About Ios, Greece
The famous ‘party island’ of Ios is just a short ferry ride from Santorini, making it a great option for a day trip. Of course you can always stay longer – a choice of accommodation and activities, from simply relaxing on some of Greece’s best beaches, to swimming, diving, windsurfing and water skiing, makes it perfect for a beach holiday or romantic getaway.
Things to do and see
Hire a car and explore this hilly and rocky island, sprinkled with picturesque whitewashed buildings that often lie scattered across hilltops. At Plakoto, visit the tomb of the ancient Greek poet Homer, author of epics such as the Odyssey and Iliad.
In Chora (also known as Ios Town), climb up to the white church of Panaghia Gremiotissa, the highest spot in the village, for panoramic views over the island and the small harbour of Ormos.
Admire traditional whitewashed windmills, visit the hilltop ruins of a 15th century Venetian fortress and browse the winding stone streets of Chora, crammed with fashion and jewellery boutiques, cafes, tavernas and bars (which only open at night).
By day, watch locals chatting in cafes and playing backgammon in Hora’s tiny central square; after dark, this typically becomes the setting for noisy al fresco parties that spill into a myriad of alleyways packed with late-night bars offering a medley of rock, blues, Latin or jazz.
Best time to visit Ios?
The best time to honeymoon in the Cyclades is during the mid-season (May, June, September and October) when the weather is warm and the islands are less crowded.
Note: Peak season generally runs from July to August and is best avoided due to temperatures often exceeding 38°C and to the fact that the main islands are swamped with European holidaymakers.
From March to May, the temperature is cooler, hotel prices are more reasonable and the crowds non-existent. The winter off-season, from November through February, is generally quiet everywhere, however many hotels are closed.
Location – Ios is one of the Cyclades, a group of islands that comprises Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios and Santorini, plus a number of smaller islands. The Cyclades is located in the Aegean Sea, south-east of mainland Greece.
Getting there – By ferry, Ios is one and a quarter hours from Santorini and Naxos, two and a half hours from Paros and seven hours from Mykonos and Piraeus. Fast catamarans reduce these times by as much as 30 minutes in every hour (i.e. Ios to Santorini takes just 40 minutes).