The North Coast

North Coast
The northern coast of Ikaria is flatter than the mountainous region where we’re staying.

North Coast

North Coast Beach
In between the coastal villages, there are several flat sandy beaches that are empty now, but get very crowded in the summertime.

North Coast

Beach art
Beach art.

Nudism Sign

The port at Gialiskari, with a view of the Chapel of Analipsi, the Ascention, at the end of the jetty.
North Coast Pines
Pine trees start to appear along the coast.
Christos Raches
The outskirts of Christos Raches, the biggest village in the North with about 300 permanent residents.

Christos Raches is about four miles inland in a larger area called Raches. Raches is one of the greenest sections of Ikaria, dense with pine forests, wetlands, and an extensive series of hiking trails.

German Trail Guide
Sadly, the only trail guide we are able to locate is in German!
Christos Raches
We go out exploring the side-streets of Christos Raches.

Christos Raches

Christos Raches
The town center.

Christos Raches

Christos Raches
Many businesses in Christos Raches are closed during the day.

The village is quiet in the daytime, but comes alive late at night – a practice that originated long ago before cars existed. Because the village of Christos Raches was considered the center of the entire Raches area, people would leave on foot from surrounding villages at the beginning of the day, and not reach Christos Raches until evening. In order to serve these local merchants, businesses became accustomed to staying open late, a custom that continues into the modern era.

Christos Raches
The town square.

Christos Raches

Camo Hat
Time to break in the new sun hat. There were two choices at the hardware store: camo…or camo.
Christos Raches Health Food
We come across a health food store that is open during the day.
Women's Co-op
We also visit the Women’s Cooperative of Christos Raches. Eleven women of Christos Raches started this cooperative in 2009.
Womens Co-op
The cooperative sells many quality products that are made from locally grown or harvested food. The cooperative is fully committed to preserving local tradition and also to producing food with no chemical additives.
Womens Co-op
Amongst the products sold at the cooperative: jams, fruit liquors, chutneys, “spoon sweets,” and pickled vegetables.

The ingredients are purchased from small operations on the island which use sustainable and organic methods. The women’s cooperative offers a rare opportunity to these small-scale producers, who might otherwise never have a chance to market their goods successfully outside Ikaria.

Womens Co-op
Also for sale are these colorful woven fabrics.
Womens Co-op
The women’s cooperative also has a small cafe. These enormous slices of savory pie are made with either cheese or a greens and herbs filling.
Women's Co-op Group Photo
Three of the visionary women who run the cooperative: Eleni, Toula, and Thekla.

The women’s cooperative is helping to generate a source of ongoing income for farmers and their families, and thus fostering the continuance of traditional farming on Ikaria, while also contributing to a healthier local economy.

Through their ongoing work, the cooperative strives to support young women so that they don’t have to leave Ikaria, and to ensure that the cooperative members can continue living on the island and build a future here.

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