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 tourists.
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 watersports, snorkelling, diving, beachvolley etc. Anything to do with beachlife.
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.
: 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 beachparties going on. Because of its young audience, you'll soon realize that most bars are for late teenagers, with loud music and drinking competitions.
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. Beware of the too touristy looking taverns though since the quality is not always the best.
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.
There are quite good bus connections, and you can also rent a vehicle, as well as boats that will take you to different beaches.
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 with Athens.
Facts about Ios
Size: 110 sq. km
International code: 0030
Local code: 22860
Health Center Doctor:91227
Internet cafe: Yes
Population: about 1800
Port Police: 91264
Price rate: Average
Tour Operators: Apollo
Tourist police: 91222