The beaches of Ios Island

Among the main reasons that make Ios one of Greece’s top summer holiday destinations are its sandy beaches and turquoise waters lining its coast. Located between Naxos, Sikinos and Santorini, it has one of the safest ports in the Cyclades island chain. It owes its name to the ancient Greek word, ia, meaning flowers that grew in abundance on the island in antiquity. Ios had passed into obscurity during the Roman and Byzantine years, while, in the Middle Ages, it was raided by pirates several times. It was, however, particularly active during the Greek Revolution, writing its own page in modern Greek history. Attractions include its famous lighthouse that dominates the entrance of the port, as well as the beautiful "Odysseas Elytis" open air theatre that can seat 1,100 spectators.

Mylopotas is the most popular beach on the island and is known for its long expanse of golden sand and crystal clear waters, as well as its famous campsite.  Inevitably the beach gets very busy from June to August and is not the place for those in search of solitude. Mylopotas has everything from restaurants, cafes and sunbeds (for a fee) to water sports facilities and the necessary equipment for rent.

Among the prettiest beaches on Ios, Kalamos is located next to the equally famous Papas beach in the southeastern part of the island. This beach covered by fine white sand framed by rocks is the ideal place for those in search of seclusion and tranquillity. The turquoise waters and its stunning seabed also attract snorkelling enthusiasts. As there are no restaurants or cafes nearby, it is advisable to bring necessary items, such as umbrellas, water and some snacks. Although getting there may be relatively challenging over a difficult dirt road, a dip in Kalamos beach certainly makes the effort worth the trouble.

Papa Beach
This enchanting and rather secluded cove surrounded by greenery is around 17 km from Ios port. The palm trees that were planted along the beach after a private initiative, add an exotic touch to the place, making it a favourite among locals and travellers alike.
Many people camp here by the sea every summer setting up their tents on the white sand that stretches from one end of the beach to the other. Getting there by boat entails passing by the beaches of Pikri Nero, Sapounohoma and Tripiti before getting there.
Alternatively, it can be reached by driving to the settlement of Kalamos which has a wide flat area for cars to park. From there, it’s a 25-minute walk on a small path before the quiet, clear blue waters of the beach appear.

This large and remote beach is on the eastern side of the island and has unlimited views of nearby Iraklia island. It is around 17 km from the Chora and is easily accessible on an asphalt road.
It has no infrastructure for travellers, apart from a small hotel near the sea. Ample shade is provided by the few tamarisk trees. There is another small cove right next to Psathi and separated by a small pier with many moored fishing boats.

The second most famous beach of Ios after Mylopotas, Manganari is an idyllic place with light coloured sand and crystal clear waters that combines tranquillity with the island’s vibrancy.
Manganari is essentially a beach interspersed with a series of small coves forming a unique, photogenic landscape. There is now a well-paved road that leads to Manganari, making it easy to reach.
Although it is located 23 km away from Chora (the main town) of Ios, Manganari is extremely popular with Greek and foreign travellers. It is fully equipped, with cafes and taverns nearby. However, as it is quite a large beach, there are plenty of calm and secluded spots.

Tris Klisies
Although getting to this deserted small beach entails a long walk, the wonderful turquoise water makes the extra effort definitely worthwhile. This is the perfect place for those with a penchant for hikes on narrow paths overlooking the sea as well as the privacy of secluded beaches. Due to its remoteness visitors should make sure they have the necessary supplies before heading out there.

The beach nearest to the Chora, Tzamaria, which means glass in Greek, is one of the lesser known ones on the island. It is essentially a fairly narrow strip of sand, stretching just below the road that leads from Gialos to Koumbara.
As it is located opposite the island’s port, it offers romantic views of ships coming and going to Ios. It is also well-sheltered from the wind.

Agia Theodoti
With great views of Iraklia and Amorgos, Agia Theodoti beach is located in a bay with the same name in the northeastern part of the island. It is 10km from Chora and is an ideal destination for those wanting to avoid crowds. It is an impressively large beach, stretching more than 650 metres in length and boasts crystal clear waters lapping on a golden shore. There is no beach bar, except for one canteen which serves coffee and snacks. There are also sunbeds and umbrellas available for rent. There is plenty of space for bathers to set up their own equipment if they wish.