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The Top 10 Things To See And Do On Ios, Greece
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The Top 10 Things To See And Do On Ios, Greece

Picture of Michelle Schmid
Updated: 9 February 2017
An island in southern Greece, Ios boasts crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, dramatic crags, a mythological history, and classic whitewashed buildings. We list some of the best things to see and do in this Greek paradise.
Windmills on Ios
Windmills on Ios | ©Kostas Limitsios/Flickr

Visit Chora

Chora is a classic Greek village. Built on hilly terrain, it offers a great number of scenic views as well as numerous side alleys to explore, not to mention the shops that line the streets of this whitewashed town. Chora is known for peaceful ambience by day, but also has a lively nightlife scene with numerous bars and clubs.

Panayia Gremiotissa
Panayia Gremiotissa | © Kostas Limitsios/Flickr

Panayia Gremiotissa church and Evangelisimos Cathedral

Blue and white roofs make Evangelisimos a great site for photographs, while the picturesque white bell tower of Panayia Gremiotissa is one of the most captured images on the island. With a history of religious tradition, both churches participate in various festivals throughout the year.

Odysseas Elytis Theatre

On top of the hill above Chora, visitors will discover the large, open air amphitheater of Odysseas Elytis. Named after a famous Greek poet, the recently constructed marble theatre is styled to resemble ancient Greek theatres, and is a fantastic place to participate in the many festivals and watch the performances that take place on the island.

Hiking

For more intrepid types, hiking Ios’ back country is a must, especially when navigating the shepherd paths through the rocky terrain up to Pyrgos, the island’s highest point. This leads wanderers to the old monastery of Agios Ioannis. Remember to take a map, plenty of water, and a good amount of sun protection.

Mylopotas Beach
Mylopotas Beach | © Abir Anwar/Flickr

Mylopotas Beach

The most visited beach on the island is Mylopotas Beach, located right near the town of Chora. Like many of the beaches on Ios, this is a great place to enjoy the crystalline waters and white sand of the Aegean. Incidentally, this is also where visitors will find the well-known Far Out Beach Club, the number one spot to party on Ios.

Homer's tomb
Homer’s tomb | © Abir Anwar/Flickr

Plakotos Beach and Homer’s Tomb

Travel to the north of the island either by taxi-boat or by the track road leading to this secluded beach. Less popular than other beaches on the island because of its more turbulent waters and lack of nearby facilities, Plakotos does offer a fantastic view of the Mediterranean. Above the beach, explore an ancient tomb that many say is the burial site of the poet Homer.

View of ruins from the road
View of ruins from the road | ©agnes gautier/Flickr

Skarkos

Visit Skarkos Hill, the island’s largest Bronze Age archaeological excavation site. Learn about the structure of the settlement or discover the ancient burial customs that were used. Skarkos is a fantastic way to get in touch with the history of Greece and get a taste of its ancient lifestyle.

Examples of Middle Bronze Age artifacts
Examples of Middle Bronze Age artifacts | © Tilemahos Efthimiadis/Flickr

Archaeological Museum in Chora

The Archaeological Museum is where the many pots, coins, and other objects found among the archaeological excavations on the island are housed. Set in a grand neo-classical building, this museum offers its visitors statuettes, marble fragments from burial tombs, and an outdoor yard that holds marble friezes, columns, and sarcophagi.

Paleokastro
Paleokastro | © Abir Anwar/Flickr

Paleokastro

This Byzantine castle is located on the eastern side of the island. The remains of the castle, including some of its walls, stand right on the edge of a cliff, offering fantastic views out over the Aegean sea. Inside the castle, visitors will find a small church, which celebrates an annual festival in honor of the Virgin Mary.

View from Manganari Beach | ©agnes gautier/Flickr
View from Manganari Beach | ©agnes gautier/Flickr

Manganari Beach

Removed from the general pulse of tourism around Chora, Manganari Beach is clean and clear, accessible by boat and car, and offers plenty of facilities for travelers. In truth, Manganari is actually made up of many small, sandy coves, which helps add a sense of seclusion to the stretch.