Natalie Di Paola
As winter approaches, many may find themselves eager to escape the cold. Ios is one of the Cyclades Islands in Greece. It’s sandy white beaches and rich history make it an interesting and perfect getaway from the cold.
Things to do:
It wouldn’t be a trip to Greece if you didn’t swim in the beautiful, turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. Magganari, Gialos and Koumbara are some of the more popular beaches, and have access to many amenities such as taverns and sunbeds. However, there are lesser known beaches, such as Tris Klisies, that are perfect for peace and tranquility thanks to their seclusion.
Go diving at Mylopotas and explore the exciting and interesting reefs, underwater volcanic caves and ancient shipwrecks.
Mylopotas and Gialos are also perfect for Windsurfing and Kitesurfing, with plenty of centres at the beach for these activities.
A list of beaches is available here.
The island is home to many beautiful and scenic hiking adventures. There are five routes in total with some focusing more on nature and others on visiting historical sites. For example, the fifth route, which starts at the Port, takes you through the various beaches of the island. Meanwhile the second route, which starts at Pelekania, takes you to visit the Gaitis Museum, windmills and the Odysseus Elytis theatre.
Details on each route are available here.
The Capital of Ios
The capital of Ios, known as the Settlement of Hora, is known as one of the finest villages of the Cyclades. It’s whitewashed houses with blue windows, flowery courtyards and stone windmills with blue domes make for the idyllic Greek scenery that make the islands so renowned. The city’s sloping hill is home to the Venetian Castle of Ios, a mediaeval castle, which is located on the top. The capital is also home to the famous Church of Panagia Gremiotissa and the Odysseus Elytis theatre.
The Tomb of Homer
Historical references claim that Homer, one of the greatest poets in Ancient Greece, died and was buried on Ios. His tomb, which provides panoramic views of the nearby areas, is located in Plakoto. Near the ancient ruins you can also see carved and engraved headstones as well as Plakoto beach.
The Archaeological Site of Skarkos
On Skarkos Hill is the island’s largest archaeological site of the Bronze Age. The site contains traces of the first known human presence on Ios where you can learn about the ancient burial customs that were used and the structure of settlement. Many artefacts and findings from the site are located at the Archaeological Museum of Ios. If you are interested in visiting museums, there is also the Museum of Modern Art.
For more information on the history of the site and what you can do, see here.
The Church of Panagia Gremiotissa
The island is home to many beautiful churches, the most renowned being the Church of Panagia Gremiotissa. It is located on the highest spot of Hora and offers spectacular views of the island. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is celebrated on August 15.
For more information on activities, accommodation and travel, visit here.