Buy local! ....
On Ikaria this means being able to experience ingredients and tastes of Ikaria's longevity. Also, you can indulge your skin, body and senses with oils, creams and other products blended from Ikaria's unique special nature.
This summer on Ikaria I'm amazed by the variety of Ikarian local products being sold and the many well designed shops on the island. Try not to miss the ones below:
- A wonderful shop, "Throubi Ikaria," sells Ikarian honey, sweets, spices, wines, nuts, mountain herbs, mushroom, wines and more. (What more could anyone want in life?) I tried some sweets and they tasted like super light marshmellows, with a fanciful play of sweetness. Location: Agios Kyrikos.
- In the shop Μελία "Melia", which sells products from natural and organic ingredients, I pretty much broke my budget. Their sun screen contains sunflower oil and other natural elements, is very smooth and smells so delicious I want to wear it all the time (which I'm doing now). Melia also has masks, creams, body milks, gells, oils and a wide selection of spices and other local products. Location: Christos Rahes.
- An ongoing favorite shop of mine is the "Women's Collective". It has a selection of jams, liquors and other delights. The care that goes into even the packaging of these creations reflects the high quality and respect for the fruits and other ingredients that grow under Ikaria's sunshine to provide these tastes. Location: Christos Rahes
- A special place for buying Ikarian herbs is the not so obvious shop run by a caretaker at Theoktisti Monastery. Tuck your head into her shop there and see how she has beautifully described in Greek and English the names of the herbs and what they are used for. Location: Theoktisti Monastery
- A ceramics shop nestled along the odd narrow elbow road section leading westward from Evdilos caught my eye. I need to go back and get a tsipouro drinking set. The prices are very reasonable for the great handmade pieces and can make nice gifts. Two other cerarmic shops are located in Nas (which has cool DIY!) and Armenistis. Locations: Evdilos, Nas, Armenistis.
- Honey, honey and more honey! You absolutely have to try Ikarian honey during your stay. Many shops and stores sell it. A new shop, Μέλι Ικαρίας in Armenistis offers free tastings of the owner's yummy honeys. I love his honey from heather (Anama) and bought a big jar of it. It's like no other honey you've tasted before, and heather honey is supposed to be especially therapeutic and healthy. I'm going to have a spoonful every morning to treat my body. There are also honeys from thyme, pine, forest, and more. How do you know the bees are flying to the thyme bushes and not after the pine trees? Go ask the owner of Μέλι Ικαρίας like I did and find out. Location: Armenistis
- Last but not least (on this incomplete list), I love the Ikarian lemonade. It is often an option in restaurants too and is made from Ikarian lemons. Why taste anything but the Ikarian option for lemonade? The same goes for Ikarian wine - though make sure you gauge how potent Ikaria's Dionysian wines can be here. Location: supermarkets, restaurants
This list is a small sampling for how to buy local products on Ikaria. Please send in to us information about any other shops with local Ikarian products that you've discovered on Ikaria and want to share.
* Also see our Ikaria Guidebook for further information about Ikarian products.
This article was updated July 14, 2016 to include more great shops!