Ios is one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades, given the name - and also the beauty - of a flower called ‘Ion’ that draped in ancient times. According to the ancient tradition, Ios was the homeland of Homer’s mother and the final resting place of the great epic poet. In ancient times the island was lush, full of beech forests, cedar and other trees, which were cut down and sold as wood to the surrounding islands.
Ios is one of the cosmopolitan islands of Cyclades, with endless golden, sandy beaches and a vibrant nightlife, internationally recognized as the island of young people. It is a ‘tradition’ that initially started in the early 70s, with the hippies and has since grown as a multicultural mosaic of different cultures and habits.
Upon reaching the island, the view before you is enchanting, as pretty as a picture, Hora lies very close to the harbor (2 km) in Ormos and greets the travelers, built in an amphitheater-like manner on the slope of a hill, stating from the very beginning the genuine Cycladic architecture, on the top of which there are ruins of a mediaeval castle.
The most important of Ios ’ 365 churches is Panagia Gremiotissa, standing on Hora’s highest spot. When the time is right, enjoy a magnificent and unforgettable sunset. This place is the center of one of the biggest religious feasts on the island, taking place on August 15 (Virgin Mary’s Assumption)
Hora has numerous hotels, studios, shopping stores, cafés, bars and restaurants. After midday it gets crowded with people walking around the alleys, bustled with life and color. Every summer its port becomes an attraction for the yachts and cruisers of Greek and foreign visitors.
Palaiokastro stands on the northeast side of the island and used to be a fortress during the Byzantine period, useful for controlling the seaways from Constantinople down to Crete.
Skarkos, an early Cycladic period’s archaeological site has a rich collection of finds and antiquities which are on display in the excellent Archaeological Museum.