Ios is located almost in the middle of the Aegean Sea between Athens and Santorini. While many know it as a party island, there are many more things to do in Ios than party all night long.
Climb to the top of the Chora
It is hard to miss the little church sitting at the top of the Chora. When climbing to the top, you get to explore the Chora and see all the beautiful houses of blue and white.
Once at the top, you get a stunning view of much of Ios. You can watch ferries arrive and depart as well. Many people like to watch the sunset or sunrise from here.
The church isn’t open but walk around it and you will be sure to get a 360-degree view of Ios. In some people’s opinion, Ios is more beautiful than Santorini.
Swim at Mylopotas Beach
One of the nicest beaches on the island is Mylopotas Beach. Not far from town, it is easily reachable by the public bus.
The sand is a nice deep soft sand and the water is deep enough to swim in. The beach is organized and many places will let you use the sunbeds and umbrellas for no charge if you purchase something from them. The best thing about this is that they bring it right to you on the beach.
If you like watersports, Mylopotas is a great option as there are several companies offering watersports such as stand up paddle boarding, kayaks and diving.
Skarkos Archeology Site
This archeology site is a well preserved Bronze Age site located right near the Chora. The site is a terraced site much like many Greek towns today.
You can get a great view of the site from the Chora and it is possible to walk down to Skarkos from there as well.
Visit Manganari Beach
Rent a car or take the public bus to Manganari Beach, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. If you opt to drive, you should be aware that there are some intense hills and turns on the way.
The beach itself is very pristine due to its remote location. It is also in a protected harbor so there is little to no wind to disturb your swim or sunbathing.
There are a few cafes so you can get something to eat or drink. However, you might want to bring your own.
Watch the Ios Sunset
Ios has one of the best sunsets in Greece, including Santorini. The best thing is that it is much less crowded than Santorini.
The port and many of the popular hotels face west so you have many opportunities to see the sunset. Our favorite options for viewing the Ios sunset is the top of the Chora, the Liostatsi Hotel pool bar and Ios Club.
The key to watching a Greek sunset is to wait for about 10 minutes after the predicted sunset time as the colors will only get better.
See Homer’s Tomb
The famous Greek author, Homer, is supposedly buried on Ios. The site is easily reached by car and is free to enter.
There isn’t any signage but you can just follow the path to the tomb. There isn’t anyway to be sure that Homer is actually buried here but it is a cool thing to say you have visited. Plus the views of the Aegean Sea from here are stunning.
Hike to Valmas Beach
Valmas beach is a small beach that is not far from town. However, it is only reachable by boat or hiking. The hike is not hard and offers some great views of the ferry coming and going. The hike will take about 30 minutes from the port.
The beach is great because it is so there are so few people there. The water is really deep for swimming as well. There are no services so make sure to bring everything you might need.
Getting to Ios
Ios is only reachable by ferry. However, you can get to Ios from Athens and many other islands both by slow and fast ferry.
by Tiffany Schureman