'Messaria', as the locals call it, is located in the middle of the island, as indicated by its name. Messaria comprises many smaller mountainous villages, Kossoikia, Steli, Dafni, Petropouli and Akamatra.
When villagers were threatened by pirates in days of old they fled from areas visible from the sea to Messaria villages, building makeshift homes or living in arches and moving around, especially at night, to be invisible from the sea.
Near Kossoikia is the famous castle of Koskina, a stronghold of the island for centuries. Historically it’s most important from the Ikarian revolution of 1912, when the Icarians expelled a Turkish garrison to achieve independence. Next to the castle is a small church dedicated to Saint George Dorganas.
In 2003 the Greek state declared Akamatra a 'traditional settlement’ because its buildings represent the traditional architectural character of the island. An architectural gem! Very famous is its traditional fair every mid-August, which attracts people from all over the island. There are more than 150 residents, and in a folklore exhibition visitors can get an impression of the everyday life of former inhabitants. In the historic cobbled square is a famous 500-year-old oak, where many villagers were once executed. The village has many old mansions, an old oil press and a café.
Near Petropouli a path leads to a green area with lots of trees, springs, old windmills and the Raos Houtra cave, with breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites!
Access to Messaria villages is from the Evdilos-Akamatra-Plagia-Agios Kirykos main asphalt road and the Evdilos-Akamatra-Magganitis road.