The island of Ios lies between Naxos and Santorini in a distance of 107 nautical miles away from Piraeus. It has an area of 108 sq. km. and a population of 1,500 people. The island can be reached from Piraeus by ferry all the year round. Ios is also connected, by ferry, with Crete, with the Dodecanese island complex, as well as with many other islands in Cyclades, mainly during the summer period.
Ios is renowned for its relationship with the great epic poet Homer. Tradition tell us that Homer was buried on the island. There is, in fact, a ruin at Plakoto, which is called Homer’s tomb. Chora, the capital of the island stands near the site of the ancient city of Ios.
Probably the name Ios comes from the Ionians. The excavations made by the archaeologists, proclaims the presence of a Mycenaean settlement. The most important prehistoric settlement that was found on the island, is located upon a hill to the entrance of the port.
As is the case with the other Cyclades Islands, the Venetians were here (in the beginning of the 13th century) and have left a fortress behind, in this case built in the 15th century. Before them the island was a part of the vast Byzantine Empire and this influence is distinctive in the island’s countless churches. In 1537 was occupied by the Turks. Finally, in 1832 the island entered in Greece.
In our times, Ios has become the meeting place for young people from all over the world. This young crowd comes to Ios to enjoy the deep blue of the sea, the shining sun and the frenzied nightlife. But the gates of Ios paradise are open not only to the young, but to everyone. Once you are here, you will make a promise to yourself to come back next year!