photo by BigBlackBox

Ios is a small island of the Cyclades group.


The island of Ios, in Greece, is a part of the Cyclades Islands in the south of Greece. Ios is a short ferry ride for Santorini making an extended holiday or even a day trip a viable option.

Over the last few years,Ios has developed into an island that has something for all ages to enjoy. For many years Ios was known as the party island, however, there is so much more that Ios has to offer.

Ios has regularly been voted in Various polls as having one of the "Top 10 beaches in Europe" and it in fact boasts 75 kilometres of beautiful,white sandy beaches and turquoise coastlines. The architecture of Ios is typically Cycladic and features whitewashed buildings perched beautifully on hill tops and dotted around valleys.

Ios still maintains a lively nightlife,the likes of which you will not see on the other islands.Unlike the "package resorts",the nightlife of Ios is concentrated in one place, Hora. The nightlife is very cosmopolitan and still quite traditional. The main meeting point is in the main square. By day, Hora reverts to a beautiful tranquil traditional Greek village where you can see the locals chatting in cafes and playing backgammon.

For those not wishing to experience the nightlife, Chora is wonderfully peaceful in the early evening and is awash with clothing and jewelry stores, souvlaki shops and excellent restaurants. Yialos or the Port,is an excellent place to escape the crowds in the evening as is the beautiful Mylopotas beach.

Regular Buses or Boats are on offer to take you on various excursions to the other beaches on Ios, where you can find real peaceful areas and avoid the crowds.

All in all, Ios has lots to offer for all age groups. It is a stunningly beautiful island and will be an unforgettable experience.

Getting there

By sea

Ios can be reached best from Santorini , Naxos , Heraklion - Crete island or directly from Piraeus.

Ferry boats and Highspeed catamaran services run daily from Piraeus.

All domestic ferry schedules is here

If you plan on traveling to several different islands, it is wise to book all your ferries at once for a possible discount. however, always keep in mind that pickup and arrival times are subject to change at anytime.

Traveling around

The islands has three major villages : Ormos or Yialos (where the ferry port is), Hora (main city) and Milopotas a beach (one of the most beautiful beaches on Ios) close to Hora. In summer buses operate between those three villages. Additionally you can rent cars and motorcycles in Hora. Boats also run between major coastal towns on the island.

Rent a Moped or ATV- This is the generally the best way to get around. ATV's will cost you between 30-40 Euros for 24 hours and a Moped should cost between 20-30 Euros. By far this is the best way to explore the different parts of the island. Ios is known for its popular beaches. Although they are extremely beautiful, they can also be extremely crowded during the peek traveling times. With an ATV your are able to explore, go up a mountain and find a secluded beach. There are many parts of the island that go untouched and are truly a miraculous sight.

WARNING: When driving at night use EXTREME caution. Due to the lenient laws on this island, many people drive while under the influence, although not everyone will be intoxicated it is wise to take the bus out at night, or if you decide to drive, make sure to drive defensively!


  • Hora or Chora - The main village of Ios is very scenic with its small alleys and white-washed houses. During day Hora is a peaceful, quiet place while during night it is the main party zone on Ios.

  • Homer's tomb

  • The open air theater

  • Archaeological museum

  • the Old castle (Paleocastro)

  • the marina in the port

  • The beach of Maganari- Located on the most southern part of the island, Maganari beach provides seclusion, but not isolation. Since this beach is far from the rest of the main attractions on the island not many people go or even hear about it. The beach provides many athletic activities as well as beautiful and delicious lunch spots on the beach.

Things to do

  • Party - If you have decided to go for Ios, simply party. Hora has plenty of bars and clubs to have fun all night long.

  • Watersports - In Milopotas,Yialos and Maganari Beach you can go diving, do wind-surfing, water-skiing or on blow up "donuts" behind speed boats.

  • Skarkos, Campos, Near the port in Campos area, Excavations on Skarkos hill unearthed a prehistoric settlement, proving that Ios has been inhabited since the early Cycladic period. The architecture at Skarkos is preserved in places up to a height of almost three meters, with most of the buildings evidently having two storeys, stone-paved floors and a sewage system. Numerous well-preserved pottery, tools and utensils made of metal, stone and bone were also discovered.In 2008, Ios was among six European locations (out of 109 candidates) awarded the European Union Cultural Heritage prize for its exceptional conservation efforts at the archaeological site of Skarkos


In Ios there are a number of good to very good restaurants. Here are the restaurants that you must visit...

  • Piperri Tapas and Meze Dishes (formerly old Byron's), 00306978192212, just off the bottom square behind the pharmacy and astra bar, Serves tapas and meze an eclectic mix of Mediterranean and fresh fish.

  • Ali Babas, on the same street as the Emporiki, Superb authentic Thai menu (with real Thai Chefs), also has a small selection of international dishes. Pre-book a

  • Koulidas (Unique), Koulidas, Towards Plakotos (Homer's Tomb), Unique view of the island with international cuisine and bbq dishes.

  • Far Out Village, Lovely bar/restaurant facing the beach, and quieter than the next door Far Out Camping pool bar, where the main action is checking out the opposite sex.

  • Harmony, Funky Mexican restaurant with great views along the beach. Only go there when it gets dark though or you'll be surrounded by flies!

  • Katogi, beneath No Name bar, Serves wonderful, unique Greek dishes, Mezze style.

  • Lord Byron, opposite Pomodoro and Disco 69, Wonderful small Greek restaurant with fantastic ambience, also renowned for its cocktails and home-made desserts.

  • Pomodoro, next to Disco 69, Brand new and very popular, can cater for groups of up to 40 people. Two floors including a roof garden with spectacular views of Ios town. Serves real Italian wood fired pizza and wonderfully tasty Italian and Mediterranean dishes and mouth watering desserts.

  • The Mills, Serves traditional greek dishes. Realy tasty food and good prices.

  • Cantina del mar (beach bar ios) , +30 22860 91016, 08:00 - 01:00, Mylopotas beach, on the main beach, Cantina Del Mar brings a new concept to Ios island, a beach bar that does real sandwiches, fresh salads, Veg-Fruit Smoothies and tasty waffles. www.cantinadelmar.gr

  • Porkys, beside Red Bull Bar, The best gyros on the island!

  • The Nest, Next to the Orange Bar, Traditional Greek Taverna - delicious and wholesome Greek food made by a lovely Greek family

  • Harmony, Mylopotas beach, On the right of Mylopotas facing the sea., Mexican restaurant with an amazing atmosphere. Usually has live music.

  • Enigma , Port of Ios, Next to the super market at the port., International cuisine with nice view of the port.

  • Funky Garden, Beautiful spot, really comfy set-up, friendly staff, good food and right on the beach. Definately worth a look.


Ios has everything to offer whether you're young or old. Fantastic nightlife with sounds from every corner of the planet; since the 70s hippies flocked to Ios for their summer solstice. Nowadays people from all over the globe converge on Ios during the summer months. Ios' bars and clubs offer a huge variety of entertainment 7 nights a week 24 hours a day. Drinking in Ios is very reasonably priced compared to Santorini and Mykonos.

In the main village there are bars such as Red Bull, Flames, Slammers, Disco 69, Circus Bar, Bulldog, Shooters, Pegasus, Orange bar, Coo, Ammos, Satisfaction, Click, Astra bar, Stellas champagne bar, Barmacy Bar, Shamrock, No name, Jonnys electric, Louies, Blue note, Ios blue, Balsamu, La cuva, Lotus, Agelos, Frankies, Fun Pub, Voodo, Liquid and Dolca Vita.

Night clubs in the village include Rehab, Kandi, Dream Nightclub, Scorpion and Finari.


  • A1 Princess Sissy Hotel , Chora, Economy hotel with bar.

  • Poseidon Hotel , Ormos, Located just 300 m. from the beach and 50 m. from the port.

  • Francesco's in the town is also very popular.

  • Yialos Sandy Beach (near the port and not far from the town) is the alternative way for quiet holidays.

  • Brothers Hotel 5 minutes walk from the beach.

  • Glaros Hotel on the beach.

  • Homer's Inn Hotel , +302286091365, Port, Two star hotel situated between the port and the village.

  • George and Irene's Hotel centre of village up hill from super market

  • Sunrise as about opposite G&I's

  • Gorgona hotel (Mylopotas beach ) , +30 22860 91 307, Mylopotas beach , stay on bus until the end of Mylopotas, In Ios Island,

  • Skala, 3 minutes walk from the village. Brilliant pool and bar, with arguably the best view on the island. great owner and one of the nicest host you will meet, Kiriakos.

  • Blue Sky Apartments, Ideal location. 5 min walk from town, 5 min walk from beach. Very clean and very reasonable rates. Friendly staff. James got a lovely haircut their too!!

  • Hermes Hotel , between main village and main beach within walking distance of both, Fantastic view and swimming pool.


  • Far Out Camping, in Milopotas. The most popular, has plenty of attractions during high seasons.

  • PurplePig Star, in Milopotas. Cheaper than Far Out; the owners comes from Holland.

You may want to go for Manganari, a white-sand beach in the south-east of the island.

Contact & location

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BigBlackBox, Titanas, Panayotis Vryonis, Abir Anwar, Leonid Mamchenkov, ristok

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This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Burmesedays, Claus Hansen, Dan Diamond, Dimitris Valakos, Neil Shaw, David, Rob Smith, Simone Bravo and Karl Kreiner, Whatsinaname, Tatatabot, Sailsetter, Ioslover, Jelse and Maed

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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