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The locals call their island “Nios” but its formal name comes from “ion”, the Greek name for a violet. Ios is said to have been the birthplace of Homer’s mother and the location of his own tomb. The beaches of Mylopótas, Magganári, Psáthi, Yialós, Kálamos and Ayia Theodóti are known worldwide – among others – to be top choices for diving into the island’s emerald waters. In order to explore the inland, follow the paths preferred by shepherds.


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One’s first impression upon arrival on the island is enchanting: lovely Hora welcomes travelers. It is amphitheatrically built on a hillside, at the top of which are the ruins of a medieval castle. This is a traditional village with stark white houses, graphically roofed lanes (stegadia), 12 windmills and churches with arched bell-towers and blue domes, all of which create a unique constructed whole that has been designated as listed.
At the highest point of Hora is the most significant of the island’s 365 churches, the Panagia Gremiotissa, built literally on the edge of a cliff, with a fabulous view of the sea. Its festival on August 15 is one of the island’s most beautiful, when the icon is carried through the town, followed by the traditional festival with island songs and dancing until the early hours.
The significant presence of human beings from early antiquity is recorded by the early Cycladic settlement of Skarkos (2,800 BC), an archaeological site that has received awards for its exemplary restoration and enhancement. Rich finds from the settlement, as well as ancient objects from the entire history of the island, are available for the visitor to see in the exceptional Archaeological Museum in Hora, on Ios.
On the northeastern side of the island is the Palaiokastro, a fortress from the Byzantine period that was used to watch over the sea routes from Constantinople to Crete. Using visual signals and fires, the castle communicated with castles on Naxos, Amorgos and Santorini.
For dips into the emerald waters of the island, the internationally famed beaches of Mylopotas and Mangari, Psathi, Gialos, Kalamos, Agia Theodoti and others are recommended.

Source: www.ios.gr