It can't get much quieter than this: Iraklia is a tiny island with only
150 inhabitants, and here you will find total peace and calm. If you
have trouble sleeping in noisy places you have definitely come to the
right island: there is basically no traffic at all, no discos and
generally, not a lot of people either. The only thing that might keep
you awake at night is the occasional donkey or dog, but that applies to
every Greek island anyway.
You have to like walking if you want to explore this island, since there are almost no means of transport. There are a few things to see, and the beaches are quite lovely. It might be a little hard to communicate with the locals, since they are not very used to tourists and therefore do not speak much English or any other language. abroad.
:The island is so small
that it probably never really suffered under any kind of oppressive
power except pirates, which, of course, was bad enough.
Iraclea was probably a Cretan - Minoan settlement in the 2nd Millenium BC, since there is a city of the same name on Crete. It could also have had some sort of worship of Heracles, since that is what the name of the island means.
Taxes were collected from both the Venetian and Turkish rulers, but apart from that, the island was pretty much left to it self. The Kastro does indicate though that people lived here under Ventian rule.
The island also belonged to the monastery of the Virgin Mary (Panagia) Chozoviotissa on Amorgos during the Middle Ages.
What to see
:Iraclea has a few
caves and churches of interest, but you'll have to walk to all of them.
The best known cave is the cave of St John (Ag Ioannis). Legend has it that he stayed here for a while, and that the altar in the cave is the very same he would pray at. It takes about two hours to walk here.
Chora, is the capital, and the locals call it the Virgin Mary: Panagia. Here, time stands still, and you migt just as well have stepped into the 19th century if it weren't for the mini markets.
What to do
:Read, paint, sunbathe, walk, relax. That's about it. There are also organised excursions to Naxos which is a nice break from the quiet.
:There ara a few beaches, more or less easy to reach. Livadi is a nice sandy beach, and the harbour Ag Georgios also has a small beach.
:Apart from a few taverns, there is none!
Food:The food served here is good, traditional Greek food. There are a few taverns in Ag Georgios. Try some of the local yoghurt and cheese.
:Almost nothing, except some postcards and souvenirs in Ag Georgios.
: There are no buses, taxis or cars. If you are lucky, you might be able to rent a moped during high season.
There are daily ferryboats from Naxos, and a couple of boats a week from Piraeus, so take a direct flight from Athens Greece there and sail over. Be careful on the day of departure, though, since there is only one boat a day!
Facts about Iraklia
Size: 17 sq. km
Population: c. 150
Internet cafe: No
Highest Mountain: Ag Ioannis, 419 m
Price rate: Average
International code: 0030
Telephone company (OTE):