" IRAKLIA... THE ISLAND OF A MYTH, A SEA VISION OF SPACE AND TIME, the immensity of sea and the history of humans. Iraklia Island through the haze of legend displays its physiognomy. A vision shining in the sun as it reflects on its marble stones and the frothy sea, the sapphire shells and gulls feathers, the veins of the earth and the light reflections of the crystallized calcite"
From the book of Manolis Glezos " The consciousness of the Stone Land"
Iraklia or Heraklia was known as Agios Georgios in olden times. It is the larger of a cluster of small islands amid the islands of Naxos, Ios and Amorgos. There are three settlements: Agios Athanassios, Panagia and Agios Georgios, the harbour of the island. The majority of residents live in Agios Georgios.
Excavations in the area of Livadi, on the north eastern side of the island, have revealed remains of the 3rd millenium B.C. and a ruined castle of the historical times.
The beaches vary from fine golden sand to pebbles and the coastline has low rocky outcrops which are steep in some places. One common characteristic of the coastline is the crystal clear waters.
The island is ideal for quiet relaxing holidays away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The locals call the island Araklia. We have only a few pieces of information regarding Heraklia, but in combination with the archaeological data we can get a general idea of its history. In the area of Kastro, in Livadi, there are the remnants of a fortified village of the Hellenistic period (4th - 2nd century b.C.), where there was the temple of Zeus and the sanctuary of the goddess Tyche (goddess of fortune and luck). All over the island there are several findings from different historic periods (Hellenistic, Roman).
The indicators - "compasses" of Heraklia are a mystery. These are marks found on the rocks spreading from the Aghios Giorgos area to Aghios Athanasios. According to the most popular interpretation they used to serve as orientation marks in antiquity. Systematic archeological research is bound to throw more light on their origins.
During the Turkish domination, the closed and inaccessible bays of the island used to be the ideal hiding place for the pirates infesting the Aegean Sea. Along with Schinoussa, Iraklia has been the property of the Monastery of Xozoviotissa of Amorgos.
Heraklia became an autonomous community in 1929. In 1941 it came under Italian administration and then, after the Treaty of Italy in 1943, was under German occupation until its liberation in 1944. Today it is belongs in the prefecture of Naxos.
When you are in Iraklia you can visit the cave of Agios Ioannis (St. John). It is the largest cave of the Cyclades and one of the best in Greece. It consists of a maze of incredible stalactites, stalagmites, columns and a rare kind of "cave-milk" and it takes two and a half hours to explore it.
It is situated on a panoramic site with a full view of the sea and nearby islands. It takes one hour to walk there from the village of Panagia..
In the Venetian Era, the island belonged to the administration of Naxos but it was not continually inhabited.
In fact, in the Medieval Times, Iraklia was a shelter for the pirates who activated in the Aegean Sea and this didn't allow people to live permanently on this Cycladic island.
When piracy was confronted by the Greek Navy in the 19th century, people started to inhabite Iraklia.
They built two settlements, Agios Georgios, which serves today as the port, and Panagia, a smaller village in the centre of the island.
A third century, Agios Athanasios, was gradually abandoned and today there are only a few ruined, traditional houses there.
Agnadema Hotel, Iraklia Island, Tel: 22850 71484 Mob: 6978048789 email: email@example.com
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