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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ikaria Samos Patmos Kalymnos Greek islands in the east Aegean

Ikaria (also spelled as Icaria)

In the map, Ikaria can be located to the east of Mykonos.  Mykonos is well-known to international tourists, but Ikaria not heard of.

Here is an awesome photo of the lightening display in Ikaria

People in Ikaria live longer life, after reading the link some people made comments saying that this island is like a big retirement home. I disagree with this POV.

Old people in Ikaria live an active life carrying out basic tasks relating to their daily living, unlike those retirement homes in “advanced” western countries – where old people are being fed or served ready meals, and watched by health care professionals.  Certainly there are differences between the two worlds.  Old people take care of themselves here so Geriatrics is not needed in Ikaria.

After the war the Greek government used Ikaria to exile about 13,000 communists from 1945 to 1949, hence the island is also called “Red island” (Κόκκινο νισί).

Deprived of state funding, the Ikarians had relied on the Ikarians in the United States for help in building roads, schools and medical facilities. The quality of life improved gradually after 1960 when the Greek government began to invest in the infrastructure of the island and in the promotion of tourism.

Local panigiri festivals are quite interesting yet not well-known


Samos is the bigger island to the east of Ikaria.

If you plan to visit Ikaria, you should include the adjacent Samos, it is a family-oriented tourism spot with ancient ruins and museums, and there are ferry boats connecting the two islands.

Since I like mathematics, it is worth mentioning that the great mathematician Pythagoras (Πυθαγόρας) was born in Samos 570 BC.  He is credited with the discovery and proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.

Samos has very good sweet wines.


Patmos is found to the south in between the island of Ikaria and Samos.

Patmos' theater play "Revelation" will go on live from July 26 to August 3, 2012.


Kalymnos is located to the south east of Patmos, but visiting this island is better combined with Kos.

Kalymnos is also known as the “Sponge divers’ island”, traditionally Kalymnian sponge divers used no uniform or equipment and relied only on their abilities to hold breath in the sea.  After mid 80’s sponge industry has declined as there are not much sponges left in the region. You can read a good story of sponge diving here

Recent years Kalymnos has become famous for rock climbing festival in September. Just scroll down from this link and watch a video

Another interesting link:
Earth science picture of the day, is a great blog to follow.

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