Ios lies between the islands of Santorini, Sikinos and Naxos. It is known as the "party island" due to the many night clubs and bars functioning in its capital during the summer, and this is not typical for a small and less populated island as Ios is. For this reason, most visitors are young people. The island does not have an airport and it can be reached only by ferry from Piraeus or from another island of the group which has an airport. The ferries from Piraeus port take from 4 to 10 hours to reach Ios, depending on the vehicle type.
Like the rest of the Cyclades, Ios has the typical Cycladic architecture with white-washed houses, small labyrinth-like streets and many chapels. The locals say that it has a total of 365 churches and chapels, one for each day of the year.
Ios has only a few villages, the largest of which is Chora, the capital. Chora is build on a hill and major part of it is not accessible by cars. Gialos, the port of Ios, is just below the capital and it has developed as a separate resort no matter it is 15 min walk from Chora. The other settlements - Mylopotas, Manganari and Agia Theodoti are summer resorts with hotels, taverns and cafes.
The island is also known for its sandy beaches. There are about 10 beaches on Ios and 3 of them are Blue Flag awarded. Scuba diving and water sports are available in Mylopotas and Manganari.
Interesting places to visit in Ios:
- The tomb of Homer - the legend says that the poet Homer was buried in the northern part of island, near Plakoto beach
- The archeological excavations of Skarkos, showing a well-preserved prehistoric settlement
- The traditional windmills of Ios near Chora
- The chapel of Virgin Mary Chapel on the top of Chora, revealing a spectacular view over the port
- The ruins of the old castle, Paleocastro, near Agia Theodoti
- Mylopotas beach and Manganari beach