Ios is a beautiful small island located in the Aegean Sea, a part of the Cyclades group of islands, Greece.
This relatively unspoilt island is hilly with cliffs running down to the sea on most sides. It offers sensational views of several of the Aegean Islands and its outstanding landscape makes it a perfect choice for walking holidays. Several fine golden sand beaches are within easy reach for those wishing to relax and sunbathe on those very hot days. Ios is situated half way between Santorini and Naxos, and regular ferries make it possible to visit these islands for a day’s excursion.
The main town on Ios is a spectacular ferry port. Here you can find the town beach and a very attractive marina for visiting yachtsmen. Also clustered around the Port are a group of traditional Taverna Restaurants, a good selection of shops including bakery, supermarket, boutiques and a travel agency (where you can buy ferry tickets, etc.) Regular bus service will take you from the port straight to the village situated on the top of the hill, then down to beautiful golden sand Mylopotas Beach. The village of Chora can also be accessed on foot by an old and picturesque stepped donkey track.
During the day, Chora is a peaceful traditional picturesque white painted Cycladic village with winding streets to explore and many shops, restaurants and bars. Chora is proud of its beautiful churches and fine windmills.
At night, Chora transforms and becomes a party village with a large choice of bars and discotheques where partying goes on until dawn.
Besides the port and Chora, Ios has a few small settlements around its major beaches (Theodoti, Kalamos, Manganari).
German architect Peter Haupt (who died in 2003) created here a very scenic amphitheatre. It is located at the top of the village and is used to stage cultural events.
Lively nightlife in the village attracts many young tourists to Ios. During the 1970’s the island had attracted many young travellers who spent nights in their sleeping bags on the popular beach of Mylopotas after partying through the night. Today Mylopotas beach has been developed into a tourist resort similar to Platys Yialos and Paradise Beach of Mykonos.
In recent years Ios has also attracted tourists who want to enjoy a quiet vacation with very little to do and relax, and bathe in the sun rays. For the more energetic ones who prefer walking holidays Ios has become an excellent destination too.
At the end of the day why not enjoy the calm and atmospheric scenery around the port and watch the sun go down while enjoying a meal, or relaxing with a glass of Ouzo. Whatever your holiday requirement it can be found on Ios.
History of Ios.
The Island is about 18 km long and 10 km wide, with the area of 105 km2. Its population in 2006 was 1, 820 inhabitants (reduced from 3,500 in the 19th century).
Ios has left little impression in history. Ancient tradition said that Homer’s mother was from Ios and that he himself was buried there. Indeed, the locals will show visitors the site of the ancient town of Plakotos at the northernmost end of the island where you can see the rocky entrance to a tomb. There is no physical evidence connecting it with Homer.
Excavations on Skarkos hill unearthed a prehistoric settlement proving that Ios has been inhabited since the early Cycladic period. In some places the preserved architecture at Skarkos reaches the height of almost three meters with most of the buildings evidently having had two storeys, stone-paved floors and a sewage system. Numerous well-preserved pottery, tools and utensils made of metal, stone and bone were also discovered. In 2008, Ios was among six European locations awarded the European Union Cultural Heritage prize for its exceptional conservation efforts at the archaeological site of Skarkos.
In the north end of Ios you can find a ruined Venetian castle dating back to the 15th century. The island itself can boast 365 churches and chapels, one for each day in the year.
Ios (Island). (2006, June 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Ios (Island). (2011, April 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Edited by Ray & Kathy Bonsor