Iraklia is one of the Small (Lesser) Cyclades islands, along with Koufonisia, Donoussa and Schinoussa. Although Iraklia is the largest in size, it is the least populated, with two quiet settlements and predominantly mountainous landscape. It is connected via ferry to Piraues (3 times per week) and to Naxos and the rest Small Cyclades (daily). In the summer there is a speed boat from Rafina as well. Iraklia is the least touristy island of the Small Cyclades group, not only because of the low number of citizens but because there are no roads to most of the beaches.
The port of Iraklia is Agios Georgios and all tourist facilities likes rooms to rent, restaurants, ATM and doctor`s office are to be found there. The other settlement, Panagia, is in the middle of the island, with only a few houses and a church. The only road of the island starts from Agios Georgios, passes through Livadi beach (the loveliest beach on Iraklia), goes up to Panagia and then drops down and ends at the bay of Tourkopigado, with pebbly beach. There is a small beach just next to the port of Agios Georgios. Livadi is the largest beach on the island, with sand and shallow water. It has two beach restaurants operating there and it is about 1 km away from the port so it can be reached on foot as well. On Papas Hill above Livadi rise up the ruins of an ancient castle. The other beaches of the island can be reached by boat or by long and not that easy walk on foot. Boat trips are organized from the port daily in the summer and they are the best way to visit the best spots of Iraklia, like Merihas Bay with its high vertical cliffs and transparent water.
The largest cave in the whole Cyclades group is located on Iraklia. This is the cave of Agios Ioannis (or Saint John) and it takes more than 2 hours to explore it but there are no organized tours or guides, so tourists visit it on their own risk and they are advised to bring torches. The cave is accessible via narrow path starting from the village of Panagia and the walk takes about an hour or more following the signs. The place where the cave is located has panoramic view of the sea and the neighbor islands and islets.
highlights: the least touristy island of all Small Cyclades, island in Cyclades Islands, Greece