Behind the mountains and sharp peaks of the North Aegean island of Ikaria, a scattering of house lights can be seen. Why would people choose to live above ground level and make their lives more difficult for themselves?

Thanks to the sea, ancient Greece became aware of Ikaria’s famous Pramnian wine, olives, and honey production. But because of the island’s riches and valuable products, pirates were also attracted to it. In fear of invasion, the inhabitants of Ikaria moved their houses into the mountains to create the illusion that the island doesn’t have any residents. For the next three hundred years, the people of the island would hide their culture among the rocky summits of Ikaria’s Aetheras range.

The islanders still have a special place in their hearts for the upland refuge known as Lagkada. But now, all that’s left of it are stone homes, like a ghost town. An Ikarian winemaker said, “There is still at least one man living there permanently. […] Most of us see him only when we go to Lagkada’s panigýri (festival). The rest of the year, he must be surrounded by ghosts.”