This article originally appeared on VICE Greece
A few years ago, a friend told me about a Greek island where the population grows really, really old. As one spry local told the The New York Times, people in Ikaria "forget to die". The island has an amazingly high number of centenarians and one in three people on the island make it deep into their nineties in perfect health.
My friend booked us ferry tickets and when we got there, we asked some old ladies about the key to their longevity as soon as we had the chance. "Don't worry too much, drink red wine and eat honey," they adviced. Which I did. I camped out in the wild, swam in beautiful waters, went to festivals in the villages, drank copious amounts of red wine and danced to reggae in the moonlight with the Ikarians – and I'm entirely convinced everyone could be doing this well into their nineties.
Ikariamag.gr, the local site for the island, collects photos of the island through the years from Ikarian residents. One of those residents is Christos Malachias, who has a massive family photo archive going back more than 60 years, which he allowed me dig through. His photos show his family and friends enjoying the lifestyle that has helped the Ikarians to grow so incredibly old.
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