Ios is the island of youth, parties, and wonderful beaches. It has distinctive Cycladic architecture and all kinds of beaches: organized or pristine, sandy or pebbled, busy or quiet.
In brief, we recommend staying 3 to 4 days in order to visit as many places as possible. You can have a look at the list with the top things to see & do that we have compiled.
Below, you will see our excursion suggestions for 1, 2, or 3 days on the island of Ios, Greece.
One day: Chora and Mylopotas
Chora, the capital of Ios, is the center of all activities on the island. Most stores and all public services are located there. During the day, the town is busy and tourists are strolling around, along with the narrow paths. On a hill above Chora, you can see the beautiful church of Panagia Gremiotissa, the landmark of the island.
Ios is not the island to go sightseeing, but a place with wonderful beaches to relax. So, after a strong morning coffee in the square of Chora, go swimming in Mylopotas. This is the most popular beach on the island, due to its crystal water, organized shore and closeness to Chora. Mylopotas has a lot of beach bars that stay open till late, so it is also a nice nightlife option if you don't want to spend the night in a club in Chora. In addition, a lot of hotels and other tourist facilities are available in the area. Note that buses from Chora to Mylopotas are very frequent in the summer.
For a quieter setting, you can also go to Koumbara, another beach close to Chora, that is more peaceful and tranquil than Mylopotas. Koumbara is more family-oriented, not focusing that much on entertainment.
Day 1 as described above.
On the second day, you should head to two other beaches on Ios: Manganari and Papa. Manganari in particular, about 20 km northeast, is connected to Chora by bus. This beach has crystal water and soft sand on the shore. It is organized and beach bars play music.
About 5 km north of Manganari lies Papa, a calm beach of exceptional beauty. The crystal waters and sandy shore attract many visitors, although the spot is quite isolated.
Days 1 and 2 as described above.
On the third day, consider exploring the western side of the island. This is a less tourist-developed area with some nice spots to relax away from the crowds. Start with Agia Theodoti, a tourist resort with a large beach. Then have a swim in Psathi, a calm beach about 17 km east of Chora, totally untouched by tourism. For this day, we recommend you rent a car or a scooter for your comfort.