Ios – Stunning landscape and favourite of young travellers

At first sight, Ios is the island of the young, restless, and partying travellers. The image of Ios has been linked to sun, sea, and sex for decades. And it is partly true, at least from June to August, but Ios is so much more if you give it a closer look. You just need to leave the trodden path and hit for the villages away from the popular beaches and Chora.

  1. Ios – How to get there?
  2. Ios – Things to Do
  3. Watersports in Ios
  4. Ios – What to See?
  5. Best Beaches in Ios
  6. Weather and Climate in Ios
  7. Where is Ios Greece?
Travel to Ios, Greece - Tavern by the beach in Ios
Beach tavern in Ios

Ios is boasting the well-known seductive Cycladic landscape with whitewashed houses, picturesque clifftop villages and narrow cobblestone alleys not to forget the stunning beaches for every taste!

In Ios everyone enjoys the summer heat at the gorgeous beaches swimming in the crystal clear, turquoise-blue waters of the Aegean Sea. And when the sun dives into the sea Chora Ios comes alive. This is when all young people head for the village on top of the hill to enjoy the wild parties until the sun rises again.

Travel to Ios, Greece - View from Palaiokastro, Ios
View from Palaiokastro, Ios

Ios – How to get there?

You can easily reach Ios by ferryboat from Piraeus port in Athens and from other Cyclades islands like Paros, Sifnos, Santorini, and Milos. In high season, during summer, extra routes are linking the port of Ios to the port of Heraklion in Crete as well as with Rafina port in Athens. The latter is situated rather close to the International Airport of Athens “Eleftherios Venizelos”.

Travel to Ios, Greece - View of Ios port - Photo by Y. Skoulas
View of Ios port – Photo by Y. Skoulas

Ios island has no airport, but you can fly to Santorini National Airport (JTR), also known as Thira Airport, serving domestic flights from Athens to Santorini as well as many international airports around Europe, like from UK, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Latvia.

Ios – Things to do

Among the Cyclades Ios is the party queen of the young travellers with a lively nightlife in Chora Ios. During the day you can enjoy swimming at gorgeous beaches and enjoying strolling around in picturesque Chora, but there are lots of other activities in Ios. Find a list here below.

Watersports in Ios

Windsurfing in Greece

In Ios you can spend time with one of your favorite watersports, like windsurfing, water skiing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding. At Milopotas, Yialos and Maganari Beaches you can go diving, do windsurfing, water skiing, or enjoy the thrill of banana and tube rides.
Ios Water Sports Center

Sailing in Greece

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Ios – What to see?

Drone view of prehistoric settlement of Skarkos, Ios island, Cyclades, Greece
Prehistoric settlement of Skarkos in Ios

Skarkos is the most important prehistoric archaeological site in the Cyclades. It is a settlement from the early Bronze Age. The amazing prehistoric settlement was awarded with the European Union Cultural Heritage prize for its exceptional conservation efforts. You will find it just a few kilometres from the port of Ios in the Campos area.

The windmills of Ios are beautiful samples of traditional Cycladic architecture, standing on a hill above Chora. They are not in use.

Traditional windmill above Chora Ios, Cyclades Greece
Traditional windmill above Chora Ios

Scientists believe that the Tomb of Homer is to be found on the northern side of Ios. It is believed that Homer’s mother was from Ios, and that he himself was buried there. The locals will show visitors the site of the ancient town of Plakotos at the northernmost end of the island, where the rocky entrance to a tomb can be seen. There is no physical evidence connecting this with Homer though. There are signs of a Mycenaean settlement.

The Venetian Castle in Ios was of great strategic importance in Medieval times. The castle had visual contact with the Castle of Apalyros in Naxos and supported control of the inner naval area. Today, nothing but a few remains are to be seen in the region of Paleokastro, in between Agia Theodoti and Psathi.

Travel to Ios, Greece - Palaiokastro Ios - Photo by M. Chatzi
Palaiokastro, Ios – Photo by M. Chatzi

Panagia Gremiotissa – this tiny church of Virgin Mary Gremiotissa stands on a high hill above Ios Chora and is the trademark of the island.

Church in Chora, Ios, Cyclades, Greece
The Cathedral in Chora Ios

In the Archaeological Museum of Ios you can see various archaeological findings excavated on Ios island – prehistoric tools, Cycladic objects, and figurines. The museum is in the center of Chora in the Amiradakio Megaron.

Odysseas Elytis Theatre in Ios, Cyclades, Greece
Odysseas Elytis Theatre in Ios

Odysseas Elytis Theatre is an open theatre named after the Nobel-winning Greek poet, Odysseas Elytis. Located close to Chora it is the center for many cultural events on Ios, such as concerts, theatre festivals and other performances during the summer months. From up here you have a spectacular view over the island and the Aegean Sea.

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Best Beaches in Ios

Mylopotas beach, Ios, Cyclades Greece
Mylopotas beach, Ios

Ios has regularly been voted in various polls for having one of the “Top 10 beaches in Europe” and it boasts 75 km of beautiful, white sandy beaches and turquoise coastlines. Head to Mylopotas beach, Gialos beach and Manganari beach to have a taste of Ios beach party scene. Are you into more quiet beaches? Agia Theodoti beach, Koumpara beach, Kalamos Beach and Psathi Beach will reward you with serenity and virgin natural landscapes! Some of them are difficult to access, with dirt roads and steep walking paths, but if you have the stamina, they are worth it! Another option to reach these pristine beaches with privacy and crystal-clear waters is by boat.

Travel to Ios, Greece - view of Mylopotas beach - Photo by M. Chatzi
View of Mylopotas Beach – Photo by M. Chatzi

Organized beaches

  • Mylopotas Beach – Sandy, party, windsurfing, watersports – located 2 km southeast of Chora
  • Gialos Beach – Sandy, diving club, family friendly, windsurfing, water sports, habour – located 2 km east of Chora

Partly organized beaches

  • Manganari Beach – Sandy, family friendly, nudism friendly – located 19 km southeast of Chora
  • Kalamos Beach – Sandy – located 10 km southeast of Chora
  • Koumbara Beach – Sandy, water sports, nudism friendly – located 3 km west of Chora

Non-organized beaches

  • Agia Theodoti Beach – Sandy, family friendly, water sports, nudism friendly – located 9 km northeast of Chora
  • Kolitsani Beach – Sandy, nudism friendly – located 2 km south of Chora
  • Papa Beach – Sandy, secluded – 11 km southeast of Chora
  • Psathi Beach – Sandy, secluded – located 17 km east of Chora
  • Plakoto Beach – Pebbled, secluded – located 13 km north of Chora
  • Cape Karatzas Beach – Pebbled, secluded – on the northern side of Ios. No shade and no tourist facilities.
  • Diamoudia Beach – Pebbled, secluded – located 7 km north of Chora
  • Kambaki Beach – Pebbled, secluded – located 10 km north of Chios
  • Lorentzena Beach – Pebbled, secluded – located 5 km north of Chora
  • Neraki Beach – Pebbled, secluded – 12 km northeast of Chora
  • Plakes Beach – Sandy, secluded – located 12 km east of Chora
  • Tripiti Beach – Sandy, secluded – located 20 km south of Chora – only accessible by walking trails and boat
  • Tris Klisies Beach – Sandy, secluded, nudism friendly – located 20 southeast of Chora
  • Tzamaria Beach – Pebbled, secluded – located 3 km from Chora
  • Valmas Beach – Pebbled, secluded, nudism friendly – located 3 km southwest of Chora
  • Vathirema Beach – Sandy, secluded, nudism friendly – located 19 km east of Chora
Travel to Ios, Greece - Octopus drying in the sun, Milopotas Beach, Ios
Octopus drying in the sun in Mylopotas Beach

Weather and Climate in Ios

Ios has a typical Cycladic climate with cool springs and autumns, mild winters with only little rainfall, and hot summers with average temperatures of 29 degrees in the day hours. Like all Cyclades islands the north winds Meltemia are blowing from late July till medio August, giving great conditions for windsurfing.

AprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctober
Air17202325252321
Sea16192224252322
Average air and sea temperature in Ios in °C

Where is Ios Greece?

Map of Cyclades Archipelagos
Click to enlarge the map

Ios is one of the islands in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea, to be found halfway between Naxos and Santorini. It is a hilly island with cliffs down to the sea on most sides, about 18 km long and 10 km wide. Ios is part of the Thira-region and the population was around 2,000 in 2011.

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