Ios is one of the Cyclades, located in the Aegean Sea. It is a stone’s throw away from Santorini and can be reached by ferry from the mainland, as well as from other islands. It is a small island (18 km x 10 min), easy to explore, offering charming places to stay, beautiful beaches, typical Cycladic architecture, and Greek hospitability. Yes, it’s one of the well-known party islands. But visit outside of the height of summer and you will discover a totally different vibe.
During our trip to Ios in late May (n.a. 2017), we managed to visit (and pass by) quite a few beaches, although we haven’t seen all of what the island has to offer.
Here is a map of where we’ve been:
Yialos Beach is the closest to the Port. The area is very well developed and offers restaurants as well as plenty of accommodation options.
Every day we passed by the beach, as it was close to our accommodation. We don’t sunbath but we do dip our feet in the water. And Yialos is just perfect if you want to do either, while looking at the ferries coming by the port. In case you ask, the water is very, very, clean!
>>read about our stay at Galini Pension
By far the best place to be if you are looking for entertainment is Mylopotas Beach. There are a lot of places to eat at. We tried Drakos Fish Taverna and it was amazing.
There are water sports available, beach volley, sun beds, and a lot of sand to just plant yourself and soak up the sun. if you want to sit in a lovely café, there are plenty of those, too. And a supermarket.
Mylopotas is located 5km from Chora bus stop and 7 km from the Port. There are buses to get here and it takes about 20 min from the Port.
We made it here thanks to the Ios Island Tour. Otherwise, you’d have to rent a scooter or a car to get here outside of the tourist season as it is located 17km to the east of Chora. On the way here, make sure to stop by the ruins of the Venetian Fortress, Paliokastro.
This is the beach to come to if you are looking for solitude – at least before the peak season – or if you want to windsurf. The beach has no umbrellas or sunbeds.
Overlooking the beach there’s an amazing taverna, Alonistra, with mouthwatering food.
Accessible via a 4 km hike which starts at Mylopotas Beach – or by dirt road (7km)- Klima Beach is charming and secluded. Especially outside of the peak season, you will have the beach to yourself. The sand is great and the water very clean. It is perfect for a romantic picnic. Oh, and there are no sun beds, no umbrellas, no tavernas, clubs or shops.
It is one of the beaches close to the port, easily accessed after a short walk. It is small and protected, so even if there is high wind, you won’t feel it here. You will be able to see the ferries come to the port, though.
It is mostly pebbles, but there are patches of sand. And the water is very clean and ideal for snorkeling.
There is a taverna overlooking the beach, if you need to eat.
It is the beach we liked least. When we walked there, the construction works were still going on, so there wasn’t peace or quiet. Although we could only see two sunbathers. There are quite a few places where you can eat and, by early June, they are open.
You can reach it easily on food coming from the port but you can consider renting a scooter or car, if you are not a fan of walking for too long.
It is a tiny beach, which can be spotted on the way between Mylopotas and Klima. There’s a trail going to it but it can be quite difficult to tackle the large boulders.
And here are some other lovely beaches you can visit (but we have not been to):
Manganari beach is considered to be one of the most picturesque on the island. There is a way to get here from Mylopotas, hiking on the coast past Klima. It is located 23km south of Chora and there are buses reaching it during the tourist season (they start in early June).
It is a clam beach, as it is protected from the winds. A lovely choice for swimming and snorkeling. Scenes from Le Grand Bleu were shot here.
Located on the Eastern coast of the island, Kalamos Beach offers a long stretch of golden sand. It is ideal for snorkeling or diving. It lies 10 km from the port. Follow the road to Manganari to get here.
Even during the high season, there won’t be many visitors on this secluded beach.