Ios is another beautiful island of the Cyclades, baring the same colours, character and history.
It is believed that it is the place where Homer (the writer of Odyssey & Iliad) was buried and you will find signs pointing towards his burial ground.
Ios has followed the general fate of the Cyclades during the ancient, roman and later medieval times, when it was under Venetian rule. Typical of that era where the pirate attacks and the withdrawal of villagers to higher grounds where they could be safer.
Remains of forts and the medieval castle still remain in Hora. Ios has very few villages/settlements and is one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades. Rough terrain, beautiful landscape, nice beaches, fun and well-prepared food. It is compared to Mykonos, Paros, Santorini and Naxos in terms of tourist action every summer.
Currently, Ios has many hotels, apartments, rooms, studios, campings, etc. to choose from.
what do I need to see in Ios
Hora, the capital of the island, built on top of the cliff to be protected from pirate attacks. It is the main village of the island, where everything happens.
It is a typical Cycladic Hora, with small paved alleys, lots of white churches, windmills and bright colours. Due to the explosion of tourist action in the island you will find a large number of bars in the main alley where most of the action happens during the night.
A nice part of Hora is the church of Panagia Gremiotissa, where you can get some excellent views of the Hora and the Port. If you go to the highest spot on the opposite side of the city you will have a chance to view the other side of the island.
Another important part of Hora is the area of the windmills although you do not get a really good view from up there due to the houses below. One last place to visit, when in Hora, is the Archaeological Museum in order to get a grasp of the history of Ios.
Hora has many hotels, apartments, rooms, studios, etc. to choose from.
Mylopotas is the main beach of the island where most of the beach bar action happens. A wide sandy beach in a large bay. Most things happen due to the campings, the hotels and the apartments/rooms that have gathered there and the activities offered by others on the beach.
It is also a pretty good beach for windsurfing and a starting point for snorkeling and scuba diving. It tends to get crowded only in certain parts but do not worry since it is a very wide and large sandy beach which can cater for everybody. Most people tend to prefer the beach bar instead of the beach itself and the fairly cold waters.
This area has many hotels, apartments, rooms, studios, campings, etc. to choose from.
Magganari is the most beautiful beach of the Ios. It used to be a difficult to reach beach on the far side of the island but now it will be more populated since the road has been paved.
Magganari is a very nice beach, or I should say, series of sandy beaches with crystal clear waters and yet un-ruined beauty. It is less crowded and you can enjoy some time of relaxation, away from the loud beach-bar frenzy of Mylopotas beach.
Agia Theodoti is a long beach with beautiful waters and all the amenities (rooms, taverns, etc.).
More information on Ios, from wikipedia here.
hints & tips about Ios
- Ios is considered a more rock and indie island compared to the rest of the Cyclades.
- In the last few years Ios became a hot destination for the new bohemian chic crowd and less for the rock/indie crowd. It still keeps its rock character, though.
- The hottest beach of the island is Mylopotas, where a lot of the beach-bar action take place.
- The nicest beach of the island is Maganari.
- Some parts of the film Le Grand Bleu (by Luc Besson) were filmed at Maganari beach.
- If you are into nudism, Kolitsani beach is recommended for more private and quiet sunbathing.
- Psathi beach is recommended for wind-surfing and cool sunbathing, offering a nice view of Koufonissia islands.
- Visit the top of the cliffs in Hora in order to have nice sunset views. They will not be crowded since most of the crowds in Ios care most about the drink and less about the (romantic) sunsets, in comparison to Santorini.
- Agia Theodoti church at Agia Theodoti beach dates back in the 16th century AD and it is the oldest church of the island. The local festival is being held on the 8th September every year.
- It is suggested to go to Ios and relax during the day since there are not too many places to go. Probable the best way to live Ios is to relax on a chaise-longue in Mylopotas and worry-not about the other beaches. Chill-out.
- If you are into bar-hopping, pub-crawling, etc. you will also find yourself in Ios.
- Ios tends to get crowded especially during July and August.
- Ios has many hotels, apartments, rooms, studios, campings, etc. to choose from.