The enchanted island of Ikaria is famous for its two myths: the myth of Dionysus, God of wine in the Greek mythology and the myth of the falling Icarus, who flew too close to the sun.

Dionysus – God of wine

Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. He is the son of Zeus and one of the twelve Gods of Olympus. According to the myth he was born on Mount Pramnos in the island of Ikaria where Zeus released the baby from his thigh. It is said that the strong Pramneios wine of Ikaria is the gift of Dionysus for the people of the island. This wine is famous for thousands of years and has been mentioned in Odyssey by Homer (Pramneios Oinos). Homer states heroes of the Iliad have been drinking a strong red wine of Ikaria wine with magical powers before they went to battle.

The people of Ikaria still honour God Dionysus during the village festivals (paniyiri) where the celebration is accompanied by local wine and dancing.

The myth of Icarus

Ikaria is named after Icarus, the son of Daedalus. According to the myth Daedalus the famous inventor created wings of feather and wax for himself and his son to escape from the Labyrinth of Crete. He warned Icarus neither to fly too low to the sea nor too close to the sun since the heat will make the wax melt. Icarus ignored his father’s warning and flew too close to the sun causing his wings falling apart and himself falling into the sea are between the villages Xylosyrti and Chrysostomos.The sea was named after the Icarian Sea and the adjacent island Ikaria.