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CAVE TOURISM

Agios Ioannis Spileo (Cave): It is the largest cave in Cyclades with an area of 2000 sq.m. The cave includes a composition of stalactites, stalagmites and the rare stalagmite material, cave milk. Tradition has it that the cave got its name when a shepherd found the icon of Agios Ioannis inside, as a result of which it took this name. To reach the cave, follow the path from Panagia (Chora) that will lead you to the cave.

According to mythology, the cave is still associated with Cyclops Polyphemus, who lived in it and was blinded by Odysseus. When Odysseus escaped from the Cyclops, the second one threw rocks at him and thus, according to the legend, the Avelonissia were created.

DIVING TOURISM

For diving lovers the bay of Alimias hides a treasure. The sunken German seaplane of World War II is located at a depth of about 9 meters. When the weather is good the seaplane can be seen from the sea surface.

ECOTOURISM

For bird watching lovers the island is the ideal choice. Specifically, 175 species of birds have been recorded on the island, with a large number of them being endangered and under protection worldwide. 26 of the bird species that exist on the island are predators. The steep, vertical cliffs due to the erosion they have suffered, create ideal places for the nest of predators. The most important birds of prey found on the island are the Vulture (Gyps fulvus), the Black-tailed Deer (Falco eleonorae) and the Spider Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus). The coves of the island are ideal places for observation of these rare species.

GASTRONOMY TOURISM

Iraklia is famous for its good cheeses and above all for its mizithra. The island is also known for its fava beans and thyme honey. The visitor should not forget to try fresh fish, local meat (lamb, goat, pork). Typical taste of the island is the stuffed lamb in the oven that is prepared at Easter and the honeysuckle, delicious pastries.

HIKING TOURISM

The island includes 8 hiking routes.

  • Route settlement Panagia – Papas peak, distance 2 km, time 1 hour.
  • Route settlement Panagia – Ftero Mericha, distance 1.5 km time 45 minutes.
  • Route settlement Panagia – Spileo, distance 2.6 km, time 1.5 hours.
  • Route settlement Ag. Athanasios – Selladi, distance 1 km, time 30 minutes.
  • Route settlement Ag. Athanasios – Averos, distance 3.4 km, time 1.5 hours.
  • Route Averos – Spileo, distance 1.5 km, time 45 minutes.
  • Route settlement Ag. Georgios – Agios Athanasios, distance 2.9 km, time 1 hour.
  • Route settlement Ag. Georgios – North Spilia, distance 1.3 km, time half an hour.

There are also two hiking trails on the paved road:

  • Settlement of Panagia – Tourkopigado distance 2.3 km.
  • Port of Ag. Georgios – Livadi – Panagia Settlement, distance 4.5 km.

HISTORICAL TOURISM

The Castle of Livadi: defensive fortress of the Hellenistic Period. Finds from the Early Cycladic period and ruins of temples of Zeus and the goddess Tychi were found in the area.

Abandoned settlement of Agios Athanasios: The settlement has been abandoned but it is worth visiting to observe the interesting road plan with Cycladic architecture that you had.

MARINE TOURISM

Take a boat tour of the island from the port of Agios Georgios. Through the boat you will have the opportunity to make your dives on the inaccessible beaches to reach by car, but also on the small uninhabited islands Venetiko (northeast of Iraklia), Mikros and Megalos Avelas (Avelonisia – southwest of the island).

SPORT TOURISM

In recent years, in the summer on the island, the Association of people from Iraklia organizes a road race also known as “Run / Discover Iraklia”.

The event includes the 6km mixed terrain races, 10km asphalt route and 10km trail run (mixed asphalt and mountain route) and 1000m for children.

FESTIVALS & EVENTS

  • On the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on August 15, a festival is held in the courtyard of the church of Panagia, in Chora with plenty of food and wine.
  • On the day of the feast of St. George there is a festival in the courtyard of the holy temple in the port and food and drink are offered to visitors.
  • On November 8, the day of the feast of the Greatest Brigadiers Michael and Gabriel.
  • On November 9, the day of the feast of Agios Nektarios, there is a festival in the courtyard of the homonymous Holy Temple.
  • On the 28th of August, on the eve of the feast of the Ascension of the head of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, it becomes evening in the first large hall of the cave of the same name. Crowds flock from the surrounding islands and the spectacle is spectacular.
  • During the summer months, cultural events are organized by the Community and the Association of people from Iraklia in Athens with theatrical performances and musical evenings.
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