Panagia is a traditional village situated at the foot of Papas hill, 4.5km from the port of Agios Georgios.
It is especially quiet even during the busy tourist season and therefore an ideal place for anyone seeking tranquility. It has few rooms to let, a clinic with a doctor, just one restaurant with an adjacent grocery, a traditional bakery and one shop selling souvenirs.
Panagia was long Iraklia’s largest settlement and main farming hub. Additionally, being at some distance from the sea offered relative protection from pirates.
Emigration in the 1960’s and 1970’s and the ensuing ascent of tourism caused the population to decline but the village retains its traditional color virtually intact. Most houses –like the couple of alleyways- are stone-built and still have their traditional individual baking ovens in the courtyard. One can also see the old cisterns used to water the animals in the fields, as well as several threshing floors, one of which is still used today.
The village’s landmark is the 1919, stone-built Church of Panagia (Virgin Mary). The other attraction — worth walking to — is Pigi, a natural spring about 1km away that supplies water to the village. The refreshing spot also offers visitors great views of the northern part of Iraklia and all nearby Cycladic islands.
|Directions for access||A 4.5 km-tarmac road connects Panagia with the port of Agios Georgios.|
|Parking||There is ample parking space.|
|Public transport info||Free transport is provided in the summer with a municipal minibus. Tourkopigado beach is 2km away.|