Usually the image of a Greek island in one’s mind goes with history, mythology, ruins, sun, beach and the sea. Rarely do we put together Greece and a party for youngsters, and yet, it is the biggest fame of Ios island. Thus, it is mostly popular among young people rather than families with kids.
At Ios, you can feel young and careless when it comes to counting time. Partying and sleeping are the best activities during first days of your stay, although at the time you have made new friends you would probably like to explore something more at this island. That is precisely how Ios works. The most touristic places are made for partying but they are not always the most beautiful ones.
Ios keeps its treasures for the curious, even though it doesn’t hide the basics from anyone. And it is important to mention that the baseline of a Cycladic island like Ios is more than satisfying. The coastline gives you a great possibility to relax on soft sandy beach, either within the touristic center, either on a secluded piece of land. The beauty of the island, its architecture and clear waters of hundreds different colors of blue are everywhere around, so no matter what you choose you know you have made a good decision.
Ios and its Beaches – little something for everyone
Beaches on Ios are numerous and all equally idyllic, with golden sand and pure emerald waters. Mylopotas, Magganari, Psathi, Yialos, Kalamos and Ayia Theodoti are known worldwide as great places for swimming, diving and other watersports like windsurfing. Also, one should notice that there is room for everyone. Beaches are mostly deserted and untouched by many tourist facilities like bars. Although, the most popular ones, like Mylopotas, Gialos and Maganari remain organized with great atmosphere and eventually never ending parties.
If you are tired of partying and not really keen of water, Ios also proposes many hiking paths. In the inland you can follow the paths used by shepherds and explore the pristine natural beauty of the island.
Odysseas Elytis Theater – a sight with great views
One of rare sightseeing spots on the island is the ancient Odysseus Elytis Theater. Situated above Chora gives you a magnificent view on the Aegean Sea and the island itself.
Ios could also be called a church island, for you can find about 365 of them. Yet the most important one is Panayia Gremiotissa, built on the edge of a cliff, on the highest point of Hora village. On August 15 a big feast is organized on the spot – religious crowds come here to worship Mary Mother of God. A traditional festival of local culture takes place in the same place involving the local island-style dancing and singing – it is worth taking a look, if not essential to take part in this beautiful folkloric event.
Homer’s Grave – the ultimate viewpoint
If you really are eager to visit the island you should get used to local legends and stories related to famous Greeks. In fact, Ios is said to be a place of birth of Homer’s mother and the one of his last rest.
In fact, you can find his supposed grave in the ancient ruins of Hellenistic tower. All you need to do is to follow the cobblestone streets up to the castle of Palaiokastro, then walk 300 meters above the sea along the edge of the cliff before reaching Panagia tin Palaiokastritissa. In this 16th century castle you can look through the dome at the Aegean Sea unfolding at your feet and becoming one with the blue sky at the horizon. The sunsets and sunrises seen from here are simply indescribable.
Cheesy local tastes
Your visit to this island would not be complete without trying its local specialties in one of the charming and cozy restaurants in Hora. In the menu you will find local goat cheese skotiri, yellow cheese kafalotyri and creamy white cheese myzithra, there is a potential to compete with the best French cheese producers.