IOS ISLAND - CYCLADES
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Area 108 sq. Km. Distance from Piraeus 107 nautical miles.
The coastline of this predominantly mountainous island with its countless chapels, its olive trees, its vineyards and its limpid air, is adorned with small, attractive coves.
Those features combine with the crystal-clear sea, the superb sandy beaches and the good range of amenities to make Ios a magnet for tourists. Locally called Nios, this is an island whose history goes back to prehistoric times.
According to Herodotus, the 'poet of poets', the 'god like' Homer was buried at Plakotos, in the north of the island. Pausanias tells us that there was an inscription at Delphi confirming the poet's interment on Ios, which was the homeland of his mother, Clymene.
The name of the island comes from the Ions, who first settled the island. The long history of Ios begins in the Prehistoric Age. At the north side of the island, at the district Plakotos, according to Herodotos, is buried the great epic poet, Homer. Also, Pausanias writes that in Delphi there is an inscription which informs that Homer is really buried in Ios, which is the homeland of his mother, Klymeni.
Above the pretty harbour of Ormos, where fishing boats and yachts bob at anchor, stands the capital of Ios or hora. The town stands on the site of the ancient city of the same name and is a typical Cycladic settlement, with whitewashed houses, narrow alleys and chapels. Among the churches, those of St. Catherine, St. John the Baptist and Sts Cosmas and Damien stand out. The whole beautiful image is rounded off with the bulk of the medieval castle and the row of windmills which top the town.
The sites of Ios include a Hellenistic tower and the remains of an ancient aqueduct at Agia Theodoti, traces of an ancient temple at Psathi, a ruinous Venetian castle at the spot known as Paleokastro, and the Hellenistic tower at Plakotos which we have already mentioned.
The Archaeological and Folkloric Museum in Hora and the Museum of Modern Art ( Drot-Gaiti ) at Kolitsani are also worth a visit. Lovers of the sea will be enraptured by the superb beaches of Ios, some of them busy (such as Milopotas, near Hora), and others no less attractive but much quieter (Agia Theodoti, Psathi, Kalamas, Plakes, Tzamaria, Kolitsani and Manganari). The authentic Cycladic beauty of Ios, in combination with the island's rapid development for tourism, has had the effect of attractive ever-increasing numbers of visitors.
Lovely taverns by the sea, serving good quality local
wine (you might as well have ouzo instead), with very tasty "mezedes".
You will love the taverns at the most isolated beaches, the environment
is unspoiled and very authentic. As for Ios' nightlife there is one
word that can clearly describe it : WILD!!!
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