01.10.2014 - 08.10.2014
Ios was our next stop and after an hour-ish ferry ride we stepped off the boat to an unexpected sleepy little island. We had heard that this was THE party island in the summer and were looking forward to some late nights out but what we didn’t realize is this island almost completely shuts down once summer is over. Hotels and restaurants were closed, buses ran less frequently and even the “locals” left their businesses to return to their home towns, usually on different islands, until the next summer season arrived. What a difference from Santorini! We welcomed the rest and relaxation immediately, hanging out by the pool and moseying around the port.
The town of Chora was super cute with zig-zagging cobblestone pathways and beautiful flowered trees overhanging the shops and restaurants. Even though it was a steep climb from our hotel, we explored as much of it as possible and eventually found some amazing old wooden wind mills and the Odysseas Elytis, an open air theatre that overlooks the sea.
After hanging out in the town and some nearby beaches for a few days, we decided to rent a jeep and toured the island. It was so nice to get out and discover the secrets of this incredible island. While we were driving, it felt like there was no one else in the world but us. Like we could do whatever we wanted and no one would know. We stumbled upon some secluded beaches that we made our own for a few hours and we found the Tomb of Homer, which was quite disheveled and missing pieces but was still very interesting to see.
On another part of the island, some extremely old wooden windmills attempted to blow in the wind and an old castle, perched high on top of the cliff with trees and shrubs growing through the old stone walls and footpaths. The ruins still had some distinguishable rooms and even a church in the middle that is still used by the locals today. Standing on top of the island like that, feeling isolated from the world and taking in the sights that were only meant for us that day was just so surreal. It was the perfect end to our day and island trip.
Though this island was not as busy as Santorini, Ios was a pleasant surprise and we truly enjoyed the sights and relaxation. We would have loved to spend more time on some other Greek Islands, but with reservations and plans calling our names, we had to leave the beautiful Cyclades. We will be back for some more exploring and incredible sightseeing, but for now the city of Athens awaits!