The island of los is located in the Southeast Aegean, surrounded by the islands of Naxos, Sikino, Santorini and Amorgos. The island measures 17 km long by 7.5 km. wide, 108 sq. km in area and is relatively sparsely populated. You need to stay more than just a few days to explore it from one end to the other and enjoy the loveliest sites. The island’s beauty has a particular attraction for young people md los has become well-known as one of the three most popular spots on the international youth scene
Hotel Mediterraneo is situated in Chora, the main village of Ios, right behind the bus stop. Close to all the bars, restaurants, markets and nightlife. Buses to Yialos and Mylotpotas Plays held at Odysseus Elytis
Below the Chora is the port area of ORMOS, YIALOS or GIALOS, one of the biggest natural harbours in the Aegean. The main plaza is packed with shops and travel agents while the promenade is thick with tavernas and cafes as well as gift shops. There is a small fishing boat quay at the end of the marina where the men still mend their nets on the quayside. To the south is the 17th century chapel of Agia Irini with a double set of altars.
The long sandy beach of Yialos is to the right of the port and there are yet more restaurants, bars and cafes. The beach is a good alternative to the more crowded Mylotpotas where most of the youngsters hang out.
Various walking trails start at Yialos. Paths from here lead here to remote sandy beaches at Kolitsani, the hill village of Kambos and beyond that, at Skarkos, are various ruins of archaeological interest. An old stone flagged path leads up to Chora past the domed church of Agios Giorgios hacked into the cliff. The path may be steep but there is pleasant shade from overhanging eucalyptus and drinking fountains along the way. Boat excursions to various beaches Buses to Chora, Mylotpotas and Koumbara
On the headland south of Yialos is KOUMBARA or KOUBARA, an area of small coves and sandy beaches. The main beach is long (about 300m) and sandy with beach tavernas and room nearby. But its main attraction are the clutch of small and delightful sandy coves to be explored on foot around the headland. The odd outcrop of rock also makes this an ideal place for snorkelling and the many secluded coves make it a favourite with naturists. It is walkable from Yialos (about 30mins) but there is a regular bus on the hour that takes about 5mins. Boat hire Buses to Yialos
You must head north out of Yialos for the next beach of note, there is nothing worth the trip on the west coast. At the northern tip of the island is the beach of PLAKATO which sits beneath PANO KAMBOS and the reputed site of Homer’s Tomb. The asphalt runs out after the village of Vouni and a dirt track branches left to Plakato and right to ancient ruins where tradition has it that the poet was buried. One tale has it that Homer’s mother, Clymene was from Ios, another that he was killed after failing to answer a local riddle. Anyway, the original graveyard has long since slipped down the earthquake-prone cliff and what remains is said to be Byzantine anyway so a trip here requires good footwear and a good imagination. Nevertheless the islanders are very proud of the connection and on May 15 each year they hold a festival -Homeria – when and a flame is carried from the port to his tomb.
The huge sandy beach at AGHIA THEODOTI is set in a sheltered bay facing east for those early enough to catch a breathtaking sunrise over the islet of Ikaklia in the bay. Local tavernas serve basic but delicious food and there are many rooms to let in the area. A favoured haunt of wealthy Athenians this has helped push up local prices so don’t expect a cheap meal.
Sand shelves gently into the sea which is usually limpidly calm. Nearby is the 16th century church of Ag. Theodoti, the oldest on the island, that gives the bay its name. A celebration is held here on September 8 each year to mark a famous victory over marauding pirates.
The resort is also overlooked by the ruins of the 15th century Venetian fortress of PALIOKASTRO. It was built in 1400 by the Venetian Duke Marco Crispi and the remains of the old Venetian town can still be seen inside. Buses
A new road has opened up the course sand beach at PSATHI which was once the domain of egg-laying loggerhead turtles but now seems the main destination of mating windsurfers. The resort is reached through a lovely green and fertile valley of olive and citrus groves (in spring at least, the landscape is far less attractive in the summer).
Flat wide sands are backed by tavernas and apartments.
Doubtless a beautiful spot, but the sand is quite coarse underfoot and the beach is north facing so it can collect a fair amount of rubbish in the prevailing winds and it can shelve pretty steeply into the sea in places.
On windy days the sea swells can attract scores of windsurfers to the bay. To get there follow the signs from Ag. Theodoti.
A long sand and pebble beach at KALAMOS on the eastern coast is said to offer a good alternative to those who tire of the increasingly popular Manganari to the south. The area around the long and beautiful beach is a nature reserve and, being relatively remote and off the tour bus route, a peaceful haven that you are likely to enjoy with few other visitors.
There are enough visitors to support a beach cantina that supplies sunbeds and umbrellas. Waters are clear and with outlying rocks to give good snorkelling. If you prefer even fewer crowds there are even more remote beaches both north and south within easy walking distance.orth lies a small cove at PLAKES and to the south, just over the headland, is the hidden cove of PAPA and further south still TRIS ELIKES, a trio of beautiful secluded beaches, accessible only on foot.
One of the most romantic areas of Ios, MANGANARI sits on the south east coast about 23 km from Yialos. It is actually four beautiful white sand beaches necklaced along a coast of crystal clear water. There are beach tavernas, bars, cafes and water sports though to spoil the peace as it is now a very popular day out for trippers with regular bus excursions.Then again it is still big enough to find peace and quiet if you are prepared to do a spot of walking. The secluded bays make the place attractive for naturists. Tavernas were noted for their fresh fish menus but are now turning to more profitable burgers for the visiting hordes of youngsters.
Too get there by car drive through Mylotpotas and take the hill road turning right before Kalamos monastery. Bus excursions can be booked in all travel agencies and buses leave from Yialos, Chora and Mylopotas returning in the afternoon or you can catch a water taxi from Yialos, quick but expensive. Excursion buses daily
MILOPOTAS or MYLOPOTAS is the main beach for Chora has a 1km crescent of wide, golden sand that is said to rival any in the Mediterranean – if you can find somewhere to enjoy it. In season it heaves with tan-oiled bodies during the day while its all-night beach parties are infamous. Non-stop beach music is broadcast load and clear all day for the benefit of young revelers warming up for a frantic night’s drinking. A cluster of upmarket hotels has sprouted up at the head of the beach and there are two campsites for backpackers.
A beach campsite is a resort in itself with a 24-hour bar, two swimming pools, restaurant and head-throbbing loudspeakers.
But at least the beach is long enough to escape the worst of the racket. Farm tracks take you to the quieter southern end where naturism is in favour.
Buses leave Chora every 15mins or so but it is only a 20mins walk so by the time you have waited for the next bus you can be there. Frequent buses to Chora and Yialos
Ios is one of the southern Cycladic islands in the central Aegean Sea with nearest northerly neighbours Paros and Naxos, Amorgos. The highest point is Mt Pirgos at 713 m. It has an area of 108 sq.km, about 17 km long and 7.5 km wide.