Often referred to as the island where people forget to die, Ikaria, Greece is one of the five Blue Zones in the world. About 30 miles from the Turkish coast, this dementia-free Blue Zone is similar in appearance to other Greek islands. However, there is a significant difference. Ikarians live on average 10 years longer than people in the rest of Europe – and the US. They also enjoy tremendous health throughout their old age. They have mastered The 100 Year Lifestyle and 100:100, living at 100% for 100 years or more.
This tiny island’s long history has been as rocky as its topography. The outcropping in the Aegean Sea has been the target of invasions by Persians, Romans and Turks, forcing its residents inland from the coasts. The result: An isolated culture rich in tradition, family values – and longevity.
Today, Ikarians are almost entirely free of dementia and some of the chronic diseases that plague Americans; one in three make it to their 90s. A combination of factors explain it, including geography, culture, diet, lifestyle and outlook. They enjoy strong red wine, late-night domino games and a relaxed pace of life that ignores clocks. Clean air, warm breezes and rugged terrain draw them outdoors into an active lifestyle.
Read more about the lessons that Ikarians have learned from living in a dementia-free Blue Zone.