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Ios: the ultimate guide for your Greek Island Hopping

Cyclades ● Ios ● 10 July 2018
 
Ios is an island that has everything. And this is not exaggeration! Exotic beaches with emerald waters, one of the most beautiful Choras in the Aegean Sea, delicious cuisine, elegant shops and of course nightlife that gathers numerous youngsters on the island. Ios can offer you truly memorable vacation. Whether you choose it for your entire summer holidays or as a stop during your Greek Island Hopping, you will have great time there, in this culinary paradise and on its majestic beaches. Read here everything you need to know and plan now your vacation for summer 2018. It is never too late!

Ios Chora and nightlife

Ios Chora is the main village of the island, and it is located on the western side, 20 minutes on foot from the port. It is built amphitheatrically, and due to its traditional Cycladic architecture, it looks like a white jewel on the steep cliff. In spite of the great amount of travelers, this Chora has managed to keep its character, and it has been proclaimed a preserved settlement by the Greek State. The paved labyrinth-like paths impress the tourists, and the walk around them and the cute shops, cafes and restaurants is one of the best things to do.

For romantic moments, don't miss going on the top of the hill, in the church of Panagia Gremiotissa. From there, at the highest point of the island, you can enjoy the magnificent view of the Aegean Sea and the other neighboring islands. Especially during the sunset, the scenery is wonderful, and its pictures are just unforgettable.

The ruins of the Venetian Castle, which lie above Chora, are also an interesting place to visit. There, you will be informed about the history of the island and enjoy a cultural walk that is one of a kind. The Medieval and modern aspects of this small town show the multiculturalism of the islands in the Aegean Sea.

One of the finest samples of the Cycladic architecture are the windmills at the entrance of the Chora. The windmills were used to produce energy and helped enormously the agricultural economy of the island. Today, they are used as houses surrounded by charming gardens, and they stand as colorful structures that offer the landscape beauty and harmony.

Ios Chora

The Chora of Ios is also the meeting point of all people that want to have fun and enjoy the crazy nightlife of this alternative island. Ios became the island of entertainment when hippies coming from Crete visited this untouched island n the 1980's. Since then, the Chora of Ios is the best spot for night-out. Bars and clubs with all kinds of music, from jazz and rock to pop and folk Greek music, transform the capital into a huge party scene, where people drink, dance, flirt and have fun until the next morning. The narrow, cobblestone streets of this picturesque settlement get crowded mostly with young people and teenagers, but the good news is that this destination is a top place for all ages. The clubs have an exquisite atmosphere that makes the island the next best thing in wild summer nightlife. Most of them open after midnight and keep the fun until the dawn. The busiest spots are located in the main square and the beautiful alleys of the Chora. Disco 69 with its dance music and exotic cocktails, the large Fusion with techno music, Lemon with its dance floor, Pegasus the rock club of Ios, Rehab with its dedication to Latin music and the after Scorpion are only some of your innumerable choices in Ios Chora.

Beaches

Ios is not only its majestic Chora. It is also a typical Cycladic island with stunning beaches. Most of them are organised with many touristic facilities, but you can also find secluded beaches away from mass tourism. This is Ios. The island, where you can literally find everything you are searching for.

Mylopotas Beach (Ios) is the most famous beach. It is a long and sandy bay that has many beach bars along the coastline and offers waters sports and windsurfing facilities, schools and centers. It has been awarded many times with Blue Flag, and the party of the island during the day takes place here. After Mylopotas, you are ready to continue partying in Ios Chora.
Mylopotas

Gialos is the second most popular beach on the island. It is family-friendly, with golden soft sand, and in addition to waters sports and windsurfing, Gialos has also a diving club. This is the ideal beach to spend your day with your children.

Manganari is located 19 km from the capital of Ios, and thus, it is far quieter than the beaches located in a closer distance. But don't be discouraged by this fact. It is by far the most beautiful beach in Ios, a charming bay with crystal waters, which offers you peace and relaxing aura. Because it is secluded, it is nudism-friendly and partly organised.

Manganari

Agia Theodoti Beach took its name from the wonderful little chapel that stands on the top of the hill above the coastline, where many couples in love get married. It is long and sandy, organised but quieter than Mylopotas and Gialos. It is ideal for relaxing moments, water sports and a unforgettable day with your family or your other half.

Koumbara is a sandy beach that owes its popularity to its closeness to the Chora as well as its wonderful natural landscape. It is a developed tourist resort with taverns, sunbeds and many hotels across the coastline.


Psathi is a calm resort on the eastern side of Ios. It is secluded, but is has some tourism development, and thus, it is ideal for family moments. Swimming, sunbathing and forget everything that worries you are the best things to do there.

Kalamos is a wonderful beach on the southern side of the island. It is undiscovered, and thus it has no tourism facilities, so it is important to take water with you. Its relaxing atmosphere is a perfect alternative to the busy resorts, especially if you like to spend some time away from the crowds.

Kolitsani is a small beach south of the port, which is a popular anchorage for sailing yachts. Its landscape has rocky hills and trees, and it is nudism-friendly and not organised.



Sites

Do you want to turn your Greek Island Hopping in the Cyclades into cultural vacation? Then, Ios is the place to be! In addition to its amazing beaches and nightlife, Ios has some definitely worthwhile sites that will impress you!

The site of Skarkos is an ancient settlement, which was built in the early Bronze Age (3,000 B.C.), and it is considered as one of the most significant prehistoric settlements in the Cyclades. This city was built on terraces, and you can admire there the streets between the houses as well as the stone walls and the public areas. Excavations have unearthed small artefacts, such as marble figurines, obsidian ware, amphorae, seals, ceramics, stone vessels and tools, which you can see in the museum.

Another hidden gem in Ios is the tomb of the famous epic poet Homer! There is controversy over the birthplace of Homer, but historians are certain that Ios was the last resting place of the great poet. If you visit the ancient burial site, be prepared that there, it hasn't been found something more than a pile of rocks. However, if you think about the history of this place, you will definitely appreciate it.

In Ios, you can also watch a theater performance in a beautiful modern theater near Mylopotas beach. Odysseas Elytis theatre is one of the most beautiful modern theaters in Greece, built by a German architect, who was in love with the island. It looks like a Roman- Greek theater and has breathtaking view of Mylopotas beach and the Aegean sea. During the summer months, you may be lucky enough to watch a performance or a concert there. In any case, this theater, which is dedicated to the famous Greek poet Odysseas Elytis, who won the Nobel Prize, is ideal during sunset.

Food

As above mentioned, Ios is also a culinary destination, a place where you can taste delicious traditional dishes and enjoy what the typical Greek cuisine has to offer. Greek small and simple taverns by the sea or luxury restaurants with alternative Greek cuisine are your ideal choices to get familiar with the food in Ios that is one of a kind.

Ios offers the typical Mediterranean cuisine with fresh fish, vegetables and fruits thanks to the rich vegetation and the important agricultural production. Seafood, like stuffed artichokes, stuffed squids, octopus and every kind of fish are cooked in a unique way in all taverns of the island. Widely known are also the different kinds of cheese, which can be bought in many local shops to take back home. Xinotyri is a spicy cheese, white kefalotyri is salty and sharp, skotiri is a blend of cheeses and mizithra is a mild cheese, which can be cooked with aromatic herbs or as ingredient of many delicacies and pies.

Due to the significant production of vegetables, the cuisine of Ios has also many veggie dishes, like revithokeftedes (chickpea balls), tomatokeftedes (tomato patties), tsimetia (stuffed courgette blossoms) and sun-dried white-bait. 

Tomatokeftedes

In addition to the fishing and the agriculture, stock-raising is also developed on the island, and thus, the quality of the meat is excellent. Dishes with locally raised goat, lamb and beef are popular for their taste and flavor.

The delicacies offer you a great variety, such as almond and marzipan cookies (amygdalota), which are being prepared in all Cycladic islands, as well as kaltsounia, which are sweet pies with cinnamon, honey and mizithra cheese and are also called melitinia. Pastelli is crunchy and made from local thyme honey and sesame seeds, while avgokalamara (also called kserotigana) are strips of fried dough drizzled with honey. Another local and healthy dessert is the dried fig rolls bound with sesame seeds. In general, Ios is known for its honey, and on the island, there is a fine variety of honey, which is called Mayotiko because it is the honey from May flowers and is noted for its aroma and amber colour.

How to get there and Greek Island Hopping

To Ios, you can take the ferry or the boat from Piraeus Port in Athens. By ferry, you need about 4 hours, and by boat 7 hours. Boats and ferries depart usually early in the morning, so be sure to be on time on the port in order not to miss your boat. There are many hotels and hostels in Piraeus to spend the night and get ready for your departure.

Ios is located in the middle of the Aegean Sea, and thus you can easily, conveniently and on a budget do Greek Island Hopping on the neighboring islands. The island hopping in the Cyclades is a once in a lifetime experience. You can visit all the famous Greek islands, going from one island to another in one hour! In only one week or 10 days, the Cycladic island complex will be discovered by you! Mykonos, Santorini, Amorgos, Naxos, Paros, Koufonisia and of course Ios are ideal islands to be combined during your journey. You can eat breakfast in Santorini, swim in Ios and have fun in Mykonos if you want during the same day!

Cool? Yes, it is super cool! But one thing is even cooler than Greek Island Hopping: Greek Island Hopping on a budget with Greek Island Pass of Hostelbay! You pay the price of only one ticket but you can travel with the greatest flexibility to all the islands around Ios: Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Koufonisia, Amorgos and Santorini. Forget the expensive prices of Greek ferries. With this amazing Greek island Hopping ferry pass, all the routes can be done cheaply and conveniently. Then, you will get back home with the most exciting memories you can have from your summer vacation. And all of these, without having to pay a fortune. Book now the Greek Island Pass, and then get also profited by the top accommodation deals together with the ferry pass!

Where to Stay

Hotel & Appartment in Ios, Greece Pelagos Ios
9.6 10
Pelagos Ios
Main Street, Chora-Mylopotas, 84001 Ios, Greece

Pelagos Ios is located on the main street between Ios Town (500 m) and just 700 m from the famous beach of Mylopotas.

Hotel in Ios, Greece Hotel Helena
8.8 10
Hotel Helena
Yialos, Chora, 84001 Ios, Greece

Hotel Helena is centrally located in Ios Chora, only a 2-minute walk from Yialos Beach. Ios Port is 850 meters away.


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