To begin with, Iraklia belongs to the island complex of the Cyclades and is the westernmost island of the Small Cyclades with a total area of 18 sq.km. Moreover, it is located south of Naxos at a distance of just 18 nautical miles from Naxos Chora. The island has a population of only 151 inhabitants and consists of two settlements, Chora (Panagia or Pano Meria) and Agios Georgios which is the port of the island. Another settlement that has now been abandoned is Agios Athanasios. Worth mentioning is the rhomboid shape of the island with a northern end that ends at Cape Megali Pounta. Another bay is that of Merichas in the southeast with the steep and rocky shores of 100 meters. Other bays are Livadi, opposite which is the islet of Venetico and to the south is the bay of Turkopigado. Ηighest point of the island is the peak of Papas at 419 meters where the view is wonderful to the surrounding sea area (Ios, Paros, Antiparos, Naxos, Donoussa, Ikaria, Koufonisia, Schinoussa, Keros, Amorgos, Anafi, Santorini). In addition, its unspoiled beauty is classified in the Natura 2000 Network, too. What’s more, the port has drinking water to serve the passengers of the boats that approach it. At the same time the island has a helipad. Finally, most of the inhabitants of the island are engaged in animal husbandry and agriculture while in the summer months a large part of the population is also engaged in tourism.
Remarkably, the findings that came to light testify that Iraklia had a significant development from 3200 BC until 1000 BC. Moreover, during the Middle Ages the island was known as Iraklitsa. Nevertheless, for several times the island was deserted due to pirate raids. In addition, at the end of the 18th century until 1826, much of Iraklia was barren with only a few arable fields (metochia) that served the needs of the monks of the monastery of Hozoviotissa of Amorgos and a few areas for grazing their flocks. It’s important to realize that Iraklia belonged to the property of the monastery of Hozoviotissa. In the year 1826, the illegal settlement of some inhabitants of Aegiali of Amorgos began, who began to reclaim the island. However, in 1831 the Monastery allows other Aegialites to come to Iraklia and signs with them a ten-year contract with the right of possession and exploitation of the land and distribution of products by 50%.
HOW TO GET THERE
Iraklia is connected by ferry to Piraeus 3 times a week and the duration of the trip is about 6.5 to 7.5 hours. Also the island has direct ferry connections with Amorgos, Donoussa, Koufonisi, Schinoussa, Naxos, Paros and Syros.
HOW TO GET AROUND
On the island one can move with his private vehicle as well as with the Bus of Iraklia that serves locals and visitors.
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