A LITTLE MALTA
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AEGEAN
Little Malta, the island of Homer, the flower of the Cyclades. However you may call it, Ios or Nios, captivates visitors with its picturesque beauty, heavenly beaches, lively pulse and rich history.
The homeland of Homer, as the tomb of the great poet of the antiquity is considered to be here, was first conquered by Venetians and then Turks, who even characterized Ios as "Little Malta", because of the security provided by the natural harbor of the island.
In the mid-20th century, Ios was loved by hippies and young people, while now the island enchants all types of modern travelers with its many faces.
And that’s because, when the endless beach parties in the cosmopolitan Mylopotas bay and the intense nightlife in the bars of the picturesque Chora, alternate with the magnificent sunsets from Panagia Gremiotissa and the breathtaking Cycladic energy that even enchanted Elytis, then you know that you are on the island of dreams, where nothing is impossible.
Amphitheatrically located above Gialos, Ios’ port, Chora is the capital of the island and it will enchant you with its authentic Cycladic beauty. Insurmountably scenic, full of charming alleys, cobbled narrow streets, whitewashed houses and small squares, Ios’ Chora entices you into a carefree summer dream, while only a walk is enough to learn the secrets of its rich history. Where Chora is located now, at the steep hill above the port, was the ancient city of Ios. Nowadays, large parts of the wall, a building, the street to the harbor and the temple of Apollo, where St. Catherine church is now, have been saved. Between St. Catherine and St. Anargyroi chirch there was the market of the ancient city.
Very rich findings from the prehistoric until the Roman times can be seen at the Archaelogical Museum of Chora near the Town Hall. Going up to the hill, at the east part of Chora, we meet one of the most beautiful sights of Ios, the old whitewashed windmills, and then we end up to the Open Theatre of Odysseas Elytis, an architectural masterpiece from stone and marble, built in one of the most favorite spots of the poet, offering spectacular views. However, one of the most typical images of Chora is Panagia Gremiotissa’s church, with the three tiny chapels on the hill, the phoenix, the amazing views to the Aegean and the breathtaking sunsets.
With more than 35 magnificent beaches with golden sand and turquoise waters, Ios is considered one of the ten islands with the best beaches in the Mediterranean. Famous for its crystal clear blue waters, awarded and fully organized, Mylopotas beach is the most crowded beach of Ios island. This huge golden beach never calms, as from early in the morning, visitors from all over the world come to enjoy the wonderful waters, the hot sun and the uplifting parties! However, apart from the cosmopolitan Mylopotas, Agia Theodoti, Psathi and Magganari, as well as many more peaceful beaches – only accessible through sea – will reveal you the face of an island that can give you a flavor of what “paradise” looks like.