Ikaria is one of the largest islands of the Eastern Aegean. Its geographical location is: 37º35'41.42" N - 26º09'30.88" E, covering 255 square kilometers with a coastline of 102 km and its population being 6074 (2001 census). Administratively it is divided into two municipalities, the Municipality of Aghios Kirykos with 3243 residents and the Municipality of Evdilos with 2831 residents.
The third municipality of the island is mountainous and is named Raches, with 2200 residents. Its topography is very contrasting with its green slopes and bare, rugged rocks. Ikaria is mostly mountainous. It is crossed by the mountain chain of Atheras (Pramnos), of which the highest peak is 1040 meters. The majority of its villages are located in the valleys near the seaside and only a few are on the mountains. Ikaria has a tradition in producing a strong red wine (Pramnios Oinos, wine from Pramnos).
Many areas on the island are covered with big bushes, which give the landscape an image of rich vegetation. There are no rare animal species on the island.Besides the common types of animals, there are only a few flocks of sheep and goats called "raska" which break the silence of the island with the sound of the bells they have around their neck. The climate of Ikaria is mild.
Ikaria or Icaros as it was known during the classical years belongs to the Eastern Sporades, a group of islands along the coastline of Asia Minor, which was called Karia. 12 miles north- east from Ikaria stand the bare dominating cliffs of mount Kerkis of Samos, while in the south one can distinguish the little island of Patmos. Some miles to the east there are Fournoi, a complex of small islands, known in the classical years as Korsies. Geologically Ikaria is part of the formation that starts from Asia Minor, passes from Samos and extends to the Cyclades.
There is little arable land.The mountain chain ends up to the sea in the south, leaving very little land for cultivation, and this land is being utilized by the locals with the ancient technique of "pezoula". However, the ground is much flatter on the north side of the mountain. Kambos, - ancient Enoe- in the windward side of the island, is a well-watered small plain but in general, there is more vegetation in the north part of Ikaria compared to the south.
Ikaria has rich water supplies especially after the construction of the two dams on the mountain. Ikaria has 76,2 cm of rain yearly. The most rain falls between October and March. However, as the cold is modified due to the influence of the sea, winter looks more like autumn of North America or Europe, with only some colder periods.
Two Ikarian cities members of the Athenian alliance
An island with two cities,Ikaria maintained this double nature during the biggest part of the Classical years, when the two cities, Enoe and Therma reached the peak of their prosperity and were in a position to pay almost two “talanta” to the common treasury of the Alliance in Delos. It is obvious that it was the total sum of two contributions, since - a totally unusual fact- the Ikarian cities were independent and each one had a separate relation with the Athenian Alliance.
It seems that in the case of Ikaria, the exceptional reasons for which the Athenians would allow shared taxation was not the case, as in the example of Kea and Amorgos. During their entire history Enoe and Therma (detached from each other) on the opposite sides of the mountain chain of the island, lived as two different communities and it seems that they never happened to be united to deal with an important issue together.