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The Greek island of Naxos is part of the Cyclades group of islands that lie in the Aegean Sea. Naxos City, or Chora, is the island's largest town and capital and is built amphitheatrically on the island's west coast. It is also home to one of the biggest ports in the Aegean Sea. The town is popular with tourists and as a result there are many bars, restaurants and cafes to cater for them. The small island of Palatia, which extends from the mainland of Naxos, is the town's emblem. Located on the small island is Portara, which is a monument resembling a door standing alone, without any walls attached to either side. A visit to Portara is advisable, especially after your swim, whilst the sun is setting.
The island is also well known for its food and for producing the famous Naxian potatoes, wine, Kitron liquor productions and the popular cheese called Graviera. There are many restaurants located throughout the island serving local produce to the many tourists who visit.
From the island's port ferries depart to Piraeus (Athens) and to the other islands in the Cyclades.
The small Greek island of Iraklia is located at the western edge of the Small Eastern Cyclades group of islands and only has around 100 inhabitants. The island is characterised by hills, thick vegetation, clear waters with the od shipwreck on the sea floor, and scenic bays which all combine to make it one of the most unspoilt islands of the Cyclades. For nature lovers the island is home to the Mediterranean seal and the marine turtle, Caretta Caretta. The island only has two villages. Ayios Georgios, which is home to the island's harbour, and Panayia.
Perhaps because the island is so small its history remains largely unknown with speculation that is may have been a Minoan settlement in the 2nd century BC, as there is an similar city in Crete. Under Venetian and Ottoman rule, the island paid taxes but it seems that it was the only obligation the Iraklians had.
From the island's port there are ferries available that depart to the Port of Piraeus with a crossing time of between 8 and 10 hours, depending on itinerary. There are also ferry services to the other islands of the Small Cyclades and to Naxos and Amorgos.