Our guests become our friends, our own people, not just "strangers". When they leave they feel nostalgic, they feel the need to return to the place where they have experienced that feeling that is so hard to describe. Speires is what we call home.
Light, rocks, elements that blend in so well with the environment. Architecture built on the raw Cycladic landscape, artistic interventions by the artist Giorgos Polymeros. Views of the harbor and the surrounding islands… But most importantly our warm embrace.
Because of the long history of this little island, that reflects upon today with a beauty like no other.
The title is attributed to the spiral cave paintings that still exist today on the island and date back to the Early Bronze Age (30,000 BCE). The engraved spirals of Ιraklia, as they were named due to their construction, can be found engraved on stones and rocks scattered around the northern area of Agios Athanasios, Agios Mamas, the village of Panagia and on the slope of the Northern Spilia.
From 1998 until today, 23 spiral homocentric cave-paintings have been found and recorded on the island. Many of them have been destroyed over time, as it was believed that piratic treasures were hidden underneath the spiral- engraved stones. However but they have not been associated with piratic activities are they are symbols of the Early Bronze Age.
There are plenty of theories regarding the symbolism of the spirals. Some people detect astrological references, motions of the sun and the moon, while certain researchers claim that they are road signs, marking springs or snake symbolisms for good luck. In Ιraklia, the spirals (speires) are facing the East and could possibly mark the areas of cemeteries, as in a couple of cases graves have been found nearby. The interpretations are plentiful ... As are the associations of this symbol to other cultures around the world.
Iraklia island has managed to keep its calm vibe away from mass tourism. This is a perfect destination to enjoy some private and peaceful moments.
This was our second time on the island and first time at speires. The location and the views from the hotel are fantastic! our room was large, decorated with style and thoroughly cleaned every day. the owners of the hotel were polite and helpful. we also had dinner at the hotel terrace, which was really delicious. overall, an excellent holiday experience! thank you, alexandra, we ll definitely visit again.
We enjoyed the large room and luxury (for Greece) bathroom. The hotel was stylishly presented and the room we had was at the side with a balcony facing the sea as well as a mountain view to the front. We had very friendly and helpful service and would definitely stay at this establishment if we ever visited the island again.
Superb hotel with good food and really nice, friendly staff. The location is fab, between port and a fab beach on the other side. As it's up a hill the views from the restaurant are fab. I would definitely go back to Speires again.
This hotel made us never want to leave. The breakfast was lovely - the homemade bread rolls were very good. The bed - was like no other Greek bed I've stayed in - huge and soft once you were in you didn't want to get out. The room was spotless - the cleaner does a marvellous job. The sea view was just perfect. The restaurant food was delicious - try the crab pasta in vodka and lemon, or the chicken dish. All very reasonable price. The atmosphere was relaxed, glass of wine in the bar area watching the beautiful sunset along with nibbles the hotel provided. We are already discussing our return here
Great location, very clean rooms, sweet and helpfull staff. A very nice place to stay if you visit Iraklia for a couple of days. Ps. make sure you have dinner here at least once, amazing:)) A+
At Speires you can enjoy your breakfast at the terrace of the café, overlooking the sea, or at the courtyard. Breakfast to us is a ritual and it's preparation our pleasure. Our philosophy is to emphasize the quality... So our breakfast consists of home-made flavors and selected products. Homemade jams, thyme honey, fruit preserves, cakes, cold cuts and local cheese, handmade toasties, warm bread, fresh fruit and seasonal vegetables, milk and yogurt, cereal, cold and hot drinks make up a complete and healthy breakfast. Alternatively in our menu you will find a variety of breakfast options to fit your eating habits.
Our love of wine and everything that goes with it, flavorful dishes and good friends is what drove us to create a wine bar on site, with a rich collection of high quality wines by small winemakers and varieties from all over Greece, in order to offer a unique wine-tasting experience to our guests during their holidays, overlooking the Aegean Sea. In our cellar you will also find white and red organic wine.
Bar - Restaurants
The hotel Speires is located in Agios Georgios of Iraklia, in the Small (lesser) Cyclades and is approximately 1 hour by boat from the port of Naxos (18 nautical miles). It is built amphitheatrically overlooking the Aegean Sea and is a 10-minute walk from the beaches of Livadi and Agios Georgios. The island has two settlements, Agios Georgios, where the port is located and Panagia where it is the island's city. The two settlements are connected by a 4 km long asphalt road.
There are three accessible beaches in Iraklia: Livadi, Agios Georgios and Tourkopigado. The inaccessible beaches, such as Alimia, Karvounolako and Mericha, can be visited by the speedboat "Anemos" daily.
Find out about the itineraries from and to Iraklia on the Blue Star Ferries website
Daily except Sundays there is a route to Iraklia through Naxos with the "Express Skopelitis". Departure from Naxos at 14:00 in the afternoon,which arrives at Iraklia at 15:30.
Tour agency "Melissa" - Telephone: (+30) 22850 71561.
Things you need to know before you get there
- There are no sun loungers nor umbrellas on the beaches.
- The beaches of Agios Georgios (port) and Livadi can be reached by foot.(The beaches are a 10-minute walk away from the property.)
- There are no banks, just an ATM.
- There is no gas station.
- There are motorbikes available for rent shall you need transportation.
- There are no buses or taxis.
- In July and August, there is a community coach to get you from Agios Georgios to Livadi, Panagia and Tourkopigado beach.
- There is a rural general practitioner/doctor.
Useful phone numbers
Community of Iraklia:(+30) 22850 71545
Citizen Service Center:(+30) 22850 77004
Medical office:(+30) 22850 71388(+30) 22850 71177
Travel Agency of Iraklia:(+30) 22850 71561(+30) 22850 71539
Rent a scooter:(+30) 6977 168 139(+30) 6973 637 409
Cave of Ai Giannis ...
A visit to the Cave of Agios Ioannis is a revelation. It is one of the largest caves of Cyclades, with a rich and impressive stalactite decoration, including the "cave-milk" (a rare form of stalagmites in their liquid state). Bulky stalagmites and columns in magnificent clusters of stalagmites in quirky shapes make up the decoration of the first chamber of the cave. The cave is in a prestigious position overlooking the sea, is just half an hour walk away. It is also an hour's walk away from the village of Panagia.
Rumor has it that a shepherd found shelter from a storm in the area and when he returned to the village the shape of saint Giannis ( saint John the Baptist) was imprinted on the back of his shirt. So they went back to the cave where they found a picture of St. John the Baptist and since then his memory is celebrated with evening prayers in the great hall of the cave, annually on the 28th of August, on the eve of the saint’s name day.
Iraklia, like the rest of the Small Cyclades, has been inhabited and got its name since prehistoric times. At the areas of Kambos, Agios Athanasios and Agios Mamas, they have found the remains of two settlements and a cemetery, which date back to the 3rd millennium BC, while in the area of Kastro have been found the sanctuaries of the goddess of luck,"Tyxi". Moreover,they found tools of obsidian, a volcanic rock that occures in Milos,in various parts of the island which proves that the island played a key role to the commercial activities of the region during the Early Cycladic period. The exact dating of the fortress ruins that still survives on a hill at Kastro is unclear, but within it there are traces of Hellenistic and Roman times.
During the Ottoman period the hard to reach, inaccessible coves of the island, became ideal shelters for the pirates whose activities at the time defined the everyday routine and daily habits of the locals. Since the 16th century, Iraklia belonged administratively and privately to the Monastery of Hozoviotissa of Amorgos, which in 1831 let the Amorgians enter the island, while signing a ten-year contract which allowed them to live and work on the land and to distribute the products by 50%. This status, with various administrative changes carried on, up until the expropriation of the monastic property, by the government of Nicholas Plastiras, when the arable land was finally given to the tenants, leaving to the Monastery just enough to cover the needs of the monks.
After the revolution of 1821, Iraklia joined the newly established Greek state, as did the rest of the Cycladic islands. During the occupation of the Greek territories by the Axis Powers, Iraklia was originally under the Italian administration, and after the Italian capitulation of Italy in 1943, it was passed on to the German occupation until its liberation in 1944. Herakleia's role in the resistance was an important one, thanks to a radio apparatus that was on the island that send out messages regarding the Germans' movements to the allied powers.
All the beaches of Iraklia are clean and the sea is crystal clear and blue. In the summertime, there are daily excursions with a speed boat that goes round the island with long stops at the hard to reach beaches of the island that make up the unique puzzle of the coastline of Iraklia.
That’s the easiest to reach beach, perfect for those who don’t feel like walking or moving around a lot. The sea is a beautiful turquoise green and the trees on the beach generously offer their shade.
10min by foot
A large sandy beach that stretches in both length and width. The Venetiko island, right across it, the view of the Schinoussa and the Livadi Castle, rising behind it, make up the scenery. White sand, and shallow waters, Livadi is the ideal beach for all ages. On the beach there are trees, benches made of stone and a beach-volley net.
10 min by foot
The beach of Tourkopigado is located in the homonymous picturesque bay that is only a short distance away from the island's city, Panagia. The view of the narrow bay above, as you get off the asphalt road is amazing. A couple of fishing boats and a few goats climbing up the hill leading to the sea, paint the graphic image of the beach. It has white pebbles on the coast and beautiful turquoise waters.
15 min by car – 40 min by foot
A small beach between Meriha and Alimia with thick pebbles and clear waters. What makes it so unique is the one-of-a-kind color of its waters and the rocks surrounding it that impress with their cave-like formations.
Access by boat
The bay of Alimia hosts two gorgeous, windless beaches and is located on the southwest coast of the island. They are both sandy, with splendid waters deepening at a longer distance from the coast, while one has natural shaded areas thanks to a small cave-like rock that rises behind it. Alimia is also perfect for diving, as under its turquoise waters there is a German plane crash, dated back to the Second World War.
Access by boat
It is a small yet impressive beach in the bay of Merichas. Surrounded by enormous imposing cliffs, with fine pebbles on the beach, clear waters and interesting underwater surroundings.
Access by boat
Iraklia is a destination that offers a variety of natural beauties and alternative activities for those who love nature in addition to sun, sea, beautiful beaches, steep cliffs all in an one-stop destination for your holidays. It’s an island with many mountains to be explored, while enjoying the majestic views of Iraklia and the surrounding islands, also ideal for bird watching. There are paths for hikers and nature enthusiasts. Hiking here takes on another level. The island has been included to the Natura 2000 network, and the hiker/nature lover can hike from hill to hill, observing the uniqueness of the nature and enjoy the magical views from various part of the island. There are plenty of routes to be recommended.
A 2 km route goes by the chapel of Prophet Elias and ends at the highest point of the island (at 418 m), where the view is impressive: it embraces all the surrounding islands (Ios, Paros, Antiparos, Naxos, Donousa, Ikaria , Koufonisia, Schinoussa, Amorgos, Anafi, Santorini) as well as, nearly all, the lacy beaches of Iraklia and fades in the blue of the Aegean Sea.
Medium – Hard
A 1.5 km route that leads to a place of exceptional natural beauty, the bay of Mericha, surrounded by vertical rocks, over 100 meters high, the nestling place of wild birds and birds of prey.
A 2,5 km hike to the southwest of Panagia leads to the famous cave, the largest of the Cyclades and one of the most interesting ones in Greece. On August 28th, the eve of St. John's Day, the cave room hosts a ceremony in the evening under light of hundreds of candles. The cave has a wonderful view of the sea and is half an hour's walk away.
Medium – Hard
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. Exceptional view.45 min
Medium - Hard
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. Wonderful view, unspoiled nature, rare flora.
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.
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.
The Little Cyclades: Schinousa, Dounousa, Koufonissi, Keros and Iraklia
There are actually about a dozen baby Cyclades, but only four are inhabited in our times: Donoússa, Páno Koufoníssi, Skhinoússa, and Irakliá, all strikingly different from one another, each with their particular clientele.download The Little Cyclades Map