes.
Located in the city of Therma, Ikaria's center for radioenergic therapeutic hot mineral springs spa therapy, Therma Beach is easily accessible and ideal for older persons and families. The beach is sandy and located in a protected cove. Behind the beach are various cafes and restaurants, and a water taxi and loca bus shuttles to and from Agios Kirikos throughout the day. Kayaks and peddle boats are rented on the beach. There is also a rinse shower and a few public umbrellas available to the public for free.
A ten minute hike north-east from the beach, on a footpath marked with green paint beginning from behind the hilltop Agriolykos Pension, leads to the ruins of ancient Therma and the spring named "Loumakia." This natural hot mineral spring runs into the sea forming a small pool where it is possible to enjoy the thermal waters while bathing in the sea. Therma is also the center of Ikaria's Therapeutic Thermal Baths and facilities. You can take a relaxing jacuzzi or use the natural steam room at the nearby "Cave Spa" (Spilia). Massages are also available in the town.
Located on the southwest side of Ikaria in the remote village of Trapalou near Karkinagri. A beautiful peaceful beach seldom visited by tourists. Access to Trapalou is via Karkinagri and a 4-wheel drive vehicle is strongly recommended. The village features an informal taverna overlooking the beach run by Mrs. Popi (Kyria Popi) where one can delight in true home cooked Ikarian food in an authentic village setting. During the summer there are occasional boat excursions to Trapalou from Agios Kirikos, Mangannitis and Karkinagri. There is also a small boat dock on the south side of the beach.