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Ikaria, the island of longevity

Ikaria is unique. The Icarians do not seek material wealth, but are content with what they have. They are largely unfazed by the western way of life and seem happy because of this independence.

Ikaria is a small island in the Greek Aegean Sea in the extreme east of the Mediterranean Sea. The island is named after Icarus, the son of Daedalus, the young man from Greek mythology who escaped from Crete, flew too close to the sun with wax wings and fell into the sea near Ikaria, according to legend.

The island has been known as a spa resort for centuries because of its natural hot springs. More recently, Dan Buettner and National Geographic have assigned Ikaria to one of five so-called "Blue Zones" where residents have longer-than-average lifespans. The island is actually home to some of the happiest and longest living people on earth.

The life of the Icarians takes place at a time when front doors remain unlocked and strangers are warmly welcomed, crime is virtually non-existent and the community spirit is very strong.


Their lifestyle is based on a strong tradition of solidarity within society and an active social life in which all age groups participate. Local communities organize everything and everyone is invited to participate. This is especially true for weddings and the famous panigyria (village festivals), of which 89 take place each year.


Icarians are best known for their relaxed and easy-going attitude to life. There are no time restrictions or deadlines, the life of Icarians moves at a different rhythm. A slow and steady rhythm pervades every aspect of life - this is what gives the island its special character and soul.

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