The Southern Aegean island of Ios is a gem unlike any other, and, as the locals claim, is home to 365 churches – for each day of the year. One may lose count of them finding their way through some of the island’s most charming winding paths. Juxtaposed against the rugged landscape so characteristic of Cycladic environment, the island's minimalist architecture and welcoming locals make for a most pleasant and fun setting.
Historically speaking, Ios has been inhabited for thousands of years, minted its own coins in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, and is the location where Homer is said to have died.
Popular among young travelers since the 1970s, Ios has kept its reputation as a ‘party island.’ While in the morning, the island is a quiet, peaceful one, by sunset, it transforms into a large open air celebration with bustling restaurants, bars and clubs hosting many an eager guest, modern pandemic measures permitting, of course.
Aside from its vibrant nightlife and pristine waters, Ios is also a great island for engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking and watersports.
The island is host to various attractions. To name a few:
Virgin Mary Gremiotissa Church: Situated on a high rocky hill, this blue-domed church and its palm tree overlook the island’s Chora. A great location for relaxing sunset views and photos.
Ios Archaeological Museum: Housed in a wonderful neoclassical building, this small museum showcases ancient items excavated on the island, most of them belonging to the prehistoric settlement of Skarkos.
Homer’s Tomb: At the northernmost part of the island lies the ancient town of Plakotos, and, as legend has it, the tomb of the great author of the Iliad and Odyssey is located there.
Mylopotas Beach: In close proximity to the island’s Chora, this sandy, Blue Flag-awarded piece of paradise is split into two parts – an organized section with sunbeds and umbrellas, and an open section for those who prefer a more natural setting.
Chora: There is no visiting Ios without exploring the island’s capital town filled with tiny shops, restaurants, cafes, and other attractions housed in picturesque white buildings with that distinct Greek island blue detail. Take the stairs up to Chora’s hill.
Seaside: Aside from Mylopotas, Ios offers several wonderful beach options to keep visitors busy, including the idyllic hidden cove of Papa, the purple flower-sprinkled beach of Plakoto, the secluded cove of Diamoudia, and the snorkeler-friendly Tzamaria beach.