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Tucked away in the Cyclades cluster, between the islands Naxos and Santorini, lies the beautiful island of Ios, one of the most popular and preferred by tourists, due to its reasonable prices. The island is celebrated for being a vibrant destination, with bars, restaurants, taverns and clubs spread across its territory, while at the same time remaining a relaxing environment. According to legend, the island of Ios is homeland to Homer’s mother and the place where the famous Greek poet was buried, enhancing its lyrical charm.
While visiting this Greek island, one must pay a visit to Ios Chora or Ios Town, the main and only real village of Ios. Built on the western side of the island, a mere twenty minutes walk from the port, this marvelous village is built amphitheatrically and lies peacefully under the splendor of the Greek sun, enchanting guests who wander around its magical streets.
Here, among the narrow stone paved streets who seem to form a spectacular maze you will encounter little cube houses with flat-roofed tops, sometimes connected by arches or arcades, contributing to the village’s unique charm and causing it to become one of the most celebrated in the entire Cyclades. On top of a hill overlooking the village, lies the small church of Panagia Gremiotissa, built in 1797 A.D. and offering spectacular views due to its prime location. The church is dedicated to Panagia Gremiotissa, the saint protector of the island and stands out from within the palm trees, its white walls, tall bell tower and beautiful blue dome being seen from every part of Chora.
Upon the entrance of Chora, your eyes will be enchanted by the traditional windmills of Ios, very well preserved and surrounded by magical, lush gardens. Twelve in number, the windmills who are worn by the weather and times passed, were originally constructed to produce energy to grind grains, adding to the food requirements of the island. Today, however, some of them have been restored and are currently used as homes by some of the islands inhabitants.
Ios shorelines are celebrated and thought of as one of the best destinations for swimming in all of Greece. Located 3 km away from Chora there is the famous beach of Mylopotas where you can rejoice under the Cycladic sun, sunbathe and go swimming in the dazzling, emerald waters. The long sandy beach, stretching for over 1 km along the coastlines is home to the awarded Mylopotas resort and provides a range of services, from sundecks, umbrellas, windsurfing, diving, to bars and taverns at affordable pricing. Close to the port is also the beach of Ormos, which accommodates a high number of tourists and is, alongside Mylopotas, one of the busiest shorelines of Ios. A bit farther from Ios village, more accurately 23 km south of it, lies the picturesque beach of Manganari. Its crystal waters, within the secluded bay offers an ideal place for peaceful swimming and snorkeling. This peaceful, undisturbed beach served as an inspiration for the famous movie "Le Grand Bleu", scenes from which were actually shot here.
Upon following the road to Epano Kambos, on the north east of the island, one arrives in Agia Theodoti, a magical beach resort located 14km from Chora. Combining the cosmopolitan excitement with unwinding moments in perfect seclusion, the beach is an ideal destination with breathtaking sunsets within a serene atmosphere. Close by, one can spot the remains of an ancient aqueduct and a Hellenistic tower, which add to the mythical air of this beautiful Greek island, surely worthy to be included in your trip itinerary.
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