Ios, one of the most picturesque islands in the Cyclades, undeniably ranks among the most beautiful islands in the Aegean Sea. It is located between Paros, Santorini, Naxos, and Sikinos, attracting many visitors. The white color of the houses and the crystal-clear waters accentuate the distinctive beauty of Ios in the Cycladic landscape.


History of Ios

Ios, also known as the "Island of Homer," earned this nickname from the famous epic poet Homer, who lived in the 8th century BC. Ios followed the fate of the other Cycladic islands. The influence of settlers from the coastal regions of Asia Minor played a significant role in the island's history. Later, the eruption of the volcano on Santorini devastated Ios, burying all the achievements of the Minoan civilization (2000-1500 BC) that were located on the island. The name of the island was given by the Dorians and Ionians, who dominated Ios around 1100 BC. In the early 13th century AD, it was conquered by the Venetians, who built the castle to protect the residents from pirate raids. The ruins of this castle still exist today.

In 1537, Ios fell under the rule of the Turks, who did not settle directly on the island but managed to subjugate the inhabitants by imposing heavy taxes. Later, Ios came under Russian rule, which ended with the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca. During the period of Turkish rule, Ios participated in the liberation struggle of the Nation, with Spyridon Valetas leading the way and serving as the first Minister of Education of Modern Greece, as well as a great benefactor of the island.

Beaches in Ios

Ios offers a wide variety of beaches to choose from. The most famous beaches in Ios are Mylopotas, Magganari, Kalamos, as well as the smaller and secluded beaches of Pappa and Plakes. Near Chora, you will find the beaches of Valma and Kolitsani, while more isolated are the beaches of Agia Theodoti and Psathi, which are ideal for relaxation and tranquility.

Some of the other beaches you can visit in Ios include Klima, Pikri Nero, Neraiki, Diamoudia, Plakotos, Petalidi, Soapdish, and Kampaki. If you plan to stay on the island for several days, you can also choose to take a small cruise to the surrounding islands and visit many beaches in Ios with your own boat.

Nightlife and entertainment in Ios

Ios remains the ultimate destination for young people who want to enjoy a vibrant nightlife during their summer vacation. The parties never stop, and the atmosphere, both of summer visitors and locals, remains at high levels. The fun starts early at beach bars on the island's beaches and continues until the early hours of the morning at the bars in Chora and the scattered clubs in the narrow streets of Ios town. People and visitors from every corner of the planet are side by side, enjoying their drinks, having fun, and appreciating the beauty of the island. The music gets louder as the night approaches, offering choices from both foreign and Greek music.

Sights in Ios

All the settlements in Ios are easily accessible, and the distances between them are not significant. The most famous areas of the island include:

  • Mylopotas: a seaside village located just 3 kilometers from Chora, featuring a golden sandy beach and crystal-clear waters. It has been hailed by many as one of the best beaches in the Aegean.
  • Magganari: an area with a unique path that leads to a beautiful sandy beach.
  • Port: the main harbor of Ios, where visitors to the island begin their journey. Here, they can find information about the island and receive recommendations for accommodation and dining.
  • Psathi: a distinctive pebble beach with turquoise waters.
  • Agia Theodoti: one of the best-organized beaches on the island, featuring a sandy beach and sunbeds.

The main settlement of the island is Chora. Chora of Ios is located just 2 kilometers from the main harbor and can be reached either by the island's buses or by walking through the paved pathway. Chora is situated on the hillside and serves as a characteristic example of Cycladic architecture, with small white picturesque houses and alleys that lead to Panagia Gremiotissa, from where the view is exceptional. The central square of Chora is also home to cafes and nightlife venues. There are also shops, hotels, restaurants, rental rooms, and tourist shops. What impresses visitors the most is the harmonious blend of ancient Greek elements with traditional Cycladic architecture. Despite being the center of entertainment for both locals and visitors, Chora of Ios appears to have stood the test of time, preserving all its picturesque charm.

How to travel to / from Ios?

Ships traveling to Ios depart from mainland Greece from the two ports of Athens, Piraeus, and Rafina.

Here are some popular routes to the island of Ios:

  • Ship Routes Piraeus - Ios: Zante Ferries operates daily ferries departing from the port of Piraeus to Ios. The duration of the route is just over 11 hours, with a passenger ticket cost of €48 and a car ticket cost of €80. This route is also served by Blue Star Ferries, with a duration of less than 7 hours and a ticket cost of €54.
  • Ship Routes Naxos - Ios: The direct route from Naxos to Ios is operated by Seajets using a high-speed vessel and takes 1 hour. The passenger ticket costs €21.5, and the car ticket costs €57. Blue Star Ferries also offers this route with a ticket cost of €22 for passengers and €78 for cars. The travel time is approximately 1 hour.
  • Ship Routes Santorini - Ios: There are approximately 5-6 daily ferry options for trips from Santorini to Ios, and during the winter period, they operate at least once a day for about 4-5 days a week. The duration of the journey from Santorini to Ios varies from 1 to 2 hours, but it can be shorter if you choose a high-speed ship. Ticket prices vary depending on the ferry company but generally range from €7 to €16 on average.

Additionally, Ios has ferry connections to other islands in the Cyclades, such as Mykonos, Paros, Milos, Folegandros, Sifnos, and others. You can use the booktickets ferry ticket booking engine to check all available connections to Ios and easily make online reservations for the ticket that suits you.