What is more predominant here, the bars or the churches?
Legend has it that there are 365 churches on Ios, one for each day of the year. There are about so many bars, restaurants and cafes, at least in the public’s mind, as the island has become a timeless destination for leisure and pleasure. If you are curious to see how these two diametrically opposed identities of Ios can coexist – the religious and the cosmopolitan – then head to Hora where you will see foodies and drinkers wandering through the shops and churches – from Panagia Gremniotissa and Agios Nikolaos to the pastry shops and sunset bars.
Which site will surprise me?
Skarkos (Tel. (+30) 22863.91236), one of the most important archaeological spaces of the Aegean and an early Cycladic settlement stretching across 110 acres, offers valuable insight into the Early Bronze Age in the Cyclades, with artifacts mostly from looted graves.
What does the island taste like?
Fine cheese. The Ios Dairy Plant (Tel. (+30) 22860.92506) uses milk from local cows, goats and sheep to produce small gastronomic miracles: cheeses such as graviera (gruyere), kefalotyri, mizithra, xino, Homer’s trilogy (made with three types of milk) and the classic, all time favourite spicy skotiri with savory. Prior arrangements for visits are needed.