This island’s reputation precedes it: Ios invites you to the wildest summer party, on the beaches and in the cobblestone streets of Hora. The music is turned up full-blast, revelers from across the world are loud and boisterous, dancing non-stop, knocking back cocktails and shots… all making up one big party until the sun comes up. And what about the other face of Hora?
Beyond the bars and the nightclubs, you will find traditional Cycladic homes, arcades, cafes, children playing in the town squares, stairways coated with whitewash, stylish boutiques, restaurants offering international cuisine, while Panagia Gremiotissa Church watches over it all. Ios is the fun and lively holiday scene that you were dreaming of all winter. But this Greek island also provides something more, something deeper: a special kind of Aegean beauty that awaits you at the break of dawn.
What to do on Ios
A never-ending party in the Cyclades
The island’s name is spelt just like Apple’s operating system and it is just as special, but much more entertaining. Ios is renowned for its spirit of unlimited fun under the sun and its wild summer parties. The party guests are young and cool and come from all over the world – Australia, Italy, Austria, America, England, Ireland, Sweden... An ‘anything-goes philosophy’, the freedom to frolic in the sun, makes for carefree, timeless summers in the Aegean.
Milopotas, the island’s shining star
Here the revelry begins early: take a dip in Milopotas, with its impressive cove. A beach with emerald-coloured water, beach bars, fine sand, water sports, cafes... this is where the party begins! Are you ready?
Another side to Hora
Make your way to Panagia Gremiotissa Church, next to the Venetian castle, to see Hora from another perspective. Cube-shaped homes form an amphitheatre and churches emerge from the slopes in this town is built upon the site of an ancient city. Get lost in its labyrinth: Cycladic whitewashed cobblestone streets, flower-filled patios, aromas emanating from the bakery while you play hide-and-seek in the arcades… women gossiping on their stoops while they knit. Now you’re experiencing authentic Ios.
The other face of Ios
The morning after the party, you will encounter the other face of Ios. Where? In the breathtaking view from Homer’s grave, in the ancient ruins of a Hellenistic tower. On the cobblestone streets that lead to the Palaiokastro (the Old Castle), walking along the edge of the cliff, 300 meters above the sea. In Panagia tin Palaiokastritissa, at the 16th century castle, admiring the open Aegean Sea through its beautiful dome.
Enter the Bronze Age at Skarkos!
Follow the path: the stone walls spiralling around the hill form Skarko. The locals call it karavola, meaning snails. Here, only a few minutes outside Hora, a very important settlement from the Proto-Cycladic period was excavated. Wander around the organised archaeological site and see the discoveries first-hand in the archaeological museum.
Hidden gems of Ios
At the northeast end of Ios, you will find the island’s oldest Orthodox church, built in the 16th century, above the ruins of the Temple of Apollo. It’s an impressive sight!
Odysseas Elytis Theatre
A striking theatre made up of 1,100 seats in Hora, built in accordance with ancient Greek standards, and named after the Nobel award-winning Greek poet Elytis.
Near Hora’s school, you will find the only Catholic church on Ios, which has been there since the 14th century.
Experience the best of Ios
- Another side to Hora
- Enter the Bronze Age at Skarkos!
- Aghia Theodoti
- Odysseas Elitis Theatre