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Ikaria Page 2


Aghios Kyrkosresident commutelocal beaches not too badAghios Kyrikos, or just Aghios, is the main port and commercial heart of the island. It retains many of its older store fronts unchanged since the 1930's with little concession to modernization. It is all the more charming for this. Each town dweller is required to cultivate their own garden so more trees than people exist and a delightful blaze of color is to be seen. Many stores are closed during the day and open only late afternoons until the wee hours. Most social activity takes place along the waterfront within the cafeneons. Sweet shops sell local island specialties and wonderfully thick local honey from thyme and koumaro bush fed bees. Island Ouzo and barrel wine is locally produced and of good quality. No credit cards are accepted on the island but at least the banks are open 8 am to 1:30 pm.

From its southern port and capital, Agh Kyrikos, a short taxi or boat ride away lies Therma Lefkada, site of the natural radioactive springs which have made the island famous. They bubble from the ground at a mean temperature between 32-56 C and are beneficial in the treatment of chronic arthritis, rheumatism, spondylitis and gout. There is also a sauna (Tel: 22202). The springs are the most radioactive in Europe and some are closed to the public due to their strength. One spring surpasses 790 degrees of radiation.

The North Coast and Evdilos

impressive viewsrolling countrynight approach Evdilos is separated from Aghios Kyrikos by the proverbial 40 km of rough road! From Aghios Kyrikos a long winding road ascends east to the barren mountain pass, affording views of nearbt Fourni, Samos, Patmos, Naxos and Turkey. Once through, the road descends westward through the pine-covered slopes passing the several small villages of Monokambi, Aghios Pantas, Karavostamo and Keramio on its way to Evdilos, a stone-paved port linked four times a week with Piraeus and Samos.

The western portion of the north side of Ikaria is connected by another road from Evdilos which leads up towards the ruined Byzantine Fortress of Nikarias and its old stone church. In the nearby village of Pyrgi, Ikaria's finest frescoes may be seen in the Monastery of Theoktisi.

Ikaria's nicest beach is to be found at Gialiskari where free lance camping is permitted after the few local rooms are filled to capacity. The next nicest beach is at Armenitsis a small fishing village, and the island's biggest tourist resort.

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