While I was in Santorini, I had the chance to visit a few other islands for day trips and what better place than Ios, it’s around 30-40mins away from the ferry and is considered a paradise.
This Cyclades island looks small on the map but is packed with adventure, crystal clear water, history and loads of enjoyment.
Start at the old town Chora – The whitewashed houses of Chora, are extremely pretty and since the area is located on a hill you will be getting some dramatic views too. There are lines of shops, restaurants and cafes too. Make sure to take some pictures near the windmills, there are around 12 here. Also by walking just a few min up the hill, you will come across Odysseas Theatre which is an amphitheatre, usually, they use this place for festivals and concerts.
Churches – Did you know there are 365 churches on the island, of course, you can skip a majority of them but some which are worth mentioning are Panagia Gremniotissa Church, Monastery of Agios Ionnis of Kalamos, Evangelisimos Cathedral and Church of Agia Irini.
Beaches – When it comes to beaches, Ios has around 32 of them but the most popular ones remain Manganari Beach, you could either chill or take up several water sports options available at the beach. Some more pretty beaches to check out are Mylopotas beach, Gialos, Loretzena Beach, Plakotos Beach and Kalamos Beach.
Visit Homers Tomb – North of Chora is another attraction which drives many tourists to this side of the island, it’s almost 25 mins away from the centre so you could either drive or take a boat to Plakotos beach here and walk up to the burial site of the famous poet Homer.
Archaeological Site of Skaros – A few min away from Chora is this Bronze age excavation site, it is one of the most important prehistoric places. The settlement discovered here goes back to 1000 years and beyond, it is surely a sight which would impress many.
Ios Lighthouse – You know how much I love lighthouses, and this one here was amazing but the only way to get here is by foot so be prepared to walk quite a bit but you will be rewarded with some superb view. It was built around the 18th Century but later was renovated too, a good place to see the magnificent ocean.
Cheese Tasting at Diaseli Cheesery – Many of us love eating and when it is cheese, isn’t it even better? This Cheese tasting will give you a break from running around the island and you will leave with a newfound respect for cheese manufacturers and know a bit more about cheese in general. You get to try around 8 cheeses and it’s all so delicious.
Paleokastro Castle – Located a bit further out from the centre but it still attracts plenty of tourists. It’s situated on a hill that provides breathtaking views of Naxos, Paros and a few more Aegean Islands. This castle was built around 1367 to protect the island from pirates, surely a sight not to be missed.
With this guide you can easily spend 2-3 days on the island, it will give you enough time to enjoy as well as appreciate the beauty of Ios. Apart from this, you should surely check out the numerous restaurants, bars and cafes here too. For history enthusiasts, you can pay a visit to the fabulous Archeological Museum too, and if you are into water sports then Ios has a lot to offer in terms of paddle-boating, sunset cruises, and Kayaking.