The island of Ios belongs to the archipelago of the Cyclades Islands. It is located between the islands of Naxos and Santorini and has an area of 109 km2. It’s a very calm island and though it receives tourism, it is not massive. Here is the most complete guide to Ios and we recommend that if you have time, include this island on your trip to Greece.
In the island we can enjoy incredible cove, thanks to the steep coast, the Chora and its dated environment, since it is an island still under development. It’s like a version of Mykonos, but calmer.
- Best time to go to Ios
- How Much Time To Spend in Ios
- How to get to Ios
- Where to stay in Ios
- Renting a car in Ios
- What to see and do in Ios
- Beaches of Ios
- Where to eat in Ios
- Ios Nightlife
- Chora in Ios
- Orthodox Cathedral in Ios
- Panaghia Gremiotisa
- Agia Irini Church
- Ormos Port
- Three Churches
- Odysseas Elitis Theatre
- Ancient ruins of the castle
- Where to watch the sunset in Ios
Best time to go to Ios
Months like May, June or September would be a good time to go to Ios, as it is not so hot and there aren’t many tourists.
The climate in Ios is Mediterranean, with hot summers.
The first time we visited Greece was in July and it was quite hot. This time we went in June and you could tell the difference because, although it was already hot, it was not unbearable.
Apart from the heat it is also worth noting that there are days that are very windy.
How Much Time To Spend in Ios
We were only two days in Ios and the first day we arrived in the afternoon because the boat was late. The truth is that we were left wanting to have been a little more on the island, at least two full days. And if you can devote three full days much better.
The good thing is that, although it is not a very small island, is quite uninhabited, so in two or three days we can tour the island and visit all the essentials.
How to get to Ios
There is no airport on the island of Ios, so the only option is to go by ferry from another island.
There are various combinations and companies that operate between the islands, depending on the length of the journey and the ship. The most popular is SeaJet
Mykonos – Ios: SeaJet Company – Price 53 Euros per person
BOOK AND SAVE
Where to stay in Ios
We recommend the Skala Hotel via Airbnb or Booking. Here is our detailed guide about hotels in Ios.
Kyriakos was very friendly and attentive. He picked us up at the port and took us on the last day as well. The views from the hotel were very cool, but you have to climb a hill to get there. But if you go by bike or car there is no problem.
You can use this link to get an Airbnb discount (25 Euros)
Here are some more recommended hotels in Ios:
Renting a car in Ios
It is essential if you want to know the island with more freedom. As we were only going to be there for a whole day, we rented a motorbike for 20 Euros from the agency that recommended us to the owner of the hotel.
But if we had gone more days, we would have rented a car because it is more comfortable for us.
What to see and do in Ios
Beaches of Ios
One of the important points on our list of things to see and do in Ios, are its beaches.The island of Ios is characterized by its rugged coast, its cliffs and its incredible coves.
Many of the coves are only accessible by sea, so the next time we go to Ios, we will look at the boat trip option to discover more coves.
The good thing is that you can enjoy these dream coves completely alone and that the day becomes an adventure.
Never Bay, an incredible place only suitable for adventurers.
It’s not easy to get here but it’s completely worth it. We were alone all morning in this spectacular cove. To find out its location, we went the night before to the Lost Boys Bar in the village of Chora. They pointed out the spot on the map and gave us directions to get there.
We rented a motorbike but you can also go on a quad. You can get there by car but you will have to leave it first and walk a bit.
Google Maps took us through a horrible goat path, crossing the Mylopotas beach. But on the way back we went by a better road directly to the village of Chora. When you put the point in Google Maps, don’t do it by the route that goes through Mylopotas because the road is a horror.
Once you get to Magganari beach it will take you along a goat path and you will continue until the motorbike or quad can’t go any further. You park and walk until you see the cove.
You have to go down a kind of stone cliff to get to the bottom. It’s not very dangerous but it’s not the easiest thing in the world either.
Take water and some food with you because there is nothing there and since you have reached it, it is worth spending the morning enjoying this beautiful cove completely alone.
Milopotas beach is also very cool and has a lot of atmosphere. But it’s a more touristy beach and we were looking for coves where we could be alone and quiet.
Magganari beach is also very good. Although there were more people, since it’s so big, you can be very quiet.
It’s the beach next to Never Bay, so we were swimming for a while before lunch.
This incredible cove was, along with Never Bay, another reason that pushed me to visit the island of Ios. I read on the Internet that it was only accessible by boat but some pages indicated that you could also walk from Magganari.
When we arrived at Magganari we set the location but the road was cut and we didn’t know how to get there, although we found a cove that we liked very much and we spent the rest of the afternoon there.
We did not want to keep looking because we preferred not to lose the afternoon and to take advantage of the cove we had found.
If we had had one more day on the island, we would have found a way to get there and would have looked at the option of renting a boat to discover more coves.
But the next time we go to Ios, we already have a new mission, to get to Tripiti cove.
Here are some other beaches worth visiting:
Where to eat in Ios
We had dinner the first night at this restaurant and loved the food and the place. We recommend it 100%.
The price was 34 Euros for two people.
They recommended this Mexican restaurant but we didn’t have time to go. It looks very good.
On Magganari beach we ate on Venus and we liked the food very much too. We tried the gemitsa dish, which is vegetables stuffed with rice and a macaroni and lasagna pasticio. Everything was very good. The price for two people was 30 Euros.
Ios is an island famous for its partying, it’s like a little Mykonos. The most popular spots are Pathos and Far Out Beach Club.
These clubs have a swimming pool and you can also watch the sunset.
We had a drink at the Lost Boys Bar, owned by some very nice Australians who live on the island during the summer. They gave us many recommendations and told us how to get to Never Bay.
Chora in Ios
Its capital is Chora, a small town characteristic of these islands, with whitewashed houses that contrast with the blue sky, winding and narrow cobbled streets that lead to small churches, squares and windmills.
At night you can enjoy a great atmosphere in each of its three main squares. Walking around the village of Chora is a real wonder where we can find charming corners.
The narrow streets of Chora invite you to get lost in its winding alleys and enjoy an amazing tranquility, which we cannot find in Mykonos for example.
Orthodox Cathedral in Ios
In the main square we find the Orthodox Cathedral and the small church dedicated to San Ekaterini.
Going up through the village we arrive at the ancient castle of Chora, where the church of Panaghia Gremiotisa is located. Above we can visit the remains of the ancient city wall.
And following the path we arrive at the three churches that we can see at the top of the hill.
Agia Irini Church
In the port area we find the beautiful church of Agia Irini. A great place to see the sunset. From this church you can make a trek to a small cove that is down but we did not have time.
In the small port of Ormos we can see the boats of the fishmongers that leave in the morning and return in the afternoon with their nets full.
There are several taverns that are great for lunch or dinner.
From the church of Panaghia Gremiotisa in the upper part of the village, you can follow the path to the three small churches at the top of the hill.
Odysseas Elitis Theatre
From the Odysseas Elitis theatre we have a breathtaking view with the Mylopotas beach in the background.
Ancient ruins of the castle
Behind the wall next to the theatre we find the ruins of the old castle with a breathtaking view of the village of Khora and a spectacular place to watch the sunset all alone.
Where to watch the sunset in Ios
The Greek Islands offer us many things, including spectacular sunsets. We were lucky enough to experience two of the best sunsets of our lives.
A good place to watch the sunset would be from the three churches at the top of the hill.
From the Agia Irini church we can also see the sunset.
Ancient castle ruins
An incredible place to watch the sunset is over the ruins of the old castle. We saw the sunset all alone and it was a really amazing experience.
This became our second sunset in our ranking of best sunsets.
We hope you liked the guide and that it helped you to plan your trip to this not so famous island a bit better.
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