AND GREEK ISLANDS
Ios is principally one of the islands, which has
been identified with the meaning of
entertainment and the vivid rhythms of life that
live and enjoy. Centre of attraction mostly for
young ages (but not only), consists the choice
for many people who want to combine their
holidays with intense moments of entertainment
and unique memories.
Among all the Cyclades islands, Ios has been for
many years the one most loved by young people of
all ages. And rightly so, since it combines all
the ingredients of a Greek island that one would
dream of. Well known as the island where the
great poet Homer died, Ios is the place where
beauty and culture meet party people from all
around the world.
The Ionians came and settled to the island in
1050 B.C. A version about the origin of the
island's name claims that it derives from the
name of the Ionians, but this doesn't seem to be
valid linguistically, because in such case the
name would be "Ionia" or "Ionis". According to
the name derives from the Phoenician word "ion",
meaning "a heap of stones". This version doesn't
seem valid either, as we know that the
Phoenicians had inhabited places that were much
rockier than Ios. Finally, according to the
prevailing version, Ios took its name from the
violets (Greek "ion") that fill its countryside
each spring. The island has been related with
the death of the poet Homer, creating a myth
that in the course of the centuries turned into
Until Ios came under Frankish rule, it suffered
a lot from the pirate raids, as its natural
harbour was a sheltered anchorage for all ships.
At that time, whenever the islanders saw a
foreign ship in the port, they would barricade
themselves in the castle, sending the oldest
women of the island to the port. If they came
back, then everything would be all right. If
not, then they would have to prepare for battle.
In 1204 Ios was occupied by the Crusaders, and
up to the 15th century it was ruled by the noble
family of Crispi, forming
part of the Duchy of Naxos. The Crispi rebuilt
the castle on the ruins of the old one to
protect the island from the pirates. But in
1537, Hairedin Barbarossa, the Turkish pirate,
occupied the Duchy of Naxos, together with Ios.
The final liberation came with the incorporation
of Ios in the modern Greek State, which was
founded by the signature of the protocol of
London on the 10th of March 1829.
The most significant local feasts celebrated
during summer are: On the 24th of June and on
the 2nd of August, the feast of St. John
Prodromos at the monastery of Pyrgos, on the
highest spot of the island.
On the 29th of August, St. John's is celebrated
in two parts of the island, in Kalamos and
Psathi. Each year on this date, hundreds of
pilgrims attend vespers, taste the meat soup
served in wooden dishes ("skoutelia") and dance
to island music all night through.
Located in Cyclades, Greece Ios is only
accessible by boats since Ios does not have an
airport. Most people choose to fly directly to
Athens or Santorini and from there take the
ferry to Ios. Boats and Ferries mainly depart
from Piraeus port in Athens (Greece biggest
port) from and to Ios.
The warmest month are July and August, with
average temperatures of 28 degrees Celsius the
However, a prevailing north, north east wind
brings some fresh air and cools you down. In
winter time it is and 10-18 degrees Celsius.
During spring Ios is much greener, almost beyond
recognition in comparison to summer period.
General Information Ios is the ultimate party
island, this is the paradise for youngsters from
all over, eager to party all night and sleep
half the day.
Ios is a pretty, but harsh island with quite a
few things to do and see, but because of the
very young audience, many "mature" travellers
prefer not to come here. Which is a shame, since
you can enjoy large, empty beaches before noon,
when all the "clubbers" are fast asleep.
The people on Ios live mainly off the tourism,
and partly off agriculture and fishing. For
them, the island's reputation is something of a
dilemma. On the one hand the young holidaymakers
provide an important source of income, but on
the other hand the island has become a bit too
commercialised, and the locals are quite
disgusted by the behaviour of the young
Ios History The island's earliest inhabitants
were probably some Pelasgian tribe, since almost
all islands beginning with and "I" usually are.
This is not for certain though.
In the 2nd Millennium the Minoans were most
likely here, and in the 8th century the Dorians
got a foothold on the island. Local tradition
has it that Homer died here, and the remains of
his tomb can still be seen.
The Venetians ruled the island in the 13th to
17th century with Naxos as the capital of the
Dutchy. The Turks then invaded, and Ios was not
liberated until the 19th century.
In the 1960's the island was discovered by
hippies from all over the world, and every now
and again they still turn up. This is partly the
reason why it is such a party island today.
What to See The island's pride is the tomb of
Homer, which basically is just a pile of stones.
It is difficult to find, but if you manage to
locate it it does tickle the fantasy. Local
legend has it that he wanted to be buried on Ios
since his mother was from here.
There are a few interesting churches on the
island as well, but most visitors like to go to
the monastery of St. John (Ag Ioannis). castle.
What to Do : Well, apart from the
obvious, partying, there is always water sports,
snorkeling, diving, beach volley etc. Anything
to do with beach life.
Ios Beaches There are quite a few beaches. Most
popular are Mylopotas beach, Yialos and Koubaras,
where many go skinny dipping. If you can, rent a
moped and try to find your own spot if you don't
like large crowds.
Nightlife: Ios is overcrowded with bars
and clubs, and the rhythm is high all through
the night. Most places are in Chora, but there
are also beach parties going on. Because of its
young audience, you'll soon realize that most
bars are for late teenagers, with loud music and
Food-On Ios grapes are grown, so you should try
some of the local wine. Other-wise you can get
international food as well as Greek.
of the too touristy looking taverns though since
the quality is not always the best.
Shopping: In Chora you can get almost
anything: from copies of ancient statues to
beachwear and jewellery. Because of the late
nights, many shop owners choose to stay open
until early morning, hoping that the "happy"
clubbers will buy something extra.
Getting Around There are quite good bus
connections, and you can also rent a vehicle, as
well as boats that will take you to different
Getting There : Since Ios does not have
an airport, most people choose to fly directly
to Naxos, Mykonos or Paros and from there take
the ferry boat. The island is also connected
Facts about Ios Ios Phone numbers
Size: 110 sq. km International code: 0030
Airport: No Local code: 22860
Cashmachine: Yes Health Center Doctor:
Internet cafe: Yes Coast guard:
Population: about 1800 Port Police: 91264
Price rate: Average.