Should You Visit Ios?

Is Ios worth visiting?

We loved visiting Ios and, yes, it's absolutely a island that any traveler should visit. By the end of our time here, it felt like a second home.

Whether you're a a couple or a backpacker, this island has a lot to offer. Any local will tell you what makes it special is the amazing nightlife and fantastic beaches.

It's often mentioned as one of the best places to visit in major publications, such as in Conde Nast Traveler's Best Places to Go in 2024.

Ios is a Cycladic Island that is famous as one of the most well known party islands in Greece. The reputation is well earned with a party-hard atmosphere centered mostly around the town of Chora. The island also has beautiful sandy beaches and impressive archeological ruins. While many people visit the island as a day trip from Santorini, there's plenty to explore if you stay for a couple of days as well.

Ios, Greece Ios, Greece

8 Reasons to Visit Ios

1. Nightlife

This is one of the quintessential party islands in Greece. Many young backpackers come here just to party, particularly during the summer months. You'll find many parties start around midnight or later and carry on well into the morning. Most of the clubs and bars are around the main square and nearby streets in Chora, but there are also clubs spread throughout the town. Outside of town, Mylopotas Beach is another popular party area.

2. Beaches

The island has beautiful sandy beaches that range from family-friendly to party hard. There are popular and more developed beaches near Chora like Koumbara and Mylopotas as well as more relaxing beaches a little more removed like Kalamos and Manganari. Because of their striking beauty, the beaches around the island have been featured in a few films.

3. Food

Most of the island's restaurants are found in the port area or in the town of Chora, but you'll also find several options near Mylopotas Beach. Most restaurants offer typical Greek dishes, but they often have a local twist. You'll often find local cheeses or a slightly different take on an old favorite. Popular ingredients include cheese, yogurt, fish, olives, honey, olive oil, and grains. Common meats include lamb, beef, and even rabbit, but seafood is obviously popular as well.

4. Resorts

There are a number of resort areas around the island with families preferring the areas around Yialos Beach and Manganari Beach. Partiers usually head to Chora and the great beaches near Mylopotas, but if you want to escape the crowds, head to Agia Theodoti.

5. Museums

If you can pull yourself away from the beaches or parties, there are a number of archaeological and historic sights around the island. Churches like Panayia Gremiotissa Church and Evangelisimos Cathedral are worth visiting. Other attractions include Odysseas Elytis Theatre, Homer’s Tomb, and Skarkos Hill.

6. Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

There are some nice snorkeling and diving areas around the island as well as vendors who organize snorkeling and dive trips.

7. Hiking

The island has a barren and rocky landscape that offers spectacular views. Many of the hikes are quite challenging, but there are a few options for beginners as well. Many also pass by the spectacular ruins around the island.

8. Shopping

There are a number of local souvenirs that you can pick up. Many visitors prefer to take home unique items such as a tin of olives or olive oil. Jewelry, honey, and local ceramics also make good gifts.

Things to Consider Before Visiting Ios

Not As Family-Friendly
While there are some family activities, it's not as child-friendly as other destinations.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Ios might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Ios here or see if Ios is expensive here.


What is Ios most famous for?

Ios is most famous for its party hard atmosphere that attracts a younger and rowdier crowd. The island is very popular for its nightlife and beaches. It's also known for food and resorts. And many travelers come for the museums, scuba diving & snorkeling, hiking, and shopping, as well. It is often described as party-oriented, vibrant, beautiful, striking, touristy, backpacker-friendly, and historical.

What is the most famous sight in Ios?

The most popular sight in Ios is Skarkos Archeological Site. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Ios on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for Skarkos Archeological Site and other attractions here.

How touristy is Ios? Is it a popular island to visit?

Ios is a popular island for tourists and travelers. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)

    • Ios Island Trekking Tours: Discover Ios Unexplored: $28
    • Electric Bike Tour Chora to Diaseli Cheesery: $111
    • Private Orienteering Experience in Mylopotas: $166
    • Electric Bike Tour Chora to Homer's Tomp: $111
    • 5 -6 Hour Private Chora E-Bike Tours: $133
    • 4-Hour Cruise of the Best Beaches: $71
    • Ios Island: Speedboat Cruise from Mylopotas Beach: $60
    • From RIB Boat Trip to Sikinos Island and Winery Tour: $92

    How long should I spend in Ios?

    The ideal length of time for a trip to Ios is one to three days. Since Ios has a variety of activities such as nightlife and beaches, most people need this much time to see and do everything here.

    If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Ios?, Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Ios?, and Should I spend 1 or 2 weeks in Ios?.