Greek mythology usually links the Greek island of Ios to Homer, the epic poet who died on the island incapable of solving the riddle the local fishermen posed him. In fact, in the region known as Plakotos, there is an ancient tomb who is said to host the rests of the poet. An ancient coin of which only six copies exist, also reinforces this idea, as it depicts Homer on one of its sides.
Ios, however, today is known for the impressive landscape all over the island, its impressive hills, bays and typical Cycladic atmosphere, made of whitewashed houses and churches.
These are some of the most beautiful places to visit and see in Ios:
Gialos is the natural port of the island, usually described as one of the safest in the Cyclades due to its natural shape. Arriving at the port visitors are amazed at the wonderful view of the lighthouse and the white church of Agia Irini.
The open-air theatre of Ios is built on a slope offering stunning views of the Aegean sea with unique views of Mylopota bay. The theater, dedicated to the famous Greek poet Odysseas Elytis was built in one of the preferred points of the poet himself. During the season, the venue hosts several cultural events such as plays and concerts.
Mylopota is a unique beach of golden sand and clear waters, well-organized and where different water sports can be practiced during the busiest months of the year. This is the most popular beach of the island and better-known of the Aegean.
Another beach to check while visiting the island receives the name of Magganari. The area is, in fact, a complex of five different bays with crystal waters. Some scenes of the film The Big Blue were filmed in the area.
This is another sandy beach located in a protected bay with an inspiring landscape famous for the colors of the sea that seem to change and vary from green to blue, offering all the shades of the spectrum.
The island of Ios, only 108 square kilometers big is home to only about 2000 permanent inhabitants, however, locals count with 365 churches, one for each of the year, as they like to say. Agia Irini can be visited at the port, Agios Giorgis in Gialos and the church of the Virgin of Gremmiotisa is located in the Chora, the old town of Ios. The church of Agios Ioannis is in Pyrgos, and it has been built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to god Apollo.
The island of Ios offers unique experiences to hikers and nature lovers through the many short and long paths scattered all over the island. There are trails with every level of difficulty that not only offer impressive views of the island but also a unique way to relax and learn about the magnificent fauna and flora of the Cyclades. Visitors are also usually impressed by the hidden coves and beaches they discover walking some of these paths.
The underwater landscape of Ios offers some of the most beautiful experiences. The great visibility makes it easier to explore and discover wrecks, reefs, and caves home to a varied submarine life. Ios island remains one of the best diving destinations of the Aegean, both perfect for beginners and advanced divers.
Other than the beautiful Archaeological Museum of Chora, archaeological sites such as Skarkos and the Roman Aqueduct are some of the places tourists should consider during a visit to the island.
The gastronomy of the island is based in local vegetables, cheeses as well as fish. Ios is known for the unique quality of its grapes, watermelons, lemons, tomatoes, olives and garden greens. There are also pomegranates and delicious apricots. Among the traditional recipes, chickpea balls are a must-try. Another staple food of Ios are capers, which add a unique flavor to the local salads.
Considered one of the top meeting points for your tourists, hundreds of under-30s all over the world visit the island each summer looking for a unique entertainment experience made of clubs and bars that cater to all musical tastes.
For more information about the island, visit the official website of Ios or take a look at this video: