Iraklia is an island for people that are looking for peace and quiet, a relaxed atmosphere and that want to avoid mass-tourism. It is authentic, picturesque and has few facilities. It is a beautiful island in the spring when it is green and there are many flowers. Especially in the summer it is dry and barren, but the island is still breathtakingly beautiful because of the wild, mountainous and rugged landscape. It is also perfect for walking, and a good place to eat, swim, snorkel, relax and experience the old Greek atmosphere. I have seen a couple of accommodations on Iraklia. Venetiko I know only from the outside and it is situated in a very beautiful location. Besides the fact that from Venetiko there is a beautiful sea view it is very central. About 5 minutes walk away you will find Livadi Beach and it is almost adjacent to Agios Georgios, where you can also walk to. I do not know if you like walking? If so, I do definitely recommend the walk to Panayia. From Livadi it takes approximately 25/30 minutes on foot and from the port about 45 minutes.
Panayia – In this village in the mountains there is a beautiful view over several islands. It consists of 1 long street. In this street live mainly older people. The last 10 years people that originate from Iraklia and have lived with their parents in Athens are coming back to Panayia and the rest of the island. After their studies they decide to live on Iraklia again. In the last 15/10 years there are also a few children that live Iraklia. In Panayia you can find a supermarket, a bakery, a restaurant, a church and from here there are several routes you can take to beautiful places.
Agios Georgios – This is the village down at the port. It is bigger than Panayia and more people live here. Here is where most accommodations and restaurants are found and it is the place where most people who come Iraklia have their holiday home. You’ll find restaurants, a snack bar, a supermarket, a supermarket / cafe, town hall, harbor, beaches and churches.
Beaches – In Iraklia there are different beaches. The 2 beaches that are easiest to reach are the beach at the port and Livadi Beach. My preference goes to Livadi as it is a sandy beach is very large, with clear pool water, plus it is very shallow (it does not get deep very fast). At the back of the beach there are trees with stone benches where you can sit sheltered and in the shade. Because Livadi is situated in a bay, the water is calmer and less cold and especially in May, you really have a private beach here. In the summer months is a little busier, but because it pretty big it does not get too crowded. At the end of the Livadi beach, you will find a section where naturism is allowed.
The beach at the port is smaller and more steep, so after 3 steps into the sea you are deep in the water. The water here is also clear, but it is my feeling a little less, because off course all boats lie here and there are daily ferry boats and the big Blue Star a few times a week coming into this small bay. The nice thing of this beach is that you have a nice view of the fishermen, you also have trees for shelter and you’re obviously close to the supermarket / restaurants, so it is easy to get something to eat or drink. Also handy is that you can leave everything (except money and important things) on the beach without something will happen to it.