Ios (also called Io or Nio) is an island with a double soul, where it is absolutely normal in the same day to see young tourists hunting for the wildest party and old people going to buy bread in donkey.
For a long time tourism in Ios was the prerogative of young people under 35 (and more often under 30) who came with the specific purpose of partying every night getting drunk at a low price: fortunately the image of the island has been re-evaluated and today many couples and families who love the beautiful beaches and local traditions come here.
One thing is certain: whoever comes to Ios ends up falling in love, who of a seductive English girl met in a pub in the center, who of the arid and barren landscape, but highly suggestive, of this sparsely inhabited island… even in the summer months, you just have to leave the capital Chora and the most famous beaches to find silence and slow pace of life.
Although it is a fairly small island (with a maximum length of about 17 km and a maximum width of 7 km), Ios has more than 30 beaches, coves and inlets, almost all of which still look wild.
Rent a scooter or a car to go in search of the most remote beaches and coves and have a corner of paradise all to yourself. If you prefer to go for sure, stop in one of the beaches that we recommend below: we have chosen for you the beaches not to be missed in Ios.
For a break from the beaches and the sea, visit Chora and the typical villages of the island.
The capital of the island and the only true inhabited center, Chora is a messy agglomeration of winding alleys, small white houses and windmills. Take a look at the Church of Panagia Gremiotissa, the medieval castle and the archaeological museum, then climb to the top of the rock that dominates the town, with its three small churches lined up, to enjoy a breathtaking view.
Once there at the top you will wonder how it is possible that one of the most beautiful villages of the Cyclades is also one of the most rowdy: Chora is in fact the nerve center of nightlife entertainment in Ios.
When the sun goes down, the level of music in the small bars of the center increases: shots and pints of beer are flowing, to the delight of the youngest who came here in search of high and summer adventures.
Leave behind the chaos of Chora and of the trendiest beaches: go and explore the island, you will find yourself driving along evocative roads, almost deserted, immersed in an arid landscape dotted here and there with vineyards and ancient olive trees.
It is the best way to get to know the real Ios, the rural one, with the slow pace of life and villages that are just a tiny group of houses, inhabited by shepherds and farmers with their sheep and donkeys.
Continue through hairpin bends and narrow streets until you reach Pirgos, the highest point of Ios, where you can enjoy the most beautiful panoramic view of the island. Also check out the Byzantine church of Agios Ioannis10, which stands on the ruins of an ancient Temple of Apollo.
A very visited attraction of Ios is the so-called Tomb of Homer11: it is said that in the village of Plakotos is buried the famous Greek poet, but since its existence has never been proven who knows who is really buried there…
If you love ancient history do not miss the Ruins of Skarkos12, the most important archaeological site of Ios, which stands on a hill just outside the town of Chora. It can be reached by a walk of only 15 minutes along an ancient stone path amidst farms and pastures.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
If Mykonos didn’t exist, Ios would be the nightlife capital of the Greek islands. It was the hippies in the sixties who started the first parties on the island, under the banner of nature and free love and since then the island has not shaken off the degrading label of “sex island”.
Today the visiting partygoers are twenty-somethings from all over Europe and even from America and Australia, droves of party animals or summer flirt hunters.
The fun begins in the afternoon with parties on the beach and drinks in kiosks overlooking the sea, then continues in the narrow paved streets of the town of Chora, lined with a series of bars and clubs that seems endless.
Do not expect megadiscos or clubs on five floors: the nightlife of Ios moves from place to place, shots and cocktails, the positive side is that almost all the places of Ios are free admission with optional consumption.
The offer of accommodation in Ios is wide and varied, follow our suggestions on the areas and the recommended structures in the dedicated page or use the search form below to find all the available structures in Ios.
There is no airport on the island so the easiest way to get to I os is to take a plane to one of the nearby islands and from there a ferry to Ios. We recommend Santorini because it has good air connections, even with low cost airlines.
What's the weather at Ios? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Ios for the next few days.