This small island at the center of the Aegean could very well be described as the little renegade sister of the rest of the Cyclades.
A small yachting expedition will do much more than just convince you.
Ios is loud. “She” is effervescent. She is whimsical. She likes the party and the loud music. She loves her guests and their multicultural background. She brims with life and youth. But she is also deep.
There is a side to her that can be discovered in her narrow backstreets after party-hours; in the view of her sunrise; or in her people and their kind-hardheartedness, their humour and their memories of her past.
In the end, Ios is eternal and will surely steal the first place in your heart!
A small island, only 18 kilometers long (11 miles) and 10km (6 mi) wide, Ios’ cliffs hang over the pelagic sea foam on almost every side.
The island’s capital, Chora is built between two hills and has no car-roads but can only be explored on foot through its labyrinthine paths and steps!
Chora is only a 15-minute walk away from the Ios port!
Wrought along its coastline, the biggest bays of the island are:
- Milopotas and
The Ios port
Ios’ port is located in the northwest at Ormos
It's one of the safest and most windless ports of the Aegean, making a yachting charter expedition a real breeze.
The stillness of this marina is actually the reason why Ios is nicknamed “Little Malta”!
Finding a place to berth there is always easy -even during high season. It’s best to moor at the east side of the marina where lazy lines are available.
Unfortunately electricity is not yet available at this marina although Ios is in continuous growth and plans for construction are underway. You will have no trouble getting water and fuel by local suppliers while supermarkets, shops, taverns and taxi/bus stations can be found within walking distance!
Cost of living in Ios
Being a pole of attraction for young backpackers, Ios can be quite affordable even for budget travelers. As in every corner of Greece, you can get the infamous gyro (pita bread with meat of your choice, tomato slices, onions, fries, lettuce etc) for 4 euros (including a drink).
A nice restaurant in Ios will not cost you more than 20 euros while the most fancy ones will require an additional 10 EUR, including a glass of wine.
For those preferring to cook their own meals, grocery shopping will not exceed the amount of 40 euros per week!
What to see on the Ios island
Parallel to Mykonos’ Paradise Beach, Ios’ Mylopotas is notorious as the place where traveling young backpackers of the ‘70s would crash in sleeping-bags after a wild night partying! Now a touristic resort, Mylopotas is located within walking distance from Chora.
Magganari beach, located at the south part of Ios, 23km away from Chora, is said to be paradise on Earth and has even been awarded the Blue Flag for its crystal waters.
Comprised of 4 or more different beaches, Magganari is an ideal destination for swimming and snorkeling while having been immortalized in Luc Besson’s 1988 movie, The Big Blue!
Ios is an ideal destination for water-sport enthusiasts
At Mylopotas beach you can find Ios New Dive and Mylopotas Watersport center, a local diving and water sports facility. They offer many different activities like diving and snorkeling with the help of experienced instructors.
They also organize daily boat excursions, wake-boarding, water-skiing, barefoot tube rides, banana rides, windsurfing, sailing kayaks and kayaking safaris, pedal boats as well as snorkeling gear. At their facility you can even play volleyball and football at their beach courts!
At Ios you can also visit Mark and Roxana Photography who will schedule for you private photography expeditions around the island. These planned journeys cover the whole of Ios, including hilltops, distant valleys and magnificent sea-bathing in unexplored areas!
The people of Ios hold fairs during the entire summer, dedicated to their patron Saints.
For the traveler, this is a unique opportunity to get immersed in local culture as well as the Greek kefi (local fun!).
You can happen upon the biggest fairs at Ios:
- June 24th at Pyrgos,
- August 15th (dedicated to Panaghia Gremniotissa) at Chora
- August 24th at Kalamos Psathis!
Built at a conspicuous point and visible from every point of the horizon, Panagia Gremmiotissa, this little church of Our Lady, dominates the hill of Chora.
For the romantic ones, a reason to visit this beautiful chapel is the view of the endless blue of the Aegean Sea and the sunset, which lacks nothing in comparison to its infamous Santorinian glow!
For those searching for a bit of mystery, the place to visit is none other than Homer’s resting place. According to tradition, Homer, the great ancient poet, was buried there as Ios was purported to be his motherland.
Whether this is truly his tomb or not, no one knows. And although the place is not something special, just the idea of where you’ll be standing, along with the beauty of the path and the view of the Aegean will certainly make it worth your while!
Definitely one of the most interesting places you can find yourself in is "Slammer". This bar with its friendly staff and special intimacy is notorious for a unique daily ritual involving a helmet and a hammer! But we will say no more! Drink your tequila and dare!
Ios local delicacies
Renowned for its cheeses, Ios is where you can get a taste of "skotiri" –a sour cheese produced at the local creamery using sheep or goat milk!
Skotiri goes perfectly with a popular dish of Ios called "tsimentia" (pumpkin flowers stuffed with rice) and a glass of their local wine!
Ios - sailing around
Sailing around Ios and its 34 beaches is guaranteed to never bore you!
Hamoulades beach, accessible only by boat and located between 350 acres of private property, offers the opportunity for a relaxing getaway in its sapphire waters and golden beach as well as serene sunbathing under the Mediterranean sun!
Another destination worth the sailing trip, Aghia Theodoti, is located at the northeastern part of the island. There, apart from a splendid dive, you can enjoy a trip to the oldest medieval church of the entire island –built in the mid 16th century!
Ios is perhaps the ultimate yachting charter destination for those looking to sprinkle their summer with fresh energy, carefree fun, dancing, as well as serenity and perhaps a grain of mystery!
A definite must on your yachting tour of the Cyclades Islands!