Ios Island Greek Cyclades islands Greece
Ios is an ISLAND in the CYCLADES group in theAEGEAN SEA. It is a part of GREECE.
Ios is a hilly island with cliffs down to the sea on most sides, situated halfway between NAXOS and SANTORINI. It is about 18km (11 mi) long and 10km (6 mi) wide, with an area of about 105 Km2. Population was 1,820 in 2006 (down from 3,500 in the 19th century.)
The Port of Ios is at the head of the Ormos harbor in the northwest. From there the bus or 15-minute walk up the steep donkey path takes you to the village, known as Chora. This is a white and very picturesque cycladic village, full of stairs and narrow walks, that makes it inaccessible for cars of any kind. Today, the main path through this village is completely taken over by tourism in terms of restaurants, boutiques, bars and discotheques. Apart from the port and the village of Chora, Ios has only a few small settlements, just a group of spread out houses in the background of major beaches (Theodoti, Kalamos, Manganari). Since the 1990s the island mayor Pusseos works on Ios development towards attracting different types of tourists. With money from the European community some roads have been built and even paved, and a very scenic amphitheater has been created by the German architect Peter Haupt (who died in 2003) on the very top of the village hill. Unfortunately, cultural events rarely take place up there.
Ios has left little impression on history. Ancient tradition said that Omiros mother was from Ios, and that he himself was buried there - and indeed the locals will show visitors the site of the ancient town of Plakotos at the northernmost end of the island, where the rocky entrance to a tomb may be seen. There is no physical evidence connecting this with Homer however. There are signs of MYCENAEAN settlement.
The north end of Ios also has a ruined VENETIAN castle from the 15TH CENTURY . The island is said to have 365 churches and chapels, like the days of the year.
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Ios attracts very large numbers of young TOYRIST, many of whom used to sleep on their sleeping bags during the 1970s on the popular beach of Milopotamos (or Milopotas) after partying through the night. Today Milopotamos beach has been developed to an equivalent mass package TOURIM resort like Platys Gialos and Paradise Beach of MYKONOS.
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