Ios Things to Do

We have compiled a list of the Best Things to Do in Ios, which includes the absolute must-sees and must-dos while vacationing on the charming Cycladic island: places to visit, sights, beaches, tours, where to eat, activities, and more.

In brief, the top things to do are to stroll around the quaint Choram, visit the island's stunning beaches, and have a drink and party at one of the bustling bars and clubs.

Open the table of contents to see our bucket list with the 11 best things to do once in Ios Greece.

1. Stroll around Chora village

Category: Villages

Chora is the picturesque capital of Ios constructed centuries ago on top of ancient ruins. Nowadays, it is one of the most lively areas in the whole Cyclades and the best thing to do while in it is to wander around it!

Chora is located on a hill, above the port of Ormos. It is full of whitewashed houses with a traditional Cycladic style and narrow paved alleys. As soon as you find yourself lost in the alleys, you will notice that it offers all kinds of facilities to its visitors, with a wide variety of entertainment options available - bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants, hotels and much more rank the village among the most visited places in Greece.

Explore Chora

2. Stay at a boutique hotel

Category: Hotels

Due to the combination of liveliness and serenity it presents, Ios attracts thousands of visitors. For that reason, numerous options for accommodation are available on the island. If you want your stay to be perfect on every level, the best thing to do is to book an accommodation that meets your needs.

The most famous is no other than the gorgeous Calilo Hotel, an opulent resort with a beachfront location, only a few meters away from the crystal clear waters of Papas Beach.
Some other excellent options for lodging are the Far Out Hotel and Spa which offers breathtaking views of the Aegean, the traditionally designed yet modern Hide Out Suites, and Gianemma, a collection of luxury apartments that allow visitors to switch off in several areas, including an enticing infinity pool.

Explore the Hotels

3. Swim at amazing sandy beaches

Category: Beaches

Visiting the beaches could not be missing from the best things to do! The island is certainly popular for its clean beaches with turquoise waters and golden sand. The liveliest and most well-organized are located around Chora, while those with a more tranquil ambiance are remote. Depending on what you hanker for each day of your holiday, be sure that the ideal beach for your mood is waiting for you somewhere in Ios!

Cosmopolitan beaches

The most popular beach is Mylopotas, which is located very close to Chora and attracts more visitors than any other place. It can be easily approached by bus and car. There, you will find restaurants, bars, cafes as well as watersport facilities. The beach is particularly popular among young people and offers a large organized section with sun loungers and sun umbrellas. Gialos, located near the port of Ios right below Chora, is a well-equipped sandy shore featuring sunbeds and umbrellas while being surrounded by all kinds of establishments. Koumbara, situated a bit further than Gialos, is a busy beach offering guests the opportunity to rent sun loungers, partake in watersports and take advantage of all tourist amenities.

Remote beaches

Manganari consists of many small bays. Some of them are organized, while other ones are completely unspoilt, peaceful and isolated. The sandy shore and shallow waters are great for families with small children and the bottom of the blue-green sea is worth exploring while snorkelling. Another hidden gem is Kalamos, one of the best beaches on the island which is not very popular because of its secluded location. The peaceful beach is covered with silky sand and its turquoise waters are some of the clearest ones on the island. Agia Theodoti and Psathi are excellent options for a quiet day at the beach, too. Both of them are reachable by bus.

Explore the Beaches

4. Savour a meal in the local restaurants

Category: Restaurants

Foodwise, the island of Ios shows great diversity. You will encounter many taverns and restaurants that are either seafront or situated in small neighborhoods. Some of them serve traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes while others have come up with more creative recipes. You will also find international cuisine options, such as Italian, Mexican, Japanese and Thai.
For visitors who want to get a taste of the local flavors, the best thing to do is head to a restaurant with Greek dishes. For indulging in local gastronomy, Katogi and Lord Byron in Chora and Koumpara Seafood Restaurant on the beach of Koumbara are excellent options.
Concerning international flavors, consider dining in Thai Me Up in Chora or ElPeace on Mylopotas Beach.

Discover more Restaurants

5. Party hard

Category: Clubs

Visiting Ios is the best thing to do if you enjoy drinking and dancing! Ios is one of the most popular destinations in Greece for young people and anyone who likes partying. The island is famous for its vivid nightlife and the variety of clubs and bars available. Huge parties are organized regularly with some of the best DJs and the most refreshing drinks and cocktails.
Many of the clubs and bars are open until the early morning hours and will let you party all night long! The two busiest destinations for partying in Ios are FarOut Beach Club in Mylopotas and Pathos Sunset Lounge in Chora.

Find the best clubs

6. Book a boat tour and visit remote beaches

Category: Tours & Activities

Ios has several secluded beaches that are impossible to approach by car or any other means.
In order to not miss this wild part of the island, it is highly recommended to take part in a well-organized speed boat adventure. This boat tour offers participants the unique opportunity to explore the most isolated beaches along the coastline of the island and discover lots of snorkeling spots, including shipwrecks, reefs and underwater caves.

Book the Tour

7. Try watersports

Category: Sports

Practicing watersports is definitely something you should consider during your holidays in Ios!
Windsurfing, jet-skiing and water-skiing are a few indicative water activities you can try on the shores of the island.
Mylopotas, Koumbara and Manganari beaches host organized watersport centers where experienced instructors will introduce you to the activity of your choice. Alternatively, you can simply rent the equipment and go straight to the sea to have fun!

Discover the Watersport Centers

8. Go sightseeing

Category: Sightseeing

Ios may not host a plethora of sights, yet visitors have the opportunity to visit some very impressive points of historical and cultural interest.

• In Chora and its vicinity

The windmills at the entrance of the village carry lots of information regarding the island’s past and the local way of life. They are no longer being used but most of them are well-preserved and constitute the favorite spot for photos on the island!
The church of Panagia Gremiotissa next to the remains of the old Venetian Castle is the landmark of the island. It is built on a hill above the town, offering a marvelous view of the entire area.
For a glance into the past, don’t skip paying a visit to the Archaeological Museum. It exhibits a large collection of precious findings originating from the archeological site of Skarkos, as well as other nearby areas.
Last but not least, named after the famous Nobel-awarded Greek poet, Odysseas Elytis Theatre is another important cultural center in Chora. The large theater was constructed with stone and marble and has been hosting concerts and other events since 1997.

• In remote areas

The archaeological site of Skarkos dates back to the Early Bronze Age. Located on a hill on the western side of Ios, it is the one of most significant prehistoric settlements in the Cyclades. Archaeological excavations brought to light many interesting findings, including tombs, tools, everyday objects, idols and ancient vessels. Most of these objects are currently being displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Chora but you will still be able to see the ruins of the spiral-shaped village, its buildings and the remnants of a drainage system and a cemetery.
The Tomb of Homer, author of the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, is said to be located in Plakoto. Although there is no concrete evidence that this is Homer’s authentic burial ground, the ruins are definitely worth visiting. From up there you will be able to admire the magnificent view of the Cycladic landscape.

Discover more Sights

9. Discover the regions via hiking

Category: Sports

Ios has a well-organized network of trekking paths, with some being signposted. Hiking is an excellent way to discover the landscape and nature of the island, to visit remote churches and other places of interest and to exercise! Visitors can find maps of the trail network at the local Citizen Service Center in Chora or download the regional hiking routes from

10. Visit Sikinos Island with a boat and wine tour

Category: Tours & Activities

Not far from Ios, you will find the small Cycladic island of Sikinos. If you’d like to see more of the Cyclades in one trip, it is possible to take part in a day trip that will take you to Sikinos by boat!
This tour is an excellent option, with a starting point at Mylopotas Beach. It is fully guided, so you will be able to have all the information and guidance you may need while sightseeing in Sikinos. In addition to the picturesque village Chora, you will have the opportunity to hike around the island and see its most important landmarks: the church of Panagia Pantanassa, the Folklore Museum, the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi and the Temple of Episkopi. Last but not least, you will visit Manali Winery for wine tasting, where you can enjoy a glass of wine with mesmerizing Aegean Sea views.

Book the Tour

11. Kayak around the island

Category: Tours & Activities

One of the best ways to explore the island of Ios is by kayaking.
Located in Mylopotas, Meltemi Watersports offers the chance to participate in an unforgettable kayak adventure that will allow you to see many beautiful places on the island, as well as the secluded beach Kolitsani. In addition to kayaking, you will be able to swim or try out scuba diving and snorkeling in the deep blue sea around the island. BBQ lunch is also included!

Book the Kayak Adventure