Ios Island Attractions

     Ios is an island rich in history and culture going back all the way to the 12th century B.C. where findings throughout the island prove its relation to the Phoenicians and the Myceneans until the settlement of the Ionians in the 10th century B.C.It is also a place of mythological importance as it is considered to be the last resting place of the great poet Homer. Ios is a medium size Cycladic island and it is located on the south eastern part of the Aegean, between Naxos and Santorini. It is worldwide famous for its wonderful beaches and certainly the vivid nightlife. However, holidays in Ios can be at the same time very peaceful. It has great places to relax, away from large crowds and noise.Discover the island’s cultural heritage, the history and mythological trails, visit Scarkos, the windmills of Chora, Panagia Gremiotissa, Yialos and the tomb of Homer and delve into the island’s intriguing past. The coastline has wonderful beaches with soft sand and emerald waters. There are many things to do in Ios including a series of wonderful activities such as water sports, hiking expeditions, trekking excursions, yoga sessions, sailing adventures and thrilling explorations. The island of Ios stands out from other tourist destinations because it preserves its authenticity and offers the visitor the opportunity to enjoy the nostalgia of the past with the comforts of the present.

The Prehistoric site of Skarkos
An extraordinary and unique settlement has been excavated on the hill of Skarkos, proving that Ios has been inhabited  since the early Cycladic Period. The findings are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum open daily from 08:00 – 15:00. A guided tour can be   arranged upon request.

“Odysseas Elytis” Open air Theatre
Odysseas Elytis was a famous Greek Nobelist poet who wrote modern poetry. The Odysseas Elytis Amphitheatre was named after the poet himself and is located at the top of the hill of Chora in Ios behind the whitewashed windmills that stand there. Though the amphitheatre is made of marble in ancient Greek style, it was constructed relatively recently as compared to other architectural wonders of Ios. It is a colossal structure and can hold upto 1100 people at any given time. Every year, most of the cultural events of the island are held here while the grandest celebrations are that of the Homeria festival commemorated in memory of Homer, one of the greatest poets of all times. The events are organized by the municipality of Ios.

Paleokastro, Ios Venetian Castle
Paleokastro (literally meaning old castle ) lies in the eastern part of Ios island on the top of the islands highest hill. On taking the road back from Pirgos, you will end up on the beautiful, winding, stone paved road to Paleokastro. What looks like a scenically blessed place used to be a fortified area and was originally constructed to protect the local population from frequent pirate attacks.

 

Homer’s Tomb
Homer was among the greatest poets in ancient Greek history who wrote epics like Odyssey and Iliad. Legend has it that it was on the island of Ios where Homer took his last breath and now he lies buried in his grave at Plakoto, at the northernmost part of the island on a hill. Some say that Homer’s mother, Clymene, was from Ios and that is why Homer chose to spend his last days there.

Churches
There are more than 300 churches all over the island, some built on the premises of ancient greek temples with visible inlaid parts of the  latter. Don’t miss the church of Agia Irene at the port. At the church of Gremiotissa enjoy the magnificent sunset and walk along the winding paths   of Chora.

Yalos and the Port
Great place for strolling and souvenir shopping with a variety of choices of local restaurants and traditional shops.