How to Get There
You can get to Iraklia by ferry boat in the following ways:
With the Blue Star Ferries that depart from the port of Piraeus. The frequency of service depends on the season, but it is not available every day (usually three times weekly). Travel time: 7 - 7 ½ hours Approximate ticket price: 36€ per passenger and 75€ per car Stops: Piraeus - Syros - Paros - Naxos - Iraklia - Schoinoussa - Koufonisi - Donoussa - Amorgos (Katapola)
With the legendary Skopelitis, which for years now has provided year-round daily connections between the islands of the Small Cyclades and Amorgos (Katapola/Aegiali) and Naxos. There is room for 11-12 cars in the small garage of the ship, but be sure to make reservations well in advance, and get to the port on time, because in the summer spaces are measured down to the centimeter! Travel times and prices: Iraklia – Schoinoussa 10 minutes, 4.80€/person; Iraklia –Koufonisi 55 minutes, 5.30€/person; Iraklia – Donoussa 2 hours and 15 minutes, 8€/person; Iraklia – Katapola 4 hours and 40 minutes, 8.50€/person; Iraklia – Aegiali 2 hours and 40 minutes, 8.50€/person; Iraklia – Naxos 1 hour and 25 minutes, 7.40€/person. Average car price 22.50€.
Stops: Naxos - Iraklia - Schoinoussa - Koufonisi - Donoussa - Amorgos (Aegiali) - Amorgos (Katapola)
More information about schedules and reservations at www.digitickets.gr.
The island has a Helicopter Landing Pad.
Iraklia has a small paved road network (about 7.5 kilometers long) that connects the harbor and the village of Agios Georgios with Panagia (4.5 kilometers) and links Panagia to the beautiful beach of Tourkopigado (3 kilometers). There are also a few passable, mostly dirt roads and small sections of roads with cement.
However, the strong point of the island and what sets it apart is the exemplary network of eight main marked footpaths, which add up to 16 kilometers of paths. It is worth walking, since this is the best way to get to know all the beauties of the island. You can explore Iraklia on foot in 4 or 5 days, so a private means of transportation is not necessary.
There are no buses, taxis, or gas stations, but you can rent a motorbike or bicycle (Information: Maria Prasinou, tel: 22850 71991 / 6972-430163).
Other Means of Transport
From the Port of Agios Georgios there are daily cruises to the most beautiful beaches of Iraklia, Alimnia and Karvounolakkos, with the tour boat Anemos. On a trip of less than an hour, we will admire the sea caves in Agriomelissa, the steep vertical cliffs of Merichas (with a height of more than 100 meters) and the Fokospilies (Seal caves). In Alimnia, if the weather permits, we will stop above the sunken German hydroplane, which is still visible from the surface of the sea. Piers have been improvised at both beaches for easier disembarking and boarding of passengers. The boat returns to the harbor in good weather after making a complete the tour around the island; otherwise it returns the way it came. The cost is 15 euros per person. Tickets are available in advance from Super Market toh Perigiali in Agios Georgios. There are also daily trips to Schoinoussa and Koufonisia. Information: Dimitris Koveos 6977310427 - 6972296405
- The island has few beaches, but very nice ones. Agios Georgios beach is the most easily accessible. You can also reach Livadi (the largest beach on the island) and Tourkopigado by road. Above Livadi, the remains of a Hellenistic castle stand guard over the area. The two most beautiful beaches on the island, Alimnia (with the sunken German hydroplane) and Karvounolakkos are accessible only by sea (see above regarding the ANEMOS tour boat).
You can also reach Alimnia, with considerable effort, via Footpath 3 and Footpath 5. Footpath 8 leads to the remote beach of Vorini Spilia and finally the beautiful and inaccessible beaches of Aspros and Kokkinos Molos. Merichas Sandy Beach is accessible only by sea, with your own boat.
There are no gas stations, taxis or buses on the island.
There are no pharmacies on the island.
There is one Piraeus Bank ATM on the island, at the port.
There is no free or organized camping on the island. There used to be free camping at Livadi Beach, but today you will find only a few tents set up on its eastern edge.
At the Super Market in Agios Georgios, ask for the very good, up to date map of the island’s footpaths from www.terrainmaps.gr (cost: 3 euros).
Iraklia is the least likely of the Small Cycladic islands to be cut off from the mainland because of the weather. This is due both to its natural harbor in Agios Georgios and to the fact that is sheltered by the mountains of Naxos and thus protected from extreme weather.
The island has just a few visitor accommodations, so especially in August, be sure to make your reservations well in advance (at least from June).
In the village of Panagia, there is a Water Reservoir with cool drinking water (a rarity for the Cyclades)!
Since June 2007, the world's first floating desalination platform has been operating at the entrance of the bay of Agios Georgios. A hybrid scheme of renewable energy sources (wind turbine and photovoltaic panels) provides its power.
The rich biodiversity of the island has led to the integration of the whole region into the Natura 2000 network as a Special Protection Area (SPA).
Useful Phone Numbers
Community of Iraklia: 22850-71545
Naxos Port Authority: 22850-22300
Community Health Clinic (Agios Georgios): 22850-71177
Community Health Clinic (Panagia): 22850-71388