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The sun shines and the drinks flow on Ios holidays, where days can be spent on glorious beaches and nights in lively bars. But there’s another side to the island too, away from the crowds, relaxing on quieter stretches of sand, revelling in hilltop vistas and exploring a fascinating archaeological site.
Plonked between the islands of Naxos and Santorini in the Aegean Sea, the hilly island of Ios has a lot going on for its tiny size. There's a lively nightlife scene, thanks in part to its hippy heritage – it was once a beloved party backpacker destination – and a good selection of restaurants. If you enjoy having your pick of bars and clubs to hop between once the sun has gone down, the resort of Mylopotas is a great choice. It’s also home to the island’s longest beach – a 1km-long swathe of golden sand.
There are plenty of other beaches on the island, too. Most feature soft, pale sands and turquoise waters backed by soaring green hills. As well as Mylopotas, Manganari and Kalamos are pleasant places to sunbathe and swim.
Away from the beach, the pretty village of Chora (or Hora) should be on your must-visit list on a holiday to Ios. Whitewashed houses cling to the hillside and the streets are so narrow that cars can’t access it; instead, holidaymakers and locals fill the streets of Chora. There are many restaurants, bars and shops lining the pretty pathways, and you’ll also notice some of Ios’ traditional windmills in Chora, which offer perfect picture opportunities.
Ios is also reputedly the burial place of the Greek poet Homer and you can plan a trip to visit his tomb near Plakoto Beach.
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