The Tomb of Homer in Ios, Greece: 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.
Some say he died succumbing to a sickness that developed after he had a fall, others that Homer was unable to solve a riddle posed to him by the locals and so they had to kill him. Homer supposedly died somewhere between 1100 and 900 B.C. His tomb was supposedly discovered by Pasch Van Krienen who was a government representative during the Russian Naval Brigade.
To get to the grave, you can either take a motorbike or a car from the port or from Chora and make your way up to Pano Kambos, an extremely fertile valley full of vineyards and olive trees and then to Koulida. From there, if you leave the asphalt road and take the path to the left you will be on your way to the Plakoto beach. Just a few meters short of that is the path that will lead you to the ancient ruins of graves that are from the Hellenistic period of which one is supposedly that of Homer’s.
The islanders had little evidence to prove that Homer was truly buried there until a 17th century archaeologist found some graves in the same region and declared that one of them had an inscription that identified it as Homer’s grave. Besides this, there were coins and texts by ancient historians Stravon, Pausanias and Herodotus to give proof to the fact that Homer was in fact buried here.
Since then, the grave has become a major tourist attraction for Ios. The area has also got sorts of elegant, carved and engraved headstones. Even then some have their doubts about whether this truly is Homer’s grave as there is no concrete evidence for this.
Even if Homer is not really buried there, the trip is definitely not a waste. The scenery around the grave is so beautiful that you have to take a moment simply to appreciate it. After visiting the grave, you can also laze around at the Plakoto beach, drive to the Agia Theodoti bay or visit the admirable 16th Century Church of Agia Theodoti which is the oldest on the island.