the least touristy island of all Small Cyclades

The small port


The island of Iraklia is one of the Small Cyclades group. This group is part of the Cyclades, formed by four small inhabited islands - Iraklia, Koufonisia, Donoussa and Schinoussa.

Although Iraklia is the largest in size out of the four, it is the least populated and most visitors come just for a day from Naxos.

Hotels in Iraklia

Where to stay in Iraklia?

The village

Iraklia has just two small villages and unlike the rest Cyclades, none of them is called Chora. The port of the island 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 a handful of houses and a church.

Iraklia is mountainous and there are no buildings out of the villages, except for a few small hotels. The road for cars connects Agios Georgios with Panagia and leads to two beaches as well, the rest of the island can be explored only on foot via hiking trails.

Which are the best beaches of Iraklia?

Iraklia has just a few beaches but Livadi definitely stands out with its fine sand and shallow blue water. It is the largest beach of the island, located 1.5 km from Agios Nikolaos so you can reach it on foot as well. There is also a small sandy beach right next to the port. Parasols and sunbeds to rent are not available at any beach of Iraklia, though two seasonal tavernas operate above Livadi.

Except for Livadi, there is one more beach which can be reached by car - the small and pebbled Tourkopigado. Boat trips around Iraklia are organized daily in the summer and they are the best way to visit some beaches and beautiful coves which can be accessed only by long hikes.

What to do in Iraklia?

Island landscape

There are two sights in Iraklia you can visit:

- The Cave of Agios Ioannis
- The ruins of large old castle on Papas Hill (above Livadi)

Agios Ioannis is largest cave in the whole Cyclades group but there are no organized tours or guides, so tourists visit it on their own risk. People who go there 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.

How to get to Iraklia?

Iraklia has no airport and can be reached only by sea. It is connected via ferry with the port of Piraues (3 times per week). There is also a local ferry line which connects Iraklia with Naxos, Amorgos and the rest Small Cyclades.

In the summer one-day boat trips to Iraklia are organized from Naxos and Amorgos.

More about Iraklia

Iraklia photo galleryx