Iraklia

1. Welcome to Iraklia Island

travel to Iraklia island Greece
travel to Iraklia island Greece

Iraklia island belongs to the group of islands known as the Cyclades or The Small Cyclades. It has an area of 18.078 square Km and it’s coastline length is 29,94 km.
There are two settlements on the small island: The port, Ayios Georgios and the settlement of Panayia, which are joined by a 4 km long tarmac road. The distance from the port of Naxos Island is 18 nautical miles.

Climate: moderate.
Population: about 145 people.

What you should know before you get there:
The small island of Iraklia offers peaceful holidays, ideal for relaxing, away from traffic and busy town life.
– There are no banks but there is one ATM.
– There isn’t a petrol station.
– There are no camping facilities.
– There are no authorities other than the Community office.
– There are no buses and no taxis.
– There’s a minibus available that goes from Ayios Georgios to Panayia and the beach of  Tourkopigado.
– There are 2 dispensaries and a  doctor.
– There’s water and electricity available for yachts at the port.

Iraklia ships Cyclades Greece
Iraklia ships Cyclades Greece

How to get there:
From Naxos to Iraklia the local ferryboat Scopelitis departs every day except Sundays at 14:00  and arrives in Iraklia at 15:30 .
For more information call the ticket agencies at the following numbers:
+30 22850 71561, 74185,71539 Vangelis Gavalas
There are ferry boats with ferries that depart
a) from Piraeus and come to Iraklia 3 days a week .
b) There’s a high-speed ferry from the port of Rafina everyday from 1/6/2016 up until the month of September.

Check the ferries to Iraklia here!

Travel agency ”Aigaio”
The travel agency ”Aigaio” is the place for you. Together we will organize your boat trips. We have tickets for all boats. ‘
Tel: +30 22850 71561, 71539, 74185
Fax: +30 22850 71561

We have tried to give as much information about the island and we shall personally try to make your stay on Iraklia remain among the best memories in your life.

2. Activities on Iraklia

Iraklia belongs to the group of islands known as The Small Cyclades.
It has an area of 18.078 square Km and it’s coastline length is 29,94 km.
There are two settlements: The port, Ayios Georgios and Panayia, which are joined by a 4 km long tarmac road.
The distance from the port of Naxos is 18 nautical miles.

3. Best beaches on Iraklia

Iraklia, small Cyclades Greece
Iraklia, small Cyclades Greece

The beaches on the small island of Iraklia, vary from fine golden sand to small pebbles and the coastline has low rocky outcrops which are steep in some places. One common characteristic of the coastline of Iraklia, is the crystal clear waters.

Ayios Georgios beach on Iraklia: When visitors take a walk through a traditional settlement, they have the impression that they are in a labyrinth and that surrounded by a fascinating setting for a movie.  It is an unforgettable experience to walk through the maze of narrow cobbled streets, whitewashed facades of unsystematic ally built houses and churches, continuous whitewashed square, low buildings which have been built in harmony with the land. This is the easiest beach to reach, for those who are not in the mood for walking and moving about. Its waters are crystal clear and the trees on the beach offer generous shade.

Livadi beach on Iraklia:  A long beach stretching out both in length and width. The islet of Venetico and the view of Schinoussa complete the scenery. Thanks to its easy access it is the most popular beach, situated on the way to Panayia. Children love it because of its inviting shallow waters.

Tourkopigado beach on Iraklia:  A pebble beach. Easily accessible after a beautiful drive of about half an hour from Panayia.

Karvounolakos beach on Iraklia:  A small beach located between Merichas and Alimia. The great color of the waters makes it unique. Better to go there by boat.

Alimia beach on Iraklia: Do not even think of coming here without your scuba diving equipment. In its blue waters a German plane from the 2nd World War is hiding. The rich sandy beach is ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

Iraklia beach Cyclades Greece
Iraklia beach Cyclades Greece

Vorini Spilia on Iraklia: This is a sandy beach on the northern part of the island, very close to Ayios Gorgios. The north wind is to be blamed for the occasional rubbish that is brought to the beach, but that does not disturb the visitors since the waters are clear for exactly the same reason.

Xilobatis, Tribounas on Iraklia: Low rocky beaches are to be found on the northwest part. If you find yourself there at sunset you will be enchanted by the feast of colors with which the opposite island of Antiparos is colored. The island is ideal for quiet relaxing holidays away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Inaccessible beaches can be visited by boat. Daily boat trips to the beaches of Iraklia and beaches of nearby islands are organized at very reasonable prices. Waters are safe, shallow and crystal clear.

Tip: Best months to visit Iraklia:

May, June, September, and October.

4. Sightseeing on Iraklia

There are many places of interest that you should visit during your visit to the island of Iraklia, such as the cave of Saint John, the Cyclop’s cave, the cape of ‘Merichas’ that is surrounded by imposing rocks that steeply rise over 100 meters, if you enjoy bird watching, this will be a unique experience for you as this cape is a well known shelter for many kinds of wild sea birds. The castle of Livadi is an interesting site and if you enjoy walking, you should visit the top of the ‘Papas’ hill and the small church of Profitis Ilias upon the hill. The church of the presentation of the Virgin Mary, Saint George’s church and the private church called Taxiarchis are worth visiting. The three windmills that were used until the year 1969 should not be left out of our sites!

Iraklia sites Cyclades Greece
Iraklia sites Cyclades Greece

YOU SHOULD SEE WHILE ON IRAKLIA ISLAND:

The cave of Saint John

The discovery of the Cave became when a Shepherd had lain to seek refuge from heavy rain. When he returned to the village, some people noticed that at the back of his shirt, there was a face. When they went back to the place that the shepherd had lain they discovered the Cave. Inside the Cave they found an icon of St. John the Prodrome. That’s how the cave got its name. Every year on the eve of 28th of August, the celebration of St. John takes place. Many people attend the vespers ceremony that is held inside the Cave, under the light of the candles.

The Cave is rich with stalactites, stalagmites and a rare kind of Cave-Milk. It is the largest Cave in Cyclades and one of the best in Greece. Rumors say that the cave reach the island of Ios underwater.

The visitors must go on knees for 4 meters distance in order to enter the Cave of St. John. With good lighting, the visitor can explore the central room and some other rooms more deep, known as: `[Water room]’ where a cavity of stalagmites gathers potable water, `[Sapouni ]’ where exists cave-milk, `[Kampanes]’ where striking the stalactites a sound like bell is heard, `[the Piano]’ where striking the stalagmites is heard like music and a lot of other rooms.

Attention: It is good to have with you somebody who knows the cave, so as to show you around. It is also necessary to have athletic shoes and torch.

The natural water spring (vrisi): The area where the ‘ vrisi ‘ is located is close to the settlement of Panayia. Here, you can drink fresh, clean water taken out by yourself from the traditional well.

Papas hill: From the top of the highest hill on Iraklia, you can admire the view of all of the surrounding islands and islets. From this point bird-watchers can indulge in their hobby because some rare species of birds can be spotted from here.

Ayios Athanasios is a very interesting settlement on the island of Iraklia with traditional Cycladic architecture.

The Bay of Meriha: it is surrounded by cliffs more than a hundred meters high. Birds find natural nests inside the openings in the cliffs.

The Holy Church of the Virgin Mary: It is rather over sized for the standards of the island. It was built next to the old church that today is called Ayios Nektarios. Building took place between 1919 and 1930, but it was completed only in recent years.

travel to Iraklia island Greece
travel to Iraklia island Greece

The Little Church of Prophetes Elias: It was built on the ruins of the old church by the Association of the Herakleians of Athens in 1960. The main benefactor is Sophia Vidali.

The Private Church of “Taxiarchis” It was built by the priest Manolis Simos at the end of the 19th century. The temple of the Church is a masterpiece.

The Cyclop’s cave: According to Greek mythology, the Cyclop that Odysseus blinded when he visited him lived in this cave. From the Cyclop’s rage, although he was blind, he tried to sink Odysseus’s ship by throwing stones towards the ship’s direction in order to stop Odysseus from escaping. These stones are said to be the stony islets that are very close to the coast and that are known as the Avelonisia. Another treasure of the island of Iraklia is shown on the wall inside the Cyclop’s cave, there is a picture scratched on the natural stone walls that look like Christ and the Virgin Mary. The Cyclop’s cave is located next to the cave of Saint John.

About Iraklia Island . . .

Iraklia sightseeing Cyclades Greece
Iraklia sightseeing Cyclades Greece

A tiny island between Naxos and Ios, Iraklia is the perfect place for true relaxation and privacy. Even in summertime, when the neighboring islands are full of tourists, Iraklia remains secluded and protected from mass tourism. With lovely beaches, hilly landscape and welcoming people, Iraklia island is a paradise. Iraklia has two villages: Panayia, located in the center of the island, and Ayios Georgios, which serves as the main port. Both these villages have traditional architecture.
Iraklia has many beautiful beaches around its coastline. Some of these beaches can be accessed on foot, while others are more remote, so visitors will need to take the excursion boat from the port to go and enjoy some privacy. The most famous and impressive beach on Iraklia is Livadi, a long sandy beach with crystal water on the eastern side of the island.
You can see,
Kastro (castle) of Livadi: These are the remains of a castle of Hellenistic Period (323 b.c-316 b.c.). Also found are the ruins of the temple of Zeus and that of the Goddess of Luck. It was a settlement until 1930
The Bay of Meriha: it is surrounded by cliffs more than a hundred meters high. Birds find natural nests inside the openings in the cliffs.
Papas Hill: from where one can admire the view of all the islands that are around Iraklia. From this point bird-watchers can indulge in their hobby because some rare species of birds can be spotted from here.
The Cave of Agios Ioannis. It’s the biggest cave of the Cyclades and one of the best in Greece. Consists of a maze of incredible stalactites, stalagmites, columns and a rare kind of ”cave-milk” and it takes two and a half hours to explore it. It is situated at a panoramic site with full view of the sea and nearby island.
Alimia beach is located at the south west part of Iraklia and it is a coast of fine sand. Under its transparent green-blue waters a wreck of a German war plane is found which was shot down during the 2nd World War. As such, Alimia beach is the ideal place for snorkeling and underwater explorations.

5. Villages and settlements on Iraklia

Iraklia settlements Cyclades Greece
Iraklia settlements Cyclades Greece

A tiny island between Naxos and Ios, Iraklia is the perfect place for true relaxation and privacy. Even in summertime, when the neighboring islands are full of tourists, Iraklia remains secluded and protected from mass tourism. With lovely beaches, hilly landscape and welcoming people, Iraklia island is a paradise. Iraklia has two villages: Panayia, located in the center of the island, and Ayios Georgios, which serves as the main port. Both these villages have traditional architecture.

Iraklia has many beautiful beaches around its coastline. Some of these beaches can be accessed on foot, while others are more remote, so visitors will need to take the excursion boat from the port to go and enjoy some privacy. The most famous and impressive beach on Iraklia is Livadi, a long sandy beach with crystal water on the eastern side of the island.

You can see,

Kastro (castle) of Livadi: These are the remains of a castle of Hellenistic Period (323 b.c-316 b.c.). Also found are the ruins of the temple of Zeus and that of the Goddess of Luck. It was a settlement until 1930

The Bay of Meriha: it is surrounded by cliffs more than a hundred meters high. Birds find natural nests inside the openings in the cliffs.

Papas Hill: from where one can admire the view of all the islands that are around Iraklia. From this point bird-watchers can indulge in their hobby because some rare species of birds can be spotted from here.

The Cave of Ayios Ioannis. It’s the biggest cave of the Cyclades and one of the best in Greece. Consists of a maze of incredible stalactites, stalagmites, columns and a rare kind of ”cave-milk” and it takes two and a half hours to explore it. It is situated at a panoramic site with full view of the sea and nearby island.

Iraklia island Greece
Iraklia island Greece

Alimia beach is located at the south west part of Iraklia and it is a coast of fine sand. Under its transparent green-blue waters a wreck of a German war plane is found which was shot down during the 2nd World War. As such, Alimia beach is the ideal place for snorkeling and underwater explorations.

Inaccessible beaches can be visited by boat. Daily boat trips to the beaches of Iraklia and beaches of nearby islands are organized at very reasonable prices. Waters are safe, shallow and crystal clear.

 

Tip: Best months to visit Iraklia:

May, June, September, and October.

6. The history and mythology of Iraklia

Iraklia villages Cyclades Greece
Iraklia villages Cyclades Greece

Iraklia or Heraklia was known as Agios Georgios in olden times. It is the larger of a cluster of small islands amid the islands of Naxos, Ios and Amorgos. There are three settlements: Agios Athanassios, Panagia and Agios Georgios, the harbour of the island. The majority of residents live in Agios Georgios.

The beaches vary from fine golden sand to pebbles and the coastline has low rocky outcrops which are steep in some places. One common characteristic of the coastline is the crystal clear waters.

The island is ideal for quiet relaxing holidays away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The locals call the island Araklia. We have only a few pieces of information regarding Heraklia, but in combination with the archaeological data we can get a general idea of its history. In the area of Kastro, in Livadi, there are the remnants of a fortified village of the Hellenistic period (4th – 2nd century b.C.), where there was the temple of Zeus and the sanctuary of the goddess Tyche (goddess of fortune and luck). All over the island there are several findings from different historic periods (Hellenistic, Roman).

The indicators – “compasses” of Heraklia are a mystery. These are marks found on the rocks spreading from the Ayios Giorgos area to Ayios Athanasios. According to the most popular interpretation they used to serve as orientation marks in antiquity. Systematic archeological research is bound to throw more light on their origins.

During the Turkish domination, the closed and inaccessible bays of the island used to be the ideal hiding place for the pirates infesting the Aegean Sea. Along with Schinoussa, Iraklia has been the property of the Monastery of Xozoviotissa of Amorgos.

Heraklia became an autonomous community in 1929. In 1941 it came under Italian administration and then, after the Treaty of Italy in 1943, was under German occupation until its liberation in 1944. Today it is belongs in the prefecture of Naxos.

When you are in Iraklia you can visit the cave of Agios Ioannis (St. John). It is the largest cave of the Cyclades and one of the best in Greece. It consists of a maze of incredible stalactites, stalagmites, columns and a rare kind of “cave-milk” and it takes two and a half hours to explore it.

It is situated on a panoramic site with a full view of the sea and nearby islands. It takes one hour to walk there from the village of Panayia..

Excavations in the area of Livadi, on the north eastern side of the island, have revealed remains of the 3rd millennium B.C. and a ruined castle of the historical times.

In the Venetian Era, the island belonged to the administration of Naxos but it was not continually inhabited.

In fact, in the Medieval Times, Iraklia was a shelter for the pirates who activated in the Aegean Sea and this didn’t allow people to live permanently on this Cycladic island.

When piracy was confronted by the Greek Navy in the 19th century, people started to inhabit Iraklia.

They built two settlements, Ayios Georgios, which serves today as the port, and Panayia, a smaller village in the center of the island.

A third century, Ayios Athanasios, was gradually abandoned and today there are only a few ruined, traditional houses there.

7. Rent a car on Iraklia

If you need a means of transportation there are scooters/motorbikes available for renting at ”IRAKLIA SCOOTERS”
Tel: +30 6977168139 and +30 6973637409 e-mail: kovdim@yahoo.gr

8. Useful information about Iraklia island

Iraklia map, small Cyclades Greece
Iraklia map, small Cyclades Greece

Iraklia belongs to the group of islands known as The Small Cyclades.
It has an area of 18.078 square Km and it’s coastline length is 29,94 km.
There are two settlements: The port, Ayios Georgios and Panayia, which are joined by a 4 km long tarmac road.
The distance from the port of Naxos is 18 nautical miles.
Climate: moderate.
Population: about 145 people.

What you should know before you get there:
Iraklia offers peaceful holidays, ideal for relaxing, away from traffic and busy town life.
– There are no banks but there is one ATM.
– There isn’t a petrol station.
– There are no camping facilities.
– There are no authorities other than the Community office.
– There are no buses and no taxis.
– There’s a minibus available that goes from Ayios Georgios to Panayia and the beach of Tourkopigado.
– There are 2 dispensaries and a doctor.
– There’s water and electricity available for yachts at the port.
How to get there:
From Naxos to Iraklia the local ferryboat Scopelitis departs everyday except Sundays at 14:00  and arrives in Iraklia at 15:30 .
For more information call the ticket agencies at the following numbers:
+30 22850 71561, 74185,71539 Vangelis Gavalas
There are ferry boats that depart
a)from Piraeus and come to Iraklia 3 days a week .
b) There’s a highspeed ferry from the port of Rafina everyday from 1/6/2014 till September.

Check the ferries to Iraklia here!
Travel agency ”Aigaio”
The travel agency ”Aigaio” is the place for you. Together we will organize your boat trips. We have tickets for all boats. ‘
Tel: +30 22850 71561, 71539, 74185
Fax: +30 22850 71561

If you need a means of transportation there are scooters/motorbikes available for renting at ”IRAKLIA SCOOTERS”
tel: +30 6977168139 and +30 6973637409 e-mail: kovdim@yahoo.gr

Iraklia seaside Cyclades Greece
Iraklia seaside Cyclades Greece

We have tried to give as much information about the island and we shall personally try to make your stay on Iraklia remain among the best memories in your life.

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USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS ON IRAKLIA

  • Police on Iraklia:     +30 22850 71375
  • Doctor’s office on Iraklia:            +30 22850 71388
  • Port office on Naxos:             +30 22850 22300
  • Iraklia regional council: +30 22850 71545
  • Port authorities of Piraeus: +30 210 4226000, +30 210 4147800
  • Travel agency on Iraklia: +30 22850 71561 – +30 22850 71539

If you would like to visit the beautiful island of Iraklia, you may book your accommodation through our site and get a special discount. If you have fallen in love with Iraklia and you wish to stay, then perhaps you should look at some of the real estate on Iraklia. If you need any extra information, then please contact us here information@abettergreece.com or +30 69 34 620 501 / +30 22840 24 879