Guide of IRAKLIA
The island of Iraklia is the largest but the most peaceful of the Lesser Cyclades and the local population is just over one hundred people. Sea, sky and nature are obviously its strong points and the island comes alive when the ferries arrive bringing the tourists. Time sees to stop on this land of rugged and barren mountains that is swept by the wind and kissed by the sun. There are wild coasts, olive trees, prickly pears and animals that graze freely on the island and whose products, along with tourism, are the only livelihood for the local population.
According to Greek mythology, the name Iraklia derives from the god Heracles as this was the seat of his cult. The island has always been the subject of both Venetian and Turkish invasions but suffered most at the hands of pirates who ravaged the islands in the Middle Ages, so much so that the Venetians helped to defend the populations of the island within the city walls.
Places to visit
The main places of interest are the caves, of which Agia Ioannis is the most famous and is dedicated to the sacred icon of St. John. On the 28th of August each year, there is a religious ceremony to commemorate him, lit only by the light of candles. The island is perfect for those seeking peace, tranquillity and crystal clear waters without mass tourism. You can relax at the taverns with the Islanders and enjoy the excellent fish and the famous Timo honey that is produced on the island.
The two main towns on the island are Panagia and San Giorgio, but in there are also areas for diving, walking. Some beaches have fine white sand and others are both sandy and stony, for examples Agios Georgios, Livadi, Tourkopigado, Karvounolakos. Alimia beach even has an intact WWII German aeroplane to admire!