Ios I have never considered Greece as a solo female destination before. I’m all about the crazy…the hustle, the bustle, the endless ‘go, go, go’ of challenging adventure travel. Yet, sometimes, a lady needs her down time. Her heavenly time. Her time to chill out, rejuvenate and restore her inner power.
When my lovely travel blogging friend Gabi from The Tiny Book told me about her beautiful heartfelt love for the Ios Greek Island in the Cyclades, it made me stop and take a breather. She hasn’t made it there yet but her magnetism towards this island is certainly intriguing. As her soothing words gently flutter over you as you scroll down this page, you’ll want to be right next to her when she makes it across the waves. Let her love for something not yet experienced, unroll before you.
‘As any traveler lost in wanderlust, I used to just ‘travel’. It didn’t matter much where I went. In the beginning, the important thing was to just keep going. Yet, one day, carrying my shabby blue backpack, I set foot on Greek soil. And that was the end of that. I fell in love, so deeply in love, that I never stopped going back to Greece. I simply can’t. Anything is a good excuse to put me on a plane to Greece. The thing with this country is that there’s so much to see and do that this has become a full-time romance.
Greece includes over 6000 islands and islets all around the Aegean and the Ionian. And only 227 of them are inhabited… Will I ever see them all? Maybe if I was a cat with nine lives…What I do know is that I want to take my soul to the Ios Greek island. Let me tell you why.
Greek islanders call their island Heaven. That was enough to get my attention in the first place. Every time I step foot in Greece, I already feel that I am indeed in Heaven.
The Ios Greek Island is part of the Southern Cyclades (you have probably heard of the more famous Santorini and Mykonos). It’s not the smallest of the Cyclades but has a population of less than 2500 people. You can get there by charter flight during the high season, or take a ferry from Athens and nearby islands during the whole year.
Your trip is going to start from Ios Chora, the capital city. Many of the islands have a ‘Chora’ city and the word comes from the ancient Greek χώρα. It also simply means, ‘place’. Standing atmospherically across a hill on top of which a delightful church stands, locals warmheartedly call this place of worship the Lady of the Island. From here, you can breathe in gentle sunsets as the days gently come to an end and descend back down through the white cobble-stoned residences.
There are over 300 white churches and chapels which produce that magical contrast with the Aegean blue (locals claim there are 365 churches, one for every day of the year). Most of them are listed as historical monuments and Ios even has the infamous windmills running throughout its horizons like the other Cyclades islands. The best thing about the windmills in the Ios Greek island? This island has 12 of them!
There is so much more to this magical place however. Boasting 54 miles of coastline, it doesn’t matter if you’re strolling solo are taking some time out with your partner. There IS a slice of paradise for you. There’s tranquil, romantic spots as well as waves to hit the action-packed water sports and fun. Less than two miles from Chora, Mylopotas passes many locals’ lips as one of the most stunning beaches of the Aegean. With its honey-coloured sands and clear blue waters, I can’t wait for my feet to touch its caress and experience it for myself.
As the follow the pleasant scent of fresh oregano and thyme swirling throughout the neighbourhood, you may find yourself across the island, reaching Maganari in the south. It’s an intoxicating, rocky exotic landscape where the terrain’s whites expose themselves even more and nature unashamedly reveals its wilder side. This beach is well-known since a few scenes from the film Big Blue (Le Grand Blue) were shot here.
Do you fancy shedding some of your inhibitions? Head to Kolitsani, an untamed and lonely beach. There are no bars. No facilities. Pack your lunch, make sure to have some water and bring whatever you might need to spend a day enjoying silky sand between your toes and peaceful, mesmerising waters.
Of all the choices the Ios Greek Island can give you, when looking for a peaceful beach, Papas is the answer. Reachable only by boat, this tiny heavenly bay lies hidden on the southern area of the island. Make the effort and be truly rewarded.
If your adventurous side is beginning to come back, there’s way more to Greece than sunbathing and sipping delightful concoctions on the beach in the Ios Greek island. What thrills me about Greece is its ancient history. I long to spend an afternoon soaking up the treasures in the Archeological Museum of Chora and getting lost in my own imagination, as I descend into the open ancient theatre here.
Skarkos is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the Aegean due to its perfect state of conservation; there are countless sites of Roman and Byzantine civilizations too. Moreover, the island is thought to be the burial place of Homer. If you dig literature like I do, there are so many legends waiting to be discovered, surrounding his burial site.
When I close my eyes and think of Ios, I feel it calling me. Heaven is just a long boat ride away that my bones are aching to reach. I long to see this Heaven, the Ios Greek Island’.
What’s the one place you can’t stop returning to in your travels? Comment Below!
More about Gabi from The Tiny Book
Gabi is possibly the Queen of great Greek content. Currently hanging out in Crete, if you bump into her, you’ll most likely get a recommendation for an excellent glass of wine, a yummy plate of food and you’ll feel her girl power all over you. She’s working on a travel guide about the Cyclades islands right now. Exciting! You can follow her adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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