Greece | Cyclades | Ios island

Leo Trippi's private villas for rent in Ios island for your luxury holiday

Luxury in Ios island: Amazing beaches, rich history, bustling nightlife

Ios is an island that belongs to the Cyclades, a Greek group of islands located in the Aegean Sea, east of the Peloponnese archipelago. Ios lies north of Santorini and southwest of Naxos. It is a mountainous island with many churches and chapels and few permanent inhabitants. The island is surrounded by perfect beaches with golden sand and pure emerald waters. Most beaches are almost deserted, without any tourist facilities to spoil their wild beauty. Mylopotas, Gialos and Maganari are the most popular and tourist organized beaches, drawing many visitors. The capital of Ios Island is Hora, a beautiful Cycladic village with paved streets and whitewashed houses. The city itself has a port that is located northwest of it. This is the centre of activities in summer with many night bars, restaurants and shops. During the daytime, it is a quiet place to walk around in and explore. Hora was built against a hill and on the top are two ruins of the medieval castle and the Venetian Aghios Nicolaos chapel.

Since the 1960's, when Ios became a popular destination for students and young people, it has gained some reputation as a party island. In reality, the island is different from the myth. It all depends on when you go, where you stay and which part of the island you visit. During July and August the island of Ios is the busiest and at this time of the year, Ios might live up to its party-location reputation. However, if that is not your choice, it will not bother you. There is a wide choice of accommodation such as luxury villas and rental apartments on Ios Island. Most of the accommodation can be found in and around the Hora and Mylopotas beach area. There are several ferry connections with this island, including from Santorini and Piraeus. Getting to Ios by sea, there is a catamaran service from Piraeus twice a day in high season. There is also a frequent bus service between the port Yialos and Mylopotas via Hora.

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Activities

Ios was the home of Homer's mother Clymene, and the burial place for Homer. On the 15th of May each year, the Homer festival, Homeria, takes place on Ios Island and a flame is carried from the port to his tomb in Plakoto. There are remains of the walls of the ancient city and there are ruins of the Temple of Apollo, close to Agia Aekaterini church. The archaeological Museum of the island in Hora is also an interesting place to visit. The breath-taking view from Panaghia Gremiotissa is worth seeing and genuinely unforgettable, especially during the impressive sunset. Behind the beautiful whitewashed windmills is the outdoor amphitheatre Odysseas Elytis, where some concerts and plays are performed during summer. In Agia Theodoti, the remains of an ancient aqueduct and a tower from the Hellenistic period can be found.

Mylopotas is the best beach of the island and one of the best in the Aegean Sea. It is a kilometre long with fine golden sand. Ios is a popular island for watersports, and watersport centres are found around the organized beaches, like Mylopotas and Ormos. These watersports centres have fun games for all ages, particularly for the young. Some windsurfing centres also operate in Ios as the wind is strong on summer afternoons in the Cyclades. The necessary equipment is available for rent and windsurfing courses for all levels, even for children, are availalble. The island also has a choice of beautiful hiking trails.

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