Ios, the island of light, is located in the southern Cyclades and it’s famous for its vibrant nightlife. During your holidays in Ios, you can have fun at the main town, explore the numerous monuments via hiking trails and dance at the beach. On this Ferryhopper page, you can find useful information about vacation in Ios, the best beaches, sights and food, as well as all ferry schedules. Book cheap ferry tickets to Ios online on Ferryhopper.
Windmills in the quaint main town of Ios
Vacation in Ios
Ios is a popular destination due to its diverse character. It’s a typical Cycladic island with rich traditions, but it’s also one of the best destinations in Greece for summer fun! The island is famous for its quaint villages, impressive natural sites, amazing hiking trails and extraordinary beaches. Many travelers return to Ios every summer to enjoy the traditional character of the island, have fun at the bars and clubs, and be part of the local lifestyle.
How to get to Ios
You can travel to Ios by ferry from the port of Piraeus throughout the year, as well as from Rafina during the summer. During peak season, there are daily routes from the 2 ports in Athens. There are also frequent ferries from the island of Santorini for a great island-hopping trip. Find more details about ferry travel to Ios below.
What to do in Ios
In Ios, you can visit heavenly beaches accessible by hiking trails, try water sports such as diving and surfing, watch the sunset in Chora, enjoy the view from Palaiokastro and take superb photos at the lighthouse of Ormos and the traditional windmills. The beaches of Ios are great whether you’re looking for relaxing moments by the sea or you want to join young travelers in a bustling atmosphere. As for villages, although most of the action is in Chora, there are more settlements with distinct architecture and feeling. Explore the island on foot, meet the locals and try delicious local products such as wine and honey.
Beaches in Ios
The beaches of Ios are famous for their crystal-clear waters, with most of them being awarded with a Blue Flag certification for their quality and amenities. There are many beaches with visitor amenities, where you can enjoy water sports and let kids play around in safety. If you’re into remote beaches, there are many hidden gems on the island. Some of them are only accessible by boat or through hiking trails and they are surely worth the effort! Here are our favorite beaches in Ios:
- Mylopotas: This is the most popular beach on the island. It's a sandy beach with crystal-clear blue waters, umbrellas, sun loungers and a beach bar. You can try water sports.
- Magganari: Magganari is a large impressive beach with exotic beauty. It has golden sand and amazing emerald waters. There are cafés, restaurants and umbrellas.
- Kalamos: It is a sandy coast with crystal-clear emerald waters. You can get to this secluded beach via a dirt road.
- Psathi: Psathi is a peaceful sandy beach overlooking the island of Irakleia. There are visitor amenities on one side of the beach.
- Papa: This is a beautiful bay with inviting crystal-clear waters surrounded by a wild green landscape. It’s an ideal choice for those of you who are after relaxation.
- Tris Ekklisies: It is a remote beach located right next to Magganari. You can access the beach via a hiking trail.
- Kampaki: Kampaki is a peaceful beach with thin sand, small pebbles and impressive surrounding rocks. The challenging drive to the beach means it is one of the most secluded on the island. There are no amenities, so make sure you bring all beach essentials.
The magical Kampaki beach in Ios
Activities and sightseeing in Ios
If you’re looking to take a break from the intense nightlife of the island, there are many nature and culture activities to try in Ios. Walking around the island or exploring it by car, you can visit many places of historical significance, admire the Cycladic architecture and discover remote places with great views of the Aegean Sea.
Ferryhopper suggests the following sights and activities in Ios:
- Try watersports, such as waterskiing, windsurfing, diving and kitesurfing at one of the water sports centers around the island.
- Visit the Archaeological Museum of Ios to discover the ancient past of the island.
- Go on a short cruise from the port of Ios, to explore the coastline of the island by boat.
- Discover the prehistoric settlement of Skarkos in the area of Kampos.
- Enjoy the view and take photos by the picture-perfect windmills in Chora.
- Follow well-maintained hiking trails leading to amazing beaches, ancient sites, charming chapels and the lighthouse of Ios in Ormos.
- Walk up to the beautiful Church of Virgin Mary of the Cliff in Chora.
- Attend a performance at the open-air theater Odysseas Elytis, built in the architectural style of Ancient Greece.
- Watch the breathtaking sunset of Ios in Chora or Palaiokastro, one of the top viewing locations in the Greek islands.
White chapel of Cycladic architecture in Ios
Nightlife in Ios
Nights in Ios can really get wild. The island has been famous for its nightlife since the 80s and it’s one of the most popular party islands in the Aegean Sea. There are many beach bars, lounge bars, dance clubs and restaurants on the island. Many young travelers gather at Chora by night, where the party atmosphere literally reaches the alleys of the village! Some of the most popular party spots on the island are Far Out in Mylopotas and Disco69 in Chora. You can also have fun at spontaneous parties, music festivals, DJ sets and more events during the summer.
If you prefer an easy-going night in Ios, there are many restaurants serving Greek and international dishes, cute tavernas with live music, as well as bars playing jazz tunes.
Food in Ios
There are restaurants and tavernas for all budgets and tastes in Ios. The restaurant scene is quite diverse, including traditional Greek cuisine, as well as places serving international dishes. During your holidays in Ios, you can taste delicious local products and traditional recipes of amazing quality! We recommend that you try:
- Local cheeses such as graviera, skotiri and mizithra
- Local wine
- Thyme honey
- Dried figs
- Chickpea stew and fried chickpea balls
- Tsimetia: zucchini blossoms stuffed with rice
- Matsi: traditional pasta
- Mosenta: watermelon pie
- Loukoumades: deep fried dough with honey and nuts
- Kalasounia: pan-fried dough filled with fresh white cheese
Villages in Ios
The main village and capital of Ios is Chora, located close to the port of the island. This is the only well-developed village in Ios, but you can find restaurants, hotels, beaches and interesting sights at more locations around the island. Some of the areas worth visiting in Ios are: Ormos, Koumpara, Mylopotas, Kampos and Magganari.
Traditional seaside taverna serving seafood in Ios
Useful information for Ios
There are plenty of traveler amenities on the island of Ios. You can find ATMs, banks, supermarkets, car rentals and gas stations in Chora and the port. There’s also a health center in Chora. Moreover, there are grocery stores, tavernas, beach bars and cafés all over the island. As for accommodation, you can stay at hotels, luxury villas, vacation rentals and the camping site at Mylopotas.
Good to know: Bear in mind that Ios gets quite busy during the summer months. Particularly if you’re planning to get there in August, we recommend that you book accommodation and ferry tickets the soonest.
Useful phone numbers for your stay in Ios
Here are some useful contacts for your trip to Ios:
- Ios Port Authority: +302286091264
- Ios Health Center: +302286091227 / +302286360000
- Ios intercity bus service (KTEL): +302286092015
- Pharmacy: +302286091562
- Municipality of Ios: +302286360400
- Police station: +302286091222
Transportation in Ios
You can get around Ios by public bus, taxi, boat or your own vehicle. Buses in Ios connect Chora with the port and Mylopotas, as well as the most popular beaches during the summer. If you want to reach the more remote parts of the island, you can either catch a taxi or drive your car or motorcycle. You can rent one there or bring your vehicle on board the ferry from Athens. Bear in mind that taxis are quite expensive on the island. There is no airport in Ios, but you can fly to a nearby island such as Santorini and Paros, and catch the ferry from there.
Ports in Ios
The port of Ios is on the west coast of the island, less than 5 minutes to Chora by car and 20 minutes on foot. In the port area, you can find restaurants, car rental shops, hotels, bakeries, cafés, ATMs, shops and a public parking lot on Vaoi street close to the ferry terminal.
Island hopping from Ios
There are frequent ferry routes from Ios to more islands in the Aegean Sea, making it a great starting point for island hopping in the Cyclades! Here are some of the top islands to visit from Ios:
- Crete (Heraklion and Rethymno)
Not too sure where to travel next? On Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries, you can discover all ferry routes from Ios and plan your island-hopping itinerary in no time! See all ferry schedules, find the best routes and ferry companies, and book ferry tickets to the Greek islands in just 4 clicks!
Sunset at the port of Ios
Ios ferry: schedules and tickets
The port of Ios in Gialos is located 2km from Chora and it serves ferry routes from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina in Athens. You can also get to Ios from Santorini, as well as more islands of the Cycladic archipelago such as Paros. Find more information about the most popular crossings to Ios below:
- Ferry from Piraeus to Ios: Ferries from the port of Piraeus travel to Ios year-round. The ferry route Piraeus - Ios lasts 4 hours with highspeed vessel and 6.5 hours with standard ferry.
- Ferry from Rafina to Ios: You can catch a ferry from Rafina to Ios during the summer. Depending on whether you’re traveling with highspeed or standard ferry, the journey duration ranges from 4 to 6 hours.
- Ferry from Santorini to Ios: The ferry trip from Santorini to Ios lasts around 40 minutes and it’s one of the most popular crossings during the summer.
- Ferry from Paros to Ios: During the summer, there are daily ferry crossings from Paros to Ios. The journey duration ranges from 1 to 4 hours depending on the ferry company and route.
Where to book ferry tickets online to Ios
You can easily book cheap ferry tickets to Ios on Ferryhopper. Find all the information you need about vacation in Ios, compare ferry schedules and companies, find the best fares on our fare search engine and get ready to party on the beautiful Cycladic island! If you need more details about holidays in the Greek islands and the best ferry routes, you can contact our Customer Support Team before, during or after your trip.