The name Ikaria comes from the mythic person of Ikaros, the son of Daedalos, who fell in the sea after their escape from Minoan Crete. The island was first inhabited in 7th century B.C. The inhabitants were Ionians from Militos of Asia Minor. During the Byzantine Era the island served as a place of exile. It also suffered from Saracenes raids. The byzantine palaces of the Dolichni settlement (11th century) are considered magnificent representations of the Byzantine architecture.
After the conquest of Constantinople by the crusaders in 1204, Ikaria was ceded to Count
Baldwin of Flandra. Later the island fell under the control of Aragi family from Genoa,
and in 1521 Turks invaded the island and stayed there until 1912, when it was incorporated
into the Greek state.