A long, skinny island with a mountain going up its spine, Ikaria is mostly quite wild, with a good deal of forest. It suffered from serious fires not too many years ago but still retains some lovely forested village areas towards the north coast .
Birds of prey are strong here, among them several pairs of breeding long-legged buzzards, lesser kestrels (also breeding) and also some Bonelli's eagles; Eleonora's falcons breed on offshore islands and along the coasts, preying upon the migratory birds heading south in late summer and early autumn.
There are about a dozen rare flowers on the cliffs in western and central Ikaria, as well as some unusual ones.
The island is listed as an potential Natura 2000 site (along with Samos) for its birds, flowers, invertebrates, and as a monk seal sanctuary. The island is accessible from Naxos, Samos, and from Piraeus.