Iraklia is an ideal place for hiking fans –endowed with many hills and peaks featuring many of the endemic plants in the Cyclades. While walking on the old cobbled footpaths, visitors also enjoy superb views and frequently spot rare bird species.
The entire island is part of the Natura 2000 network of natural habitats.
#1 - Panagia – Agios Ioannis Cave
This is a 2.5km. trek, southwest of Panagia, to the renowned cave of Agios Ioannis which features an impressive décor of stalactites, stalagmites and pillars, as well as the so-called “cave milk” –rare stalagmitic substance in watery form.
The cave is one of the biggest in the Cyclades and one of Greece’s most interesting. It also offers a wonderful view of the sea.
#2 - Panagia –Prophitis Ilias - Papas Summit
This 2km., signposted footpath passes by the chapel of Prophitis Ilias and ends at the island’s highest peak, Pappas, at 420m.
#3 - Panagia - Merichas Cliff
This 1.5km. footpath (about 45 minutes) leads to a spot of particular natural beauty, Merichas bay, surrounded by precipitous cliffs more than 100m high. Wild pigeons and predatory birds make their nests here. The route is graded of low difficulty.
#4 - Agios Georgios - Agios Athanassios
This 3km. route (about one hour) leads to the traditional settlement of Agios Athanassios via an old dirt road which crosses the small plain with the olive groves and seasonal farming produce. The now abandoned settlement features a particular architectural style while the chapel of the same name offers exceptional views.
#5 - Agios Athanassios - Selladi
A short, 1km. ascent on the slope of Pappas hill that takes about 45 min. The footpath, which is of moderated difficulty, starts at an elevation of 165m. and ends at 275m.
#6 - Averou - Agios Ioannis Cave
A 1,460m. trail (45 minutes) of moderate difficulty that takes you to the island’s hinterland. It starts at an elevation of 150m. and ends at 100m. Spot rare flora species on the way.
#7 - Agios Athanassios - Averou
This 3,330m. trek lasts one hour and 30 minutes. Starting at an elevation of 165m and ending at 105m., it is of moderate difficulty and crosses an area of unspoiled nature and excellent views.
#8 - Agios Georgios - Vorini Spilia
This route is 1.3m. long and takes 30 minutes on a level road. Vorini Spilia is a secluded bay that was utilized as a hideout by Allied ships during
WWII, and features two small beaches.