Mythical Iraklia

According to the Homeric legend, on their way back to Ithaca after the end of the Trojan War, Ulysses and his ship crew were taken hostage by the Cyclop Polyphemus (son of Poseidon) who lived in the large cave opposite that of Ai Giannis, on Iraklia.

He imprisoned them in his cave, where he also kept his sheep.

Resourceful as he was, Ulysses quickly devised an escape plan. He and his mates blinded Polyphemus’ single eye and made a getaway out of the cave by hanging from the underbelly of the sheep. They ran to their ship, which was anchored at Iraklia’s southwestern bay, Alimia, and raised the sails.

When Polyphemus got wind of all this, he started throwing huge rocks, hoping to sink the ship. He missed the target and the rocks are known today as the The Big Avelas and The Small Avelas islets, or Avelonissia. 

The ruins of a Hellenistic-era fort (Kastro) lie near Livadi beach, on the eastern side of the island.

The Myth of “The Fried Man”

The ruins of a Hellenistic-era fort (Kastro) lie near Livadi beach, on the eastern side of the island.

Big Avelas and Small Avelas islets.

The Myth of Odysseas, Polyphemus and the Islets of Avela

According to old tales, based on Homer’s Odyssey and told by the elderly on Iraklia, on their way back to Ithaca after the Trojan War Ulysses and his companions made a stopover on the island to pay homage to Zeus, the king of the gods  whose shrine was located at Livadi.