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Ios

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The Amazing Beaches of Ios

September 17, 2018
Ios Beaches

Many people come to Greece to enjoy the fantastic beaches, and the beaches on Ios are not to be missed! Unlike Naxos beaches, many of the beaches in Ios are remote and so are only accessible by boat or hiking. However, they are worth visiting. Here are a few of my favorite Ios beaches.

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Gialos

Ios Beaches

Gialos beach is the closest beach to the port of Ios. It isn’t a huge beach but has plenty of space not to feel crowded. The beach is an organized beach, and many places will let you use an umbrella and chairs for free if you make a buy something. There are a few small hotels and pensions to stay at on Gialos beach.

You can walk to the beach from the port in less than five minutes, and if you are in the Chora (village), you can take the bus to the port and walk from there. The water is shallow making it suitable for kids. The only thing to be aware of is that the ferries often arrive in the summer and will cause small waves.

Mylopotas

Ios Beaches

Reachable by bus from the port and village, Mylopotas is one of the most popular beaches on Ios. It can get crowded in the summer. The beach is organized with many options for umbrellas and chairs. You can also go paddleboarding, windsurfing, wakeboard and many other watersports offered by Meltemi Water Sports.

The sand at Mylopotas beach is soft golden sand. There are rocks in the water, but the water is deep enough that you can swim over them. The beach is large, so you can choose which section of the beach you want to be on.

The choice of accommodation at Mylopotas is large. It ranges from hostels to luxury hotels and apartments. Be aware that the hostel at the further end of the beach has a club outside and is very popular at night. If that isn’t your scene, then you should stay closer to the beginning of the beach.

Valmas

Ios Beaches

If you are up for a hike to get to a secluded beach, then I recommend going to Valmas beach. To hike to Valmas beach, you head to the port and walk up to the large church that sits on the hill above the harbor. The path starts before the metal gate to the church on the left. There are several paths once you get past the church and we got on the wrong track a few times, but sometimes the wrong path offered terrific views!

Valmas beach is not organized and is small. Go early in the day to get a good spot and possibly some shade. Make sure you bring water and food. The water is deep once you get past the rocks. There is a small cave to swim to as well. If you plan to swim to it, you might need flippers as the waves can be strong here.

Manganari

Ios Beaches

One of the most beautiful beaches in Ios is Manganari beach. It is remote but is reachable by bus. The online bus schedule doesn’t indicate the schedule, but once you arrive on Ios, there should be a schedule posted at the bus stops. Also, there is a private bus that will take you as well that leaves from the port and the village.

There are a few restaurants and hotels here. If you decide to stay at Manganari, you should rent a car as the bus service isn’t frequent. The beach is a large beach with soft golden sand and it less crowded than Mylopotas because of its location. Only some of the beach is organized so you might want to bring a towel to lay on just in case all the sunbeds are taken. The beach is protected from the winds and offers calm water for swimming.

Image via Flickr by Kostas Limitsios

Koumbara

Ios Beaches

This small organized beach is a short bus ride away from the port. While it is small, it offers shallow water for swimming. There are also caves nearby to explore via a short swim. Koumbara is a great spot to watch the stunning Ios sunset from.

There are a few restaurants and places to stay at Koumbara and is a great quiet alternative to Mylopotas beach. If you are feeling like a walk, you can walk to Koumbara from the port. Follow the road past Gialos beach up the hill and eventually, you will reach it.

Loretzena

Ios Beaches

To reach Loretzena beach, you will need a car as the Ios bus does not go here. The advantage is that is less popular. Given its location, it is not organized, and you will need to bring everything you will need with you.

The cove is small and surrounded by rocks. However, the sand is soft, and there is a rock free spot in the middle of the beach to swim from. Loretzena is an excellent place for snorkeling. It is also a great spot to watch the sunset as well.

Psathi

Psathi beach is located on the eastern side of Ios. While it is remote, the bus does go here in summer. There are only a handful of beach umbrellas here. The restaurant in Psathi is not on the beach so you may also want to bring your own snacks and drinks.

The sand is golden and very soft. The surrounding landscape is beautiful, and you may never want to leave! If you seek tranquility and peace, there a small hotel here with five rooms. There is a small uninhabited island off the north part of the beach that you can swim to if the water is calm.

Agia Theodoti

Ios Beaches

Agia Theodoti is another remote beach in Ios. Agia Theodoti is located on the eastern side of the Ios. You will need a car to get here as the bus does not go here. There are a few hotels and restaurants but not on the beach. The beach is not organized so come prepared. There are some trees to see shade under though.

This Ios beach is large and not crowded. The sand is soft, and the water is excellent for swimming. I loved exploring the area behind the beach as well. There are rocks on the northern side if you want to get an amazing view of the whole beach.

Kolitsani

Ios Beaches

Kolitsani is a small beach that is not too far from the Ios port. However, it is hard to get to. I arrived here on a boat, but there is a footpath to hike down to it. It is not organized, and sometimes there are nudists on this beach!

The water is very clear here and great for swimming. Because of its location, it is less popular and not so crowded. Boats come here occasionally but will not come close to the beach as it is too shallow for them. It is a great beach to escape the crowds of Ios.

Are you ready to go to Ios to check out the beaches now? Check out rates for hotels on Ios here. You will need to eat as well, so check out my recommendations for restaurants in Ios.

Food, Greece, Travel

Best Places to Eat in Ios, Greece

May 22, 2018
Where to Eat in Ios, Greece

 

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Despite having a kitchen while living in Ios, I did eat out many times. Discovering that Ios had quiet the food scene, I decided to try as many places as financially possible! I always forget to take pictures of my food so I don’t have pictures of it all, sorry. (This is list is in no particular order.)

 

The Octopus Tree

 

Where to Eat in Ios, Greece

 

This tiny restaurant sits on the edge of the Ios harbor. It is so small, I am not sure if there is inside seating. The only unfortunate thing is that I didn’t discover it until late in September and I wish I hadn’t waited!

 

The first time I ate there, I was with friends and we shared several plates. One of those items was an amazing salad that was huge. We also shared some small fried fish and french fries. The star of the evening was the fried zucchini balls. I really wish I had been brave enough to ask for the recipe. These things are what me back the second time and would have a third time if they hadn’t closed for the season!

 

 

Where to Eat in Ios, Greece

 

Grandma’s

 

Where to Eat in Ios, Greece

 

This was the second time I had eaten at Grandma’s as I had eaten here the year before on my sailing trip. Grandma’s is located in the Liostasi Hotel, of course inside is not accurate since all the seating is outdoors. This makes it possible to enjoy the amazing sunset with cocktails by the pool and then dinner under the stars.

 

 

Everything here is good.  The menu had changed slightly from the year before as they had a new chef. This was the sea bass, which is always one of my favorites. For dessert, we had the Caraibe chocolate bar and it was chocolate-y without being too much chocolate. I say this because I am not a huge chocolate fan. The nuts helped offset the richness as well as the vanilla ice cream. I only went here once on this trip because the prices are on the higher end at Grandma’s.

 

Where to Eat in Ios, Greece

 

Hotel Corali

 

The bartender recommended this place to me as they have their own outdoor wood burning pizza oven. Yes, even in Greece sometimes you want pizza. And this wasn’t just plain pizza. Each pizza can be ordered with different crust thickness and the sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and tart and they don’t skimp on the toppings. Not only that but they also have amazing salads. Amazing salads in Greece are definitely a thing I noticed last year on Kythnos.

 

 

Thai Me Up

 

Thai Me Up is where I spent most of my money on food, which is funny since I never took a single picture there. I love Thai food and discovered they have amazing Pad Thai. Plus it was one of the cheaper restaurants on the island. They were also one of the few places to get breakfast and no it isn’t Thai breakfast. They actually have a British woman who cooks breakfast and a Thai woman make the Thai food. Many nights I would go down there for Pad Thai and beer and watch the boats come in the harbor. Better than any TV show especially as many of the locals would come down and hang out at the port at night.

 

Salt

 

Where to Eat in Ios, Greece

 

Salt is located on Milopotas Beach. I had seen it several times when I had gone to the beach but was really there for the beach and not food. However, I had seen the food and knew I needed to try it. The service was terrible, but the food made up for it. It also could have been that it was late in the season and they might have had less staff. Above is an eggplant dish that was so big, it could have been my meal. I love eggplant and this did not disappoint. And yes, I think that is ketchup on top. My main was disappointing, but I think I ordered the wrong thing. As a thank you, they brought out this treat, which has to be a full dessert! I tried hard not to eat it all but I couldn’t resist. Salt also serves food and drinks on the beach in their loungers. You can see the sea from the sit-down restaurant as well. Go for the view and the dessert.

 

 

Lord Byron

 

On the sailing trip we were told about this place, but opt to eat at Grandma’s instead, so this year I was determined to go. It was one of the first places I went and for some reason only took pictures of my tzatziki! I ordered pasta with clams and it was perfect. It was light and the portion was a good size. Next time I would eat inside. There are many stray cats outside and it smelled a bit. During the high season, make a reservation.

 

Where to Eat in Ios, Greece

 

Harmony

 

Want a little Mexican food while on your Greek vacation? I was very hesitant to try this place being from Texas, but the call for tacos eventually made me go. I ordered a fish taco and a pork taco. The fish taco was way too hot even for this Texan, but the pork taco was great and I would have eaten it again. Do not, however, order the guacamole. In order to keep it fresh, they had put lemon juice in it and that was all I could taste. During the day, the views from here are stunning and there is live music most nights. It does appeal to the younger set overall though. They also offer yoga on some mornings.

 

 

Sousana

 

This is another port favorite that is next to Thai Me Up. This is the best place for moussaka on Ios in my opinion. What makes it different is that they bake each one in its own clay pot. It is then served piping hot. The whole thing just melts in your mouth. I was scraping the pot to try to get all of it out. Again, I had a photography fail, so this photo is of regular moussaka from somewhere else. But trust me this is the place!

 

Where to Eat in Ios, Greece

 

This list is by no means exhaustive as my budget really didn’t allow for me to eat out every day. I did have a hotel room with a kitchenette at the amazing Kritikakis Village Hotel. If you have been to Ios, what is your favorite place to eat at there?

Europe, Greece, Hotel/Accommodation, Travel

Kritikakis Village Hotel Ios, Greece

October 23, 2017
Kritikakis Village Hotel

When deciding where I was going to “live” for a month on the Greek island of Ios, I knew I wanted to be able to cook while I was there. This meant I needed to find a place with a kitchen and I was hoping for a place that had a monthly rate as well. I did lots of research trying to find the right place including Airbnbs and looking at smaller hotels. The Airbnbs were further away from my preferred location and some only had a shared kitchen. Finally, I found the amazing Kritikakis Village Hotel. Not only did each room have a small kitchen, I was able to ask for a monthly rate and they had two pools!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Kritikakis Village Hotel

The Hotel

The hotel is set up like a small Greek Village and has all the lovely characteristics of that including whitewashed walls and blue doors. There are less than 50 rooms and it feels like even less. The reception area is located outside the village right on the road from the port. You can walk from the ferry to Kritikakis Village Hotel.

Kritikakis Village Hotel

The two pools are located on two different levels. One has the pool bar and the other has built-in sunbeds and is smaller. The smaller pool is also more shallow. The pool offers great views of Yialos beach. Breakfast is served a few levels up with a small cold breakfast and offers traditional Greek yogurt and delicious local honey.

Kritikakis Village Hotel

The Rooms

There are many room options to choose from at Kritikakis Village Hotel. You can choose from a studio with many single beds or a double. You can also choose an apartment style room that has a separate living area. The great thing about these rooms is that it allows for groups of friends to split the cost of a room and each have their own bed. The apartments are great for couples or people with small children.

Kritikakis Village Hotel

I chose an apartment since I really didn’t want to look at the kitchen for a month! When I contacted them about a monthly rate, they offered me a double bed apartment at a discounted rate. This was something you definitely had to contact them about and it may not be available during the high season. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I was very happy that I chose to do this instead of the studio.

Kritikakis Village Hotel

The benefits of staying in a hotel for a month was that I had daily maid service if I wanted. This meant no washing sheets and towels or mopping floors, which is definitely a plus while on vacation. It also meant I had help planning things or calling restaurants for reservations.

Kritikakis Village Hotel

Kritikakis Village Hotel

My apartment had a large terrace with a table and chairs and umbrella. Many mornings were spent here having my breakfast. The hotel also faces the west so you can catch a view of the amazing sunset on Ios. You are also close to the port and I could hear the ferries come and go, which I enjoyed. I preferred this location versus the village or the party beach of Myloplotas. I was close to the port, a grocery store, Yialos beach and many great restaurants. The bus stops right outside of reception and it takes you to the village or Mylopotas beach. You can also walk the path to the village if your legs are up for it. The path is also right next to Kritikakis Village Hotel.

Kritikakis Village Hotel

The Staff

By far the best thing about this hotel was the friendly hotel staff! They made my stay very memorable. Many times I would come back to my room to discover fruit or chocolates. One day I had a knock on the door only to be presented with a plate of fruit and loukoumades, Greek donuts!

Kritikakis Village Hotel

I chatted with the staff almost every day and made good friends with them. One night they even asked me to have dinner with them. It definitely made my time in Ios less lonely and I would have missed out on some great restaurants without their help. When I checked out they gave me a Kritikakis Village Hotel t-shirt! Which I have worn in Portugal a few times.

Kritikakis Village Hotel

The Location

As I mentioned before, Kritikakis Village Hotel is located not far from the port in Ios, Greece. There is also the bus stop right outside the reception door. The bus takes you directly to the Chora(village) and then onto one of the best beaches. In the port area is many restaurants, a grocery store and a bakery. Kritikakis is located in the best spot in Ios, Greece!

So if you are planning a trip to Ios, Greece, I highly recommend staying at the Kritikakis Village Hotel, check rates here. You will feel at home right away and be close to all that Ios, Greece has to offer!