Icaria is located in the Eastern Aegean, approximately ten hours by boat from the port of Piraeus. The island is, for the most part, mountainous and bears a long tradition in wine making; it is especially famous for the red variety that it produces. Icaria ranks among the top four regions worldwide with the longest living inhabitants. In recent times, contrary to other Aegean islands, the tourist industry in Icaria did not develop as much and the island has somewhat preserved its rural character as well as most of its natural wealth.
The Language Center
Since 1995, the Icarian Center, located 1.5Km outside the village of Arethousa, delivers Greek language learning courses. The courses offered by the Icarian Center, are designed for both beginners and advanced speakers and also include additional activities such as cooking classes, lectures on Greek culture and meetings with the local community. The aim of the Icarian Center is to facilitate the learning of the Greek language for non-native speakers but also to familiarize them with Greek history and culture. The courses are available from mid-April until October and they usually last from eleven days up to two weeks. The eager learner may add an additional week for an extra fee. The Icarian Center offers discounts to students, young people and teachers. For more information on course schedule and fees, visit their website Greek in Greece.
Things to Do
While in Ikaria, especially during the summer months, one is never short of things to do. There plenty of hiking routes on the island and also several beaches where you can swim as well as many picturesque villages tacked away in the mountains that wait to be discovered. In the summertime, the whole island is brimming with all sorts of festivities, mostly island folk music festivals for which Icaria is famous.
Boat tickets to Icaria may be booked online, purchased from a travel agent or directly from designated kiosks at the ports. If you fly to Athens airport, you can jump on the boat at the port of Piraeus, just outside of the city of Athens. Alternatively, you can fly to the island of Samos airport and make a much shorter trip by boat from Samos to Icaria. Of course, you also fly directly to Icaria from Athens with Olympic Airways. Boats and airplanes to the island depart almost on a daily basis.