The alleyways of Hora
As you head into the alleyways of Hora, you’ll be swept into a classic Cycladic aura of whitewashed Instagrammability. Look out for the many churches and the 12 windmills on the hill above town. For breakfast, try a local coffee house and, for lunch or dinner, there are plenty of places serving dishes made with local products. The cheeses are especially good (soft white Myzithra, yellow spicy Kefalotiri and creamy and bitter Ksino), as is the local honey. Another speciality (particularly in springtime) is tsimetia, made with courgette flowers stuffed with rice.
The Church of Panagia Gremniotisas
This cute-as-can-be church found at the highest point of Hora offers perhaps the best view, especially at sunset. Its name means Virgin Mary of the Steep Cliff (no prizes for guessing why) and it is known as the protector of the island. With a characteristic blue dome and tall bell tower, it is also distinguished by the palm tree next to it and can be seen from every part of Hora.
The Archaeological Museum
Visiting the archaeological museum is the best way to appreciate Ios’ long history, which could otherwise be overlooked. Within a neoclassical mansion (which it shares with the Town Hall), it houses artefacts from Ios’ first Cycladic period, Hellenistic and Roman sculptures, as well as Middle and Late Bronze Age relics.
Odysseus Elytis Theatre
Finally, head up to the theatre named after Greece’s most famous modern-day poet, the Nobel Prize-winning Odysseus Elytis. Located behind the windmills above Hora, it has been built in the classical amphitheatre style, seating 1,100 people. Concerts, plays and other cultural events are staged here (the biggest is the annual Homeria festival), made all the more special by the incredible sea view.