Hiking on Iraklia

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Iraklia is an excellent hiking island, definitely nicer than the other islands of the Small Cyclades. To randomly discover the beautiful scenery is pleasant, the island is small and distances are short. The hike to Agios Ioannis is one of my absolute favourites in the Cyclades.

Here are short directions for the hike. Start out from the travel agency/cafe on the main street in Agios Georgios and follow the path past the church. Continue forward until you come to an intersection with a small "stable" on your right, turn right and turn left shortly afterwards. Continue until you come to the tiny settlement of Agios Athanassios, walk through the village and then through a gate at the last house. From here it's off upwards and now the tricky part begins.

Look for painted arrows on the ground (they can be difficult to see) and follow them until you come to a ridge. (It might also be small stone cairns that you can follow.) Pass the ridge and you have the sea in front of you. Keep left and follow the painted arrows along the mountain. It takes a while to get to the cave from here. It is easy to give up and, instead start to think about tavernas, salads and cold beers. After a lot of struggling and searching, you will arrive at the cave. You know you have come to the right place when you see a bell hanging in a tree, below is the cave. Complete your visit with a hike down to the sea for a refreshing swim. On the way back home, you can hike via Panagia.

The path from Agios Georgios to Panagia and Agios Ioannis.

The path from Agios Georgios to Panagia and Agios Ioannis.


Hiking on Iraklia.

Iraklia offers a very beautiful landscape for walking.




The best hiking map of Iraklia is published by the Greek cartographic company Terrain maps, also called Skai Maps. The scale is 1:25,000 and can be purchased on Iraklia. The map describes the best hiking routes on the islands of the Small Cyclades: Donoussa, Iraklia, Koufonissi and Schinoussa.

I can also recommend the hiking book Amorgos, Naxos, Paros, Eastern and Northern Cyclades by Dieter Graf. The book describes many hikes in the area, including two hikes on Iraklia. One describes the hike to the cave.

The book could possibly be available for purchase on Iraklia, otherwise you will find it on larger islands, or buy it on internet.

Panagia and Agios Ioannis.. Iraklia.

Signs pointing toward Panagia and Agios Ioannis.



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