Sights on Iraklia

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As often is the case with small islands, the main attraction is peace and quiet and the feeling of being in another time. Another attraction is when a ferry arrives, then the islanders and tourists gather in the port, and suddenly the island revive for a little while.

Iraklia's only real sight is the church of Agios Ioannis located in a cave just below Papas, Iraklia's highest peak. According to a legend, a shepherd was looking for protection from a rainstorm outside the cave in the late 19th century. When he came home to the village, his friends saw an image of the saint Agios Ioannis (St John the Baptist) on the back of his shirt. He showed his friends the place and they found the cave. Inside the cave an icon imagine the saint Agios Ioannis was found. The cave was then made into an church.

The entrance to the cave is not what is usually called user-friendly, you must creep inside. It's scary, you hear water dripping from the ceiling and it is pitch black, absolutely nothing for a claustrophobe. But those who dare will find a reward in form of beautiful stalactites and a small altar. On August 28, the church's saint Ioannis are celebrated, inhabitants from Iraklia and the neighbouring islands muster in force. During the ceremony, 2,000 candles are lighted and one can only imagine how atmospheric it must be. The church bell hangs in a tree outside the cave. Bring flashlight.

Read about how to get to the cave here.

The entrance to the cave of Agios Ioannis.

The entrance to the cave, and the church bell outside.


Donkeys on Iraklia.

To meet a donkey in Agios Georgios may also be an attraction.


Blue Star Naxos. Iraklia.

Iraklias biggest attraction is when a ferry arrives, and suddenly the island revive for a little while.



© 2007-2017 | Janni Eklund | Kalispera and Kalimera