Iraklia Agios Ioannis Cave

It is the largest cave of the Cyclades and one of the most beautiful ones in Greece. You can access the cave that overlooks the sea at the southwestern part of the island on foot from Panagia. Large stalagmites, natural columns and impressive stalactites decorate the first chamber of the cave. Walking further in, you will come across successive, spacious halls and a small lake. The so-called “Spilaiogala” (milk of the cave – a rare watery stalagmitic material) drips from the walls of the cave. According to a legend, the cave was discovered accidentally in the 19th century by a shepherd, who found an icon of St John the Baptist inside the cave. However, evidence found in the cave indicates that it was a place of worship from the ancient times already.

* References: Atlas of Geological monuments of the Aegean, Publication of the Ministry of the Aegean (82.1) and


– A vesper takes place in the first hall of the cave of Agios Ioannis on August 27 (a day before the Beheading of St John the Baptist) attesting to the existence of a centuries-old worshiping tradition.

– You will need to have a strong flashlight in order to explore the cave and you should also take someone else with you – a local, if possible. Do not try to explore the cave on your own.

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