Visit Churches And Chapels
White washed churches and blue-domed chapels scatter the hillsides and coastlines of Ios. Its said there are 365 churches on the island one for every day of the year. Many of the smaller ones are built by and cared for by local families. You dont really need to see them all but definitely climb to the top of Chora and see the four white-washed churches that sit on the hillside.
Take a walk to the top. The views up there are amazing and its one of the best places in Ios to watch the sunset. No crowds, a warm breeze and incredible views. The lack of selfie stick wielding hoards that you find on nearby islands is one of the reasons that makes Ios so special.
Where To Eat In Ios
The Octopus Tree: A traditional, family-run taverna in the port of Ios serving up coffee and snacks during the day as well as salads, mezze dishes and fresh seafood for lunch and dinner.
Sainis restaurant: Another traditional Greek taverna that is known for seafood rice and pasta dishes as well as tasty mezze platters. Youre nearly always offered some delicious rakomelo too which is a lovely added treat!
Katogi Taverna: One of the best places on the island to try a range of traditional dishes from spicy feta dips and tasty tzatziki to sautéed octopus and yummy meatballs. The staff and friendly and welcoming and the atmosphere is always abuzz.
Lord Byron: Another place with a lively atmosphere as delicious cuisine is the Lord Byron Restaurant. Portion sizes are large so you may want to choose a couple of dishes and share between a group but it offers great value with good quality ingredients!
The Mills Restaurant: Named after the famous Ios windmills, The Mills is known for its excellent moussaka as well as its succulent grilled calamari and fresh Greek salads.
Peri Anemon: One of the best restaurants on Ios for carnivores with juicy souvlaki, gyros and meatballs with a range of salads on the side. You cant miss it as its a busy, bustling grill house in the heart of town.
So, there you have it, a whole host of things to see and do on the gorgeous island of Ios! Let me know in the comments below what youre most excited about visiting when you get the chance to go.
What Area To Stay In
We’re after a town by the water, that’s beautiful, and that’s romantic. At the same time we’re on a very tight budget so any ideas would be appreciated!
Could someone let me know what town would best suit us? We’re NOT big partiers but still like a bit of life with some nice tavernas/restaurants.
there is only one “town” on ios which is known as the village.it is situated on top of a hill with lovely views.however,it is party central and will be quite loud,busy and pretty packed even by june.there is loads of accomadation there but it wont be quiet.if you want waterfront,there are a few nice hotels near the harbour.i usually stay at the posidon which is nice or there are others on the road upto the village or along yialos beach in the other direction.from the port it is easy to get a bus or walk to the village for nightlife and during the day,you can get a bus to the beaches as well.ios is easy to get to santorini but not so sure about naxos.last year there was a flying dolphin doing the trip daily but it might have finally fell to pieces by now.you may have to go via paros but keep checking www,gtp greece for schedules.
hi boat connections from ios to santorini naxos are very frequent throughout summer connections at least 5 times a day to both islands!!
the posiedon hotel is also very nice as richard stated above
hope this gives you some help
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How To Get To Ios Greece
Although there is no airport in Ios, there are several ways to arrive to the island. If you are traveling from northern Greece or from another country you can find cheap flights to Athens with Ryan Air. From there, you can take the metro to Piraeus Port, where you have several ferry options, including high speed. I always use Ferryscanner to book my tickets, they have a user-friendly website and the whole process of booking ferry tickets is easy, fast and secure.
If you have time to see two islands during your vacation, I recommend visiting Santorini first , spend a few days there and then take the ferry boat from Santorini to Ios. The ferry ride is only 35 minute by high speed and an hour and a half by regular speed. The price of the ticket ranges from 7 euros for regular speed, to ~30 euros by high speed, depending on the time of day and the season.
Ios Travel Guide: Money
Although Ios is one of the most popular Greek islands, its way more budget-friendly than places like Santorini and Mykonos since it caters to younger travelers and backpackers. As long as you can find a budget place to stay and dont drink too much, youre set. But it never hurts to save more! Here are some suggested ways to save money in Ios:
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Greece Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources
These are my favorite companies to use when I travel to Greece. They are included here because they consistently find deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the ones I use the most and are always the starting points in my search for travel deals.
Welcome To The Party Playground
We all have a mate who is doing a summer in Ios… whether it be a massive case of FOMO, or a desire to chase thesun, Ios is now a rite of passage for young backpackers, and has truly established itself as Greeces party islandcapital.
Located in the popular Cyclades island chain, Ios is nestled near iconic Santorini, and by day reflects atraditional Greek Island scene, with white hillside villages, bursts of bright blue rooftops, golden beaches, andturquoise water. By mid-afternoon however, it transforms into an oasis of pool parties, DJs, and a maze of uniquebars and clubs catering to every taste well into the night.
Here is absolutely everything you need to know about the party playground that is Ios!
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Beaches In Ios Greece
There are around 40 beaches on the island but only a handful of them are accessed by car. Some of the most notable beaches include: Mylopotas, Magganari, Aghia Theodoti, and Plakes. If you have limited time, or limited transportation, then Mylopotas is just a short walk from Chora. This beach is the most famous one due to its proximity to the center of the island. It is filled with restaurants and beach bars. Be sure to also check out the various water sports offered at Mylopotas Beach.
Best Places To Stay In Yialos
The is one of the best value hotels in Ios. Youll also get access to a lovely pool and be just steps away from Yialos beach . Please note that the pool is quite deep and there are only ladders to get in and out . However, my 12-month old still enjoyed it!
When you arrive off the ferry, the hotel is just minutes away. We were kindly picked up by the owner on her tricycle who helped us with our luggage.
Theres a poolside bar where you can purchase snacks and drinks throughout the day, and theres an option to pay a little extra for breakfast.
Rooms sleep 2-6 adults + kids depending on the room type chosen. Rooms range from a double room to a two-bedroom apartment. There are no cooing facilities unless you choose a studio.
Pension Irini Vicky is VERY good value for money. The property was just behind where we stayed and the only difference was the lack of pool and the one-minute extra walk tot he beach. However, guests benefit from a large outdoor area and access to a public garden. Youll be just minutes away from Ios port and the beach. Rooms sleep 1-5 adults + kids. Cots can NOT be provided but kids are very welcome. View the latest prices and availability or your dates here.
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Long Identified With Parties And Hedonism A Quiet Shift Is Underway On Ios With Authenticity And Understated Luxury Attracting A New Breed Of Travelers
Alex King | June 26th, 2019
Over the years, Ios has revealed many different faces to many different types of traveler. Once a hippie haven in the 1970s, it then developed to become a hedonistic party hotspot beloved by teens and twenty-somethings from around the world. Today, however, the island is reestablishing itself as an authentic, luxury destination with a new wave of innovative and elegant hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants, and a newfound respect for its rich cultural heritage.
Yet, throughout its many transformations, Ios has always managed to hold onto its own identity while offering something for everyone. So, perhaps we shouldnt be talking about the many faces of Ios but the one timeless face that welcomes all those who set foot on her shores.
When Peter Bramwell from the UK arrived on Mylopotas Beach in 1978, it was still a hippie haven. I remember sleeping on the beach that first night, Peter says. There were hardly any facilities here, not even a proper road down to the beach. But for the people who made the island their home for the summer, there was a wonderful sense of freedom and fun.
In order to stay, Peter founded Meltemi right on Mylopotas Beach in 1986. As tourism has boomed on Ios and holiday resorts have sprung up all along the waterfront, his business has grown to twelve boats and twenty staff in the high season, offering everything from windsurfing to stand-up-paddle boarding and yoga.
New Arrivals, New Ideas
Where to eat
Hire A Car And Explore The Island
It is relatively cheap to hire a car on Ios.
We hired a car with a group of friends to split the cost and explored the island for the full day, driving up into the cliffs so we could overlook the town before hopping from beach to beach.
We also made sure to stop at other iconic spots along the way including Homers Tomb and the windmills high up in Chora.
We finished the day at.
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Most Luxurious Ios Hotels
When you want the best amenities and the most comfort in your Ios hotel you have plenty of luxury options.Few of the best and most expensive hotels or resorts in Ios area Modernity Suites, Porto Fira Suites and Gizis Exclusive.Which are located in near landmark Yialos Beach, Kalamos Beach and Kalamos Beach.Most of these upscale boutique hotel choices are of 4 star and 5 star rating with guest rooms and suites with finest furnishings and decor.Often near tourist activities, offering access to both nearby attractions and public transit.
Where To Stay Find The Best Location
The vast majority of hotels in Ios lie on the west side of the island and more specifically in the region of Chora, Ormos, Mylopotas, Gialos and Tzamaria. Manganari is a beautiful remote beach at the east side where a small number of hotels have been built recently.
Mylopotas is by far the most popular beach of Ios and a place where the vast majority of hotels are located on the island. The beach is long, sandy with clean and calm waters. The biggest part of the beach is organised and offers many tourist facilities, restaurants, beach bars and watersports while there is also an unorganised part without umbrellas and sunbeds. One shall find every type of hotel here from budget rooms-to-let to luxury hotels. It lies 3km away from Chora and can be reached on foot with a 20 walk or by bus/car.Our recommended Hotels in Mylopotas:
Chora is the main village of Ios located on its west side, just 20 on foot from the port of the island. The picturesque cycladic style village has wonderful views to the sea, a traditional Cycladic architecture, nice shops and restaurants and is the hub of the island’s nightlife with numerous bars and clubs. Many cheap accommodation options are found here since young travellers want to stay close to the party zone. Of course, other types of hotels are also present in the islands capital and can cover any taste or budget.Our recommended Hotels in Chora:
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Gay Ios Travel Guide: The Alternative To Santorini
We first visited Ios as part of our gay sailing trip around the Greek Islands in 2019 and immediately fell in love with this beautiful island.
Ios is part of the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea and can be found between Naxos and Santorini. It is a relatively small island at only 18 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide.
The island is known for its lazy days, beautiful beaches and party fuelled nights.
As places like Santorini become increasingly popular with huge numbers of tourists, places like Ios give you the opportunity to explore an equally beautiful island without so many crowds, especially since it has no airport so you can only arrive by sea!
Like Santorini, Ios is covered with white washed, blue domed buildings which look stunning and are iconic of these islands.
When it comes to gay Ios, it does not have a well established gay scene like you would find in Mykonos . However like many places we visited around Greece, we felt welcome as a gay couple and did manage to find its one gay bar during our explorations!
Check out our Gay Greece Guide for a shortlist of our top gay destinations in Greece.
In our mini Gay Ios Travel Guide we share the best things to do in Ios as well as where to stay, and some great recommendations for a sunset drink!
The Main Square Nightlife
The Main Square of the village Chora is the center of the nightlife in Ios. Sit down and have a cocktail or mingle with the crowd. The square is not very big but it can still take some time to cross since it is always crowded with people during the summer months. The square is surrounded by some of the best bars of Ios such as Slammers, Shamrock, Ios Blue, Red Bull bar, Jonis Electric Rock Bar to mention a few. You also find the always popular Flames bar down the steps from the main square. My favorites among the bars around main square include Slammers, Shamrock and Ios Blue. I recommend that you try them out if you find yourself on Ios and interested in the nightlife. You may leave the Main Square in any direction and find many more bars and clubs. You will find Flames Bar, as mentioned before, down the stairs. Turn left at the end of this narrow street to come to Lemon Bar and more fun bars or right to visit the impressive Rehab Bar. Leaving the Main Square in the street exiting at Shamrock will take you to Shooters, Disco 69, Pegasus and many more bars and clubs.
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Getting Around Ios Island
Ios is just 18 km long and 10 km wide which makes it easy to explore. A bus service connects Ios Port , Chora and Mylopotas Beach. There are regular buses which cost 1.80 one way. Youll find up-to-date timetables displayed at the numerous bus stops. Buses also run to Maganari and Agia Theodoti beaches. To explore further afield you can hire a car, quad bike / ATV or scooter in Chora or at Ios Port
The walk from Chora to Mylopotas beach takes around 30 minutes depending on fitness levels. Going back the other way half the walk is uphill so you may want to return by bus.
From Ios blue-domed churches and beautiful beaches to succulent seafood, historic sites and glorious sunsets I hope this has given you an idea of what to do in Ios. Its so much more than a party island. Stay tuned for my post on where to eat in Ios. There are some wonderful restaurants on the island and they deserved a post to themselves.
Where To Party In Ios
There are so many bars and clubs in Ios which make up its ios island nightlife and theyre all really easy to spot and visit but here are the ones that we went to, I enjoyed and I would recommend:
Fun Pub start here and be ready to play beer pong!
Soho go here early on for really cheap drinks and shots!
Flames get your face painted with UV paint here!
Coo Bar get up on the ledge and dance here for a Ios Greece party.
Slammer order a shot here, put a helmet on and get hit over the head with a board or hammer before you can drink it
Bank enjoy some 80s music here for a fun Ios party.
Lost Boys do the singlet challenge here- buy 7 shots, get 1 singlet for free??
Far Out Beach Club head here for a beach party!
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