Ikaria belongs to the complex of Eastern Sporades. It is 40 km long, 5-9 km wide and it has a coastline of 98 km..
In the ancient times Ikaria was called Dolihi, Makris, Ihthioessa and is connected to the myths of Ikaros and the worship of Dionysos on the island.
The island has been inhabited since the prehistoric times and this is confirmed by the many stone and ceramic findings as well as the old buildings.
References in ancient texts written by Homer, Thoukidides, Stravon etc prove the continuity of life existence on the island during the ancient and Roman times. In the Byzantine years dangerous rivals of the Emperors are exiled here. Later, following the fate of Byzantine Empire, Ikaria goes to the dominion of Genoa. When the conquerors leave the island frightened by the rapid expansion of the Turks, a lot of local people follow them. However, the majority of the people stay on the island and confronts the Turks and the pirates in an unusual way. They take refuge in the mountains, in places which cannot be seen from the sea and they create defensive anti-pirate settlements. The most important settlement is the one at Lagada. The whole island gives the impression of a completely uninhabited place. These are the years of “non-existence” (16th c.). the Ikarians completely isolated at that time, do not experience the hard Turkish enslavement and the pirate raids. As a result, they form their unique identity based on the ancient rules of common life and they preserve their ancient language.
In 1912 Ikaria rebels against the Turkish administration on the island, wins its independence and keeps its autonomy as “Independent State of Ikaria” for a few months.

During the Greek civil war Ikaria becomes the place for thousands of communists and other democrats to be exiled.

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