Let us start by saying we love Greece! Some places or countries you visit once, you’ve seen it. Greece is such a country we can’t get enough of. This may even be the place where we want to grow old. After visiting Zakynthos, Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, and Paros over the last years, we decided to visit Ios island last year. And besides, that Greece is such a beautiful country, we have to admit of all the Greek islands we’ve visited, we have lost our heart on this cute hidden gem. Let’s us tell you the best things to do in Ios Island:
Watch the most beautiful sunsets
The sunsets in Ios are one of the most beautiful in all of Greece. There are many great places to watch this spectacle, but our absolute favorite is at the top of the hill behind the Avanti Hotel. Here you look out over the ancient city of Chora and the beautiful Aegean sea. Another great way to watch the sunset on Ios island is by joining a sunset cruise.
Tip: go upstairs an hour before sunset so you can choose the best spot, buy a bottle of wine in the local supermarket, and experience an unforgettable moment. Cheers!
Read also: Best places to eat in Ios
Explore the stunning beaches
Ios island is a paradise for beach lovers. There are plenty of beautiful beaches that are best explored with an ATV or scooter that you rent in the town or in the harbor – $35 for a whole day (24h). The most visited beach is Mylopotas Bay with authentic Greek restaurants, trendy beach clubs, and diverse diving and water sports activity spots. It’s located close to the main village Chora. You can easily walk to it or take a local bus. Besides Mylopotas Bay, Magganari is one of our favorites and of the most picturesque beaches of Ios. Located on the other side of the island, with several small bays, spots for cliff-jumping, and crystal clear blue water. A must see!
Stroll around in Magical Chora
Chora is Ios island’s main village, built in the typical Cycladic style against a hill. From here you can enjoy panoramic views and is also the place for the most beautiful sunsets. You can easily get lost between the many narrow white streets or discover the various beautiful blue-domed churches. You have lots of nice restaurants where you can taste the delicious Greek cuisine or cool bars for a night out. A super picturesque town with many lovely chapels, perfect to admire the Golden Hour moments.
Read also: Best places to eat in Ios
Hire an ATV and explore the island
One of the best things to do is renting an ATV and explore the whole island. And that is exactly what we did. For about $35 we rented an ATV, drove around, explored some hidden beaches, small villages, stunning viewpoints, and ending up watching the sunset over Ios.
A rental car in advance to save time and money
Visit the traditional windmills
Walk around the abandoned windmills on the edge of the hill in Chora. These traditional windmills are a perfect place to take some lovely pictures or watch the sunset.
Hike up the open-air amphitheater
Hike or drive up the (steep) hill in Chora, past the windmills and find the amazing open-air amphitheater, that was named to a Greek poet, Odysseas Elytis. In the summer they organize a lot of performances and music concerts here. We had some fun chasing up and down the stairs and enjoyed the breathtaking views over Mylopotas Bay.
Join a full-day cruise around the Island
Explore the island by a sailing cruise around Ios. See all the secret beaches and hidden spots while you are cruising down the Mediterranean sea. Jump in the water at some snorkeling spots and have a nice BBQ on board with sunset.
How to get in Ios?
Ios doesn’t have an airport, so the only option is getting on the ferry from the other islands in the Cyclades or Athens. From Athens, you will reach Ios in 4 hours or 30 minutes from Santorini.
Where to stay in Ios?
Definitely Avanti Hotel! This family-run cute hotel has a superb location, only 150 meters from the center of beautiful Chora but still on a quiet street up on a hill. Each room has a balcony with unique views over the ocean and the village of Ios.
Read also: Best hotels in Greece