Winter Island Escapes: Ikaria, Greece

Start planning where to warm up this winter. We’ve made it easy with these 15 adventure-packed, off-radar island hideaways.

Nov 8, 2012
Outside Magazine
5 long life Ikaria Greece Bluezones longevity quest

Ikaria's north shore.    Photo: Gianluca Colla

99 square miles
Aegean Sea, local red wine, dedicated napping

One in three natives on Ikaria reaches the age of 90, and for good reason. There may be no healthier or more relaxing olive-and-wine-fueled place in the Mediterranean. Base out of the quiet coastal village of Armenistis, staying at the seaside Toxotis Villas (from $111), a short stroll from Livadia, one of Greece’s most stunning sandy beaches. Spend your days sampling that life-extending vibe: eating stuffed grape leaves and fresh-caught red mullet, sea bream, and octopus at local tavernas, drinking a daily dose of stout local dark red wine and antioxidant-rich teas made from wild greens, swimming in the Aegean, hiking the island’s steep paths, and resting—a lot. On Ikaria, the locals sleep late and nap every afternoon. The nearby Round of Rahes footpaths are perfect for day hikes, winding through pine and oak forests to ancient mountain villages, where you’ll find some of those nonagenarians playing dominoes in the town square.

ACCESS: Catch a 35-minute Olympic Air flight from Athens.