Ferry to Iraklia
Take a ferry to Iraklia and spend a few days on this island of the Cyclades, with the unspoiled charm and laid back atmosphere and explore it at your own pace!
The island of Iraklia is located between the popular islands of Naxos and Ios and it is the southernmost island of the small cyclades complex. The island measures only 17.5 km and it has only around 120 inhabitants. However, during summer, the island gets more crowded as there are many residents that have summer houses or deal with tourism businesses. Iraklia is a place unspoiled and untouched by mass tourism, ideal for visitors that prefer quiet vacations, appreciating the natural beauty of its landscapes and the genuine, incomparable atmosphere of the island.
The whole region of the island has been included in the Natura 2000 network as a Special Protection Area due to its rich biodiversity of the island. The most representative sample of the landscape of the island is the vertical cliffs of Merichas that plunge into the sea from a height of 140 meters.
As for Iraklia beaches, they are stunning, unorganized, secluded and have the characteristic crystal clear turquoise waters of the Small Cyclades that make this island one of the most calming summer destinations.
Book your ferry tickets to Iraklia in advance and enjoy at the fullest the privacy and calmness of the beautiful island of Iraklia that still preserved its traditional style.
Getting to Iraklia by Ferry
- The island of Iraklia can be easily reached from the main port of Athens, Piraeus. The port of Piraeus is located also in the southeast of Greece and is Europe’s biggest passenger port and Athens’ gateway to the islands of the Aegean (approximately 50 km away from the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos). There are more than 3 routes available per week all year round. The connection is served by a conventional/ normal ferry and the duration of the sailing is approximately 7 hours
- Ferry from Naxos to Iraklia: There is also a daily connection to Iraklia from the popular island of Naxos, also located in the Cyclades. The duration of the sailing varies depending on the type of ferry. The duration of the trip is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes with a conventional ferry and approximately 40 minutes with a high speed ferry
Iraklia Ferry Port
The port of Iraklia is located in the village of Agios Georgios on the north coast of the island. Agios Georgios is a small picturesque harbor and its name derives from the small chapel that is found close by. Due to it’s small size and the small number of residents the island hasn’t developed much tourism facilities. However the most hotels, studios and apartments are located around the port as well as a few taverns, a mini market and the beautiful beach of Agios Georgios.
As distances are quite short there is no need for public transport. There is only one local minibus, operating only during the summer season, that transfers the visitors from the village of Agios Georgios to the village of Panagia and the beach Tourkopigado. For more information, please visit Iraklia Bus.
Holidays in Iraklia
Iraklia is an ideal destination for those who seek total privacy, tranquility, simplicity, alternative tourism and for nature lovers. Activities are very limited and the two main things to do while on the island are swimming and hiking leading to amazing views of the island. When the weather is not very hot, walking from one settlement to another and from one beach to the other is really enjoyable.
A walk through the island will allow you to see and visit:
- The church of Panagia dedicated to the Entry of Virgin Mary
- The cave of Saint John through the hiking trail from Panagia Village that features stalactites and stalagmite formations
- The chapel of Prophet Elias on the highest peak of Iraklia
- The German hydroplane that was sunk at Almia bay
- Kastro at Livadi, a fortified defensive tower dating from the Hellenistic period
- The village of Panagia in the mountains offers a beautiful view over several islands
Tip: Follow the trail that leads to Pappas Summit, the highest peak of the island, a perfect location for surveying the sea area around Iraklia and enjoy the views to Ios, Paros, Antiparos, Naxos, Donoussa, Schinoussa and Ikaria.
Hotels & Accommodations
The island has only 2 settlements, the village of Agios Georgios and the mountain village of Panagia. There are no places to stay in Panagia as most of the hotels and accommodation options of the island such as hotels, rooms to let, studios, villas, apartments are located in the port town of Agios Georgios. However as the island and distances are small it doesn’t really matter where visitors will stay.
- Sunset Rooms
- Villa Meltemi
- Villa Panorama
- Kritamos Suites
- Villa Zografos
- Anna’s Place
- Aiolos Hotel
- Taxiarchis Studios
- Martin Rooms
- Venetiko Studios
Beaches in Iraklia
Iraklia beaches are ideal for privacy and relaxation. As the island remains untouched by mass tourism most of the beaches of Iraklia are secluded and unorganized, with crystal clear green waters and surrounded by a magnificent rocky Cycladic terrain. All of them can be easily reached by a sea taxi and many of them can be reached by car, on foot or through trekking trails.
Please find below a list of the best beaches:
- Agios Georgios Beach: Located next to the port of Iraklia. A small sandy beach with crystalline waters and some trees offering natural shadow, the best and easiest option if you are staying in Agios Georgios
- Livadi Beach: Located on the northeastern side of Iraklia. Livadi is the largest and most popular beach of the island just 1.5 km from the port of Iraklia, easily accessible on foot. It has a sandy coastline and sparkling blue waters
- Tourkopigado Beach: Located two kilometers southeast of the town of Panagia. A small pebbled beach at the end of the narrow Tourkopigado cove, accessible on foot or by car
- Karvounolakos Beach: Located south of the island. Karvounolakos is the most beautiful beach of the island. A small, isolated beach located in a cove with verdant green, deep water and surrounded by an impressive natural landscape
- Alimia Beach: Located south of the island. A sandy beach with light blue, crystal clear and shallow waters. Ideal for divers, as at a depth of 9 metres it is located a sunken German hydroplane from the second world war. The wreck is visible from the surface of the sea when the weather is nice
Day Trips from Iraklia
The Greek island of Iraklia is just a couple of hours away from Athens by ferry. Whether you want to visit Iraklia for a short break or use the island as a starting point for day trips, note that Iraklia has frequent routes to nearby islands of the cycladic complex. The prices are affordable so enjoy the greek island hopping experience and don’t miss the chance to visit one of the following islands: