Ios island sailing holidays

Touristy Ios - Ίος is a hilly island, largely fringed by cliffs, roughly half-way between Paros or Naxos and Santorini.

Until quite recently its only source of income was agriculture on the terraced slopes of the Kato Kampos and its side valleys, but since 25 years it has been invaded by large number of backpackers who quench – at any rate during the summer months – the peace and harmony of the island.

The significant port of Ios – with the conspicuous white-domed Church of Ayia Irini (17th c.) inviting yachts from above the green harbour light – lies in a sheltered bay on the west coast of the island.

View from the Chora of Ios island with the port down below and Sikinos on the horizon.

Previous islands: Folegandros • Sikinos ↑

Sailing map of Ios island - Yacht charters in Greece
Ios island sailing map; ports and anchorages

Next island: Amorgos ↓

Bird's-eye view of well-preserved early Bronze Age settlement of Skarkos.

One kilometre up the fertile Kato Kampos valley, conspicuously and picturesquely situated on the hillside, is the chief place on the island, Ios. Its white Cycladic houses and 20 or so churches and chapels are enclosed within a dilapidated circuit of medieval walls. On the hill above the village stands a double of typical windmills.

 We have rented scooters to visit Skarkos - Σκάρκος, an absolute must-see!

Moreover, the Archaeological museum of Chora harbours the findings from Skarkos area (3rd – 2nd millennium BCE), as well as exhibits from from the ancient Chora until the 7th c.

Outside the main sailing season Ios has a relaxed atmosphere, there isn't much to do but you can wander around, get good provisions and you won't be disturbed by loads of backpackers.
Recently the island and the port have become far more appealing.

Ios island

Apart from its nightlife, (nudists) beaches and the crucial Skarkos archaeological site, Ios island is the more practical stopover between Paros and Santorini, considering that Alopronia/Skala port on Sikinos offers only limited provisions. The Chora on Sikinos, however, is unfrequented and even more alluring.

Chora Ios with the Theotokos Cathedral to the left and a procession of churches all the way to the summit.

Ios port and anchorages

The bustling port of Ios - Ίος is one of the few places in the southern Cyclades that provides sufficient berths for visiting yachts. Ideally select a spot in the east basin, go stern-to and pick up the laid moorings.

The approach is straightforward except for the myriad of fast ferries and hydrofoils;   also mind the Demoti and Xeres reefs. The strong Meltemi gusts are NE.
VHF 12, 19.

Ag Theodotis - Αγία Θεοδότη is a small bay and delightful beach, however open to N – E winds. There is a good taverna ashore; quiet surroundings; use a tripline to cope with a few sections of (discarted telephone?) cables on the seabed.

The open bay of Psathi - Ψάθη can only be used in calm weather. The setting is a bit livelier, with the excellent Alonistra taverna - Ταβέρνα Αλωνίστρα further ashore. Cables reported here as well.

The very shallow and sheltered bay of Manganari - Μαγγανάρι is a crowded spot, not my cup of tea. Note that the depth contour of 2 m is a confusing 150 m from the shoreline.

Tris Klisies or Tris Klises - Τρεις Κλησιές: drop anchor in either of the two north coves. This beautiful area is under attack and might well be turned into an ugly “marina”. As of now it remains an engaging anchorage  .

Mylopotas - Μυλοποτας in Mylopotamou bay is the vivacious and famous beach of Ios island. Gusts are either north or north-east and the safest anchorage is 400 m east of the beach, right under the cliffs of a tiny double headed bay Lat Long.

Tris Klisies anchorage!

All Greek isles and the next Cycladic island to the east is Amorgos.