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SIGHTSEEING IN IOS

The Port “Yialos”

The port of Ios (Yialos) is the second most populated area of the island. Right at the port of Ios is the picturesque church of Agia Irini, built in the 17th century. The blonde sand and crystal waters of Yialos Beach offer moments of relaxation. It is a very popular beach surrounded by restaurants, cafes and mini markets. Yialos beach, also, offers water sports facilities, as well as scuba diving and nice beach bars.

Chora

The charming Chora, the capital of the island built on a hill, is located just 2 km from the port. Exploring Chora means, first of all, walking in the cobblestone streets, surrounded by traditional buildings which remain unchanged over the time. At night, the island transforms into one of the best party islands ever. The heart of party is located in the village with a wide variety of clubs and bars for all kind of tastes

Windmills

Ios is the only island in the Cyclades with so many windmills situated in the same area, thirteen in total. This is one of the most beautiful sites on the island, offering a unique sample of traditional architecture. The breathtaking sight of the windmills, lying beside one another on the slope above Chora, charms the visitor and brings memories of a long gone past.

Paleokastro

Paleokastro, literally meaning “old castle”, is practically the ruins of a Byzantine Castle rising 300 meters above the sea level and lies in the north-eastern side of Ios Island on the top of a hill. The area is easily accessible. Reaching the top after a short walk through a neat path, the visitor may wander around the old walls and Panagia Paleokastritissa church. Unquestionably what makes the site unique is the limitless view of the Aegean Sea and the surrounding islands (Naxos, Iraklia, Amorgos and Donoussa) 

Skarkos

Skarkos, which is located near the port in the area of Kampos, is the oldest, largest and now most important known settlement of the procycladic world of the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C. This unique settlement was discovered in 1986. Its buildings are in such a good condition that the visitor can get an idea of the very architecture of the times. The excavation also revealed a wealth of artifacts which in combination with the architecture, give an almost complete picture of everyday life back then. The site has been open to visitors since 2009.

Odysseas Elytis Theatre 

The theatre is located in an area called “tsoukalaria” further up the traditional windmills in Chora. It was inaugurated in 1997 and built from marble and local stone. It has been built in accordance with the functionality and aesthetics of an ancient theatre. Its stands are amphitheatrically built, thus ensuring excellent view and acoustics in every performance. Elegant though colossal, the structure can hold up to 1100 people at any given time.

The theatre is dedicated to the Greek Poet of Aegean ‘ODYSSEAS ELYTIS’, Tsoukalaria was the poet’s meditation and inspiration place and justifiably the theatre stands there today and bares his name.

Homer’s Tomb

At the north end of the island lie the ruins of the ancient town of Plakotos, dating from the Hellenistic period, where tradition claims that poet Homer’s tomb is situated. According to Herodotus, the 'poet of poets' Homer, was buried at Plakotos. A short walk along a paved path leads to the top of a cliff, overlooking the Aegean Sea, where the tomb stands.

Museums

The Archaeological Museum of Ios is located in Chora and hosted at the ground floor of the City Hall. The museum boasts of a large collection of ancient findings streaming from the long history of the island, starting from the third millennium BC and up to the Roman Era. Open daily (apart from Mondays) between 08:30 and 15:00. For more information call 22860 91246.

The Yiannis Gaitis & Gabriela Simosi Museum is at close proximity to the Windmills. Husband and wife that have been friends of the island and lovers of art, they have created this art space which exhibits the works of both artists along with the artistic pieces of numerous other Greek and foreign artists. 

Churches

The island has 365 churches as many as the days of the year, most of which are Byzantine and more than half of which are visitable. One of their characteristics is the marble cross and in small countryside churches, the stone cross. All of them are painted white, to resist the merciless heat of Greek summer, with blue or green doors and windows, to rest the vertical and horizontal lines, softened by gentle curves.

Agia Irini, built in the 17th century, is situated right at the port of Ios

Panagia Gremiotissa, “Our Lady of the Cliffs”, is the most important church of Chora and is recognized by its palm trees.

Evangelismos (Annunciation) is the modern Orthodox Cathedral of the island which stands in the main square of Chora.

Agios Ioannis At the highest peak of the island stands the 16th century Byzantine church of Agios Ioannis, built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo.

Folklore Festivals And Cultural Events

The most significant folklore festivals celebrated during summer are: On the 24th of June the feast of St. John Prodromos at the monastery of Pyrgos, on the highest spot of the island. On the 29th of August, St. John's is celebrated in two parts of the island, in Kalamos and Psathi. Those who decide to visit Psathi will attend a genuine island feast. The church of St. John, built at the entrance of the village, dates back to the 17th-18th century. Each year on this date, hundreds of pilgrims attend vespers, taste the meat soup served in wooden dishes "skoutelia" and dance to island music all night through. In the morning, after Mass, a procession of the saint's icon takes place and the traditional bean soup is served to everybody.
Equally warm and hospitable is the feast in honor of the Birth of Virgin Marry in Agia Theodoti and Paleokastro on the 8th of September, where pilgrims carry the saint's icon on foot from Chora.

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