Three perfect days on the Greek Island of Ios

by Kelly

Is Ios still a party island? The honest answer is it is if you want it to be. We love a good time but the full partying scene isn’t it for us anymore. Our preference a slow type of travel where you really feel and see the destination. We decided to go as it was an easy ferry from Santorini and well, why not! What we experienced were three perfect days in Ios…

Where is Ios?

Ios is located in the Cyclades Greek Islands right between Santorini and Paros. It is really easy to reach from either of these by ferry. You can reach it from most of the Cyclades via ferry. We use Ferry Hopper for our ferry bookings, it was really easy and all our tickets were on our phone.

How to have three perfect days in Ios?

It starts at your arrival.

The ferry port at Ios is easy to navigate and isn’t big. You will just walk up and to the right to walk into the port town of Chora. This is slightly up on a hill. There are some restaurants by the port and after this you will see the beautiful Chora. It is located on a hill and the white buildings gleam in the sun. Arriving we walked straight ahead from the boat to the bus. Tickets cost 1.60€ to anywhere on the island. We went to drop our bags at the hotel and went back in for supplies. Loading up on cereal, drinks and snacks we were prepared for some serious beaching!

Where to stay in Ios?

We were looking for 3 days of complete relaxation. After travelling for a while we were tired and looking for the ultimate place to beach out and rest. We chose to stay at Mylopotas. This is a little settlement that is 1.5km from Chora. You can walk the distance and we saw many people doing this, but there is a big hill involved. We chose to take the Ios public bus. You pay on the bus and it runs mostly on time.

We stayed at Hotel Delfini in Mylopotas. It was clean, basic but location and views are 10/10! The staff were really nice and it was a really easy stay. They have a little convenience store under the hotel as well.

Other options we looked at were Manthos Place 2 or Far Out Hotel & Spa. Both looked lovely! There is also a budget camping option called Far Out Beach Club Resort & Camping. When we looked they had $29AUD for a tent but also heard that it can get noisy there.

Beach for days

Now if you are here at the peak of summer, so mid June/July there will be hundreds and hundreds of people here. The beach gets super busy. We were there at the very start of June and it was perfect! Hot days, cold water (as usual in Greece!) and nothing to do except soak up the sun. This is all we were longing for and it was perfect!

We found that the sun beds out front of our hotel were free when you purchase meals and drinks from Cantina Del Mar Cafe. We went out every morning and snagged our sunbeds and umbrella. At lunch Mike got a 5€‎ baguette while I had 4€‎ gluten free toasties. Yes I ordered one but they gave me two because gluten free bread is small! What luxury! We ordered water and beer and stayed there from 8.30am to 6pm! We learned recently that they have relocated to the centre of Chora. I would highly recommend checking them out when in Chora, they were excellent! Hopefully there is another cafe on the beach for a great lunch there or bring your own snacks and a towel with you!

Beach clubs and Mylopotas Beach

There are so many beautiful restaurants and beach clubs along Mylopotas Beach. If you are looking for cool aesthetic and sunbeds on a gorgeous beach then this is the spot for you. Mylopotas Beach is picture perfect with soft sand and crystal clear blue water.

What about aperitif?

Our rule in Europe is never miss an aperitif! We had stocked up already in Chora and brough the essentials to our room which had a fridge to keep it all cold. Our routine is most days to eat an antipasto platter for dinner. We purchased local cheeses, olives, chips, gluten free bread and bread for Mike and other nibbles. We got some beer, Aperol Spritz premixed bottles and sat on the balcony at Hotel Delfini to take in more of the views and enjoy our meal. This is my idea of a perfect day on Ios!

What else can you do on Ios?

So you want to see a little mor of Ios? We did too but got seduced by the stunning beach and the need to really stop for a few days! If you are keen to get out and see more of the island here is what we did and what I will do next time I return!

Walk Chora

Go into Chora early and walk the lovely village before it wakes up. This is my favourite time of day as you feel that you have it all to yourself. The Chora at Ios is magical. It winds up a hill and it is just beautiful in the morning light. We saw heaps of bars advertising cheap drinks and shots. I think this is where the party is if you are looking for it! If not it is a completely idyllic white washed Greek village to explore during the day.

Church of Panagia Gremniotissa

The church of Panagia Gremiotissa sits on top of a hill above Chora. Dedicated to Panagia Gremiotissa, the saint protector of the island. The name in Greek means Virgin Mary of the Steep Cliff. It has a blue dome, white walls and tall bell tower, surrounded by palm trees and is visible from all of Chora. Built in 1797 A.D. it is celebrated every August 15th.

According to the legend, during the Ottoman occupation of Greece, some people in Crete, wanting to protect their religion and its symbols put a religious image of Panagia in a wooden raft with a candle on it with hopes that someone could rescue the image. Later, a herder noticed a light in Milopota’s beach and found the raft and the image. Then, they took it and gave it to the church of Saint Nikolas. The next morning, according to the legend, the image mysteriously moved to the church of Saint Eleftherios in Palaiokastro. After the phenomenon was repeated three times, convinced by her miracles, the locals decided to build a church for the image, but every time they started building they found the bricks next to the Church of Saint Eleftherios. After that, the people of Ios decided to build the church in a place where Crete is visible.

Sunset at the three churches walk

Chapel of Agios Nikolaos, Άγιος Γεώργιος, and Chapel of Agios Eleftherios

We visited early morning but the most lovely sunset can be seen from the Chapel of Agios Nikolaos, Άγιος Γεώργιος, and Chapel of Agios Eleftherios. These churches are all above the church of Panagia Gremiotissa so you can visit them all together.

Things we will do next time in Ios!

We tried to find a car or scooter to hire but due to the changing laws around hiring a car we were unable to as we weren’t prepared. Check out what you need to hire a vehicle in Greece! All the cars were booked and so we decided to stay on the beach. Next time I will pre organise a car or

Tomb of Homer

Located in the north of Ios on Psathopyrgos Hill hill it is 12km from Chora. The most famous of the Greek poets, I really want to go visit this site next time I am in Ios!

“Diaseli” Traditional Cheesery & Museum

“Diaseli” Traditional Cheesery & Museum is located in the centre of Ios. It began in 1922 and has been owned by the family since then. We really wanted to visit and will definitely do this when we return! There is a museum where you can tour the original cheesery and then taste the products that are still made here. There is also a shop you can purchase from. This sounds so perfect and I can’t wait to update this blog as soon as we come back to Ios!

Ios Odysseas Elytis Theatre

The Odysseas Elytis Theatre was constructed more recently than other places on Ios but is still a wonder to see. It is made of marble and can hold 1100 people for concerts.


Technically we did see Skarkos from the churches but we would go visit it more closely next time. It is a Bronze age settlement that is the most important prehistoric archaeological site of the Cyclades. It is about one thousand years older than the famous Akrotiri of Santorini. Showcasing important insights into the organisation of the early Cyclades life. There are two entrances which are accessible to all.

Skarkos in Ios is the most important prehistoric archaeological site of the Cyclades located only a few kilometers from the port of Ios and about one thousand years older than the famous Akrotiri of Santorini.


There are so many more cool beaches on Ios, you just need a car, scooter or quad to get to them. I can’t wait to come back and discover the less visited beaches of Ios!

Ios was exactly what we needed. A place to stop and relax for a while. Soaking up the Greek sun was so perfect that I didn’t want to leave and I can’t wait to come back.

We spent a month Island hopping so feel free to check out everywhere we went in our Greek Island Blogs. We visited Ios between Santorini and Paros.

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