Ios in Greece

Ios in Swedish.
Mylopotas beach. Ios. Greece.

Ios is located in the middle of the Cyclades, north of Santorini, and south of Naxos. The population of just over 2,000 people on the island, almost all live in Chora (1,750 inhabitants). Ios has an area of 109 km2, making it the eighth largest island in the Cyclades. The two nearest neighbouring islands is Sikinos and Iraklia. The highest mountain measuring 713 meters above sea level. The main - if not the only - source of income for the locals is tourism.

Ios has been synonymous with late nights and wild party since the beginning of the 1980s. It is high time to wash away the label of the crazy island, and tell the truth. The fact is that Ios has changed significantly in recent years, and is now far from its former glory. For good or for bad, depending on who you ask.

I visited Ios many times during the glory days, and I enjoyed every minute. Now - when it is a quieter island - I'm enjoying the island in a different way than before. My hope is that more adults will discover this beautiful and very special island. Do you like high class beaches, then Ios is a perfect island; do you like to hike, then you also have come to the right place; tavernas that are serving tasty food is easy to find; and do you like to stroll around in sugary Cycladic villages, you will love Chora on Ios, which I think is one of the finest villages in the Greek islands. See larger picture of Chora at the end of the page.

Photos from Ios »

Greek islands best beach. Mylopotas.

Mylopotas - one of the Greek islands best beaches.

The best option is to fly to Santorini, and then continue by ferry to Ios. The boat trip takes about two hours. You can also go by air to Athens and then continue your journey with ferry from Piraeus (the port of Athens) to Ios.

Book ferry ticket online here »

The buses run four times every hour from the port to Mylopotas, via Chora. Car and moped rental service are available in the port, in Chora and at Mylopotas beach. Bath boats to Manganari beach runs from the port each morning in good weather.

There are few villages on Ios, more exactly, there are only three: the beautiful Chora, the port Gialos (also called Ormos) and the tiny settlement Psathi in the east.

The biggest village is named Chora, but most people simply call it The Village. Chora is one of the most beautiful villages in the Greek islands: with whitewashed houses that are packed together along the narrow, labyrinthine alleys, which slowly climb up towards the top of the village.

Some alleys are so narrow that you can touch the houses with your hands on both sides.

The port and the port beach Gialos.

The port and the port beach Gialos.

Chora village on Ios.

Chora is considered by many as one of the Greek islands finest villages.

The innermost parts of Chora is free from all traffic, transportation is done with donkeys. The little main street winds right through the village, it starts at the square next to the big cathedral, and ends at another square with a couple of fine windmills - where the extremely nice taverna The Mills is located. About in the middle of the main street, is the major meeting place of Chora, The Square, where some bars crowed together in a small area. It is an ideal place to sit and sip a drink and watch over the street life. All people cross the square at some point during the day.

Ios are blessed with first class beaches and they can be compared with the ones on Naxos and Mykonos. The island is a paradise for sandy beach lovers and the options are great, if you do not want to crowd together on Mylopotas or Gialos, there are small solitary beaches where you can be alone. There are also some excellent rocks to swim from.

The most popular beach is Mylopotas beach (see photo on top), which is about twenty minutes walk from Chora, or five minutes by bus. The beach is about one kilometre long and is covered with yellow sand, both small grained and fine as powder.

The surroundings are gorgeously beautiful. The view over Mylopotas is one of the nifty things you can imagine. Along the beach there are plenty of pensions, shops, restaurants and bars. At the far end of the beach lies, Far Out Village, which still maintains its position as Mylopotas arena for the entire world's young people.

Valma beach taverna. Ios.

Valma beach is my favorite beach on Ios.

Manganari (see photo at the end of the page) is so far south on Ios as you can get, and is perhaps the finest of all fine beaches on Ios, some even think that Manganari is the finest beach in the Cyclades. The beach is divided into several strips of shores with fine sand and crystal clear water. Here are a few houses, a few pensions and some tavernas.

My favourite beaches are Valma beach and Kolitsani beach, both located below Chora. More beaches on Ios are: Koumbara, Agios Theodotis, Psathi, Tsamaria and Gialos.

Personally I think that Chora is the island's main attraction. Somehow it is not possible be tired of looking at the village, not from distance, or from the inside. One of Chora's attractions is the beautiful view from the top; the labyrinthine alleyways there is only them worth all the steps up. The reward is a breathtaking view over Chora and over to the neighbouring island Sikinos. , you just can not miss.

Other sights include the tomb of Homer at Plakotos, Paleokastro before Psathi, Gallery Yannis Gaitis and the excavations at Skarkos.

The sunset from Chora.

The sunset from Chora is absolutely stunning.

You do not need to be afraid to stand without a roof over your head. The selection is enormous, and just like on Paros and Naxos, there are more rooms than there are tourists. Not even in high season there should be any problem. If you have not booked ahead, you can walk around to look for a place to stay by your own, or you can follow one of the people that have rooms for rent that will meet you in the port.

Personally, I prefer to stay in Chora, mostly because I want to be close to home in the evening. Do you want to stay near a beach: then choose to stay in the port or at Mylopotas beach.

If you can not make up your mind, there are numerous of pensions between Chora and Mylopotas. Below we have hand-picked five great places that you book at

Book hotels, studios and apartments in Ios here »

Hotel Avanti in Chora. Ios.

We like Hotel Avanti in Chora very much.

Manganari beach in south of Ios.

Manganari beach in south of Ios.

This stunning beach is a must when you are on Ios. You get here with your own vehicle, bus, or boat.

Ferry timetable »

Book ferry tickets »

Photos from Ios »

Accommodation on Ios »

Sikinos - nearest island »

© 2007-2017 | Janni Eklund | Kalispera and Kalimera