Due to the absence of an airport in Ios, the only available access route is via ferry. Usually, the preferred option is to take a flight straight to Athens, Santorini, Mykonos or Crete (Heraklion), and then to take a ferry to Ios island. Ferries to Ios can be boarded from 2 ports of Athens, Piraeus and Rafina. Particularly during summers, there are at least 2 or 3 ferries, that travel every day to and from Ios. Depending upon the kind of ferry you are on, it can take anywhere between 4 to 6.5 hours to reach Ios.
Ios is connected by ferry to other islands of Cyclades like Santorin, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Milos, Folegandros, Sifnos and more.
There are many daily ferries connecting the island of Ios with the ports of Athens (Piraeus and Rafina) as well as other islands of the Cyclades.
Ferry to Ios from Athens (Piraeus, Rafina)
Ferries from Athens to Ios depart from Piraeus and Rafina ports in Athens. Discover how to get to the ports of Athens from the airport and Athens's center.
Ferries from Piraeus port: Piraeus is the largest port of Athens and it is situated at a distance of 45km from the Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) and around 12km away from Athens city centre. There are currently four different companies, that are operational on the Piraeus-Ios ferry route. This route links Athens with the Cyclades Islands. Blue star ferries cross the route up to 14 times per week. Zante ferries run the route for about 4 times every week. SeaJets operate their ferries up to 14 times in a week. Golden star ferries do their crossings up to 7 times in one week. In total, there are about 39 sailings that are accessible every week on the Piraeus Ios route.
Ferries from Rafina port: Situated at a distance of 10 km from Athens International Airport and around 30km from Athens city centre, this is the second biggest port in Athens. The ferry route between Rafina port and Ios links Athens with the Cyclades Islands. As of now, there are three companies operating ferries on this route. Blue Star Ferries complete up to 7 crossings in a week. SeaJets finishes up to 6 crossings every week. Golden Star Ferries serve tourists up to 7 crossings in one week. In totality, there are about 20 sailings per week, available to visitors on this Rafina-Ios route.
How long is the ferry trip from Athens to Ios? The duration of the trip from Athens to Ios is 4 to 6.5 hours, depending on the type of ferry you’re traveling with.
> Book your ferry tickets to Ios from Athens (Piraeus)
Ferry to Ios from Santorini
It takes just about the same time to reach Ios from Athens as it takes from Santorini. You can choose to directly fly to Santorini Airport (Thira) and then take a ferry. The islands of Santorini and Ios are close and are easily connected through the ferry route. During the winter season, ferries generally are operational, at least once in a day, for about 4 or 5 days in a week. However, summers being the peak season, there is a huge bump in demand, especially from June to September. Therefore, the number of ferries connecting these islands increases to about 5 to 6 every day, to meet the demand. The journey between Santorini to Ios is around one hour forty minutes long, but it can be significantly shorter if you take a high speed boat. The prices of the tickets vary quite a bit, depending upon the ferry company, however, on average the tickets range from '7' 'EUR' (7 Euros) to '40' 'EUR' (40 Euros).
> Book your ferry tickets to Ios from Santorini
Ferry to Ios from other islands
Ios is also connected with other ports and islands like Amorgos (Katapola), Folegandros, Paros, Naxos, Milos, Sifnos, Mykonos and more. Just check our booking engine to see all available connections.
What types of ferries travel to/from Ios?
The ferries, travelling between Athens and Ios are conventional and high-speed vessels. You will be able to access facilities such as vehicle transfer and bed cabins. The busiest and heavily trafficked ferry routes to Ios are from ports of Santorini, Piraeus (Athens), Mykonos, Paros and Naxos. You must keep in mind that though Santorini, Mykonos and Paros have international airports, Naxos only has a national airport with flights from Athens.
Ios is a great place for some island-hopping. Especially in the summers, there is a high level of connectivity with the Cycladic islands. Within an hour you travel to Santorini or Sikinos, and in just a few hours you can reach Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, and Folegandros. From there you have access to frequent ferry travel that can take you to Milos, Amorgos, Sifnos, or the port of Heraklion in Crete. This interconnectedness and ease of travel make Ios agreat point for an island hopping experience.
HOW TO BOOK FERRY TICKETS TO IOS?
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INFORMATION ABOUT IOS
Apart from endless parties in the many bars and clubs, Ios is also known for its amazing beaches with fine sand, crystal waters and water sports clubs. Mylopotas and Manganari are the most famous beaches on the island. Every summer, thousands of visitors choose these beaches to swim in the clean water and relax under the hot sun.
The capital of the island in Chora, built on the slopes of a rocky mountain with nice view to the sea and the surrounding coasts. Narrow paths cross the village and small houses with beautiful garden can be seen in every corner. On the highest spot of the island, there stands a beautiful white church with blue dome and a tall palm tree next to it: this is the church of Panagia Gremiotissa, the protector of the island. On its name day, on August 15th, a great festival is held on Ios that includes a Holy Mass, local food and dancing by traditional dance groups.
The island is perfect to relax and feel the true Cycladic vibe. Very well developed in tourism facilities, Ios will offer you comfortable and nice vacations under the hot Greek sun.
This vividly beautiful island is your chance to witness be enthralled with the mesmerising scenic beaches. Ios also presents an opportunity for you to participate in numerous fun and adventurous activities such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, watersports, diving, and hiking.
The best season to visit Ios
The summer season, particularly the months of July and August, are perfect for a trip to Ios. It is the busiest time of the year, as several local and international tourists flock to Ios. So it is recommended that you book your ferry tickets and lodgings in advance.
Ios is a pristine amalgamation of magnificent beaches and gorgeous sunsets. The bursty nightlife is another primal attraction of Ios but note this is note like Mykonos. The crowds there are much younger in age and the shots offered in bars are cheap and of low quality. The areas of Gialos (the port), Mylopotas and Chora have nice restaurants, bars and night clubs, that stay open till late. The party atmosphere of the island remains intact throughout the summer. So if you are looking to experience the startling beauty of sun-kissed beaches and would like to have a taste of the exquisite nightlife, then a trip to Ios is an ideal vacation for you.
Once in Ios, there are few sights for you to explore. The Windmills above Chora are the perfect example of the traditional Cycladic architecture. The remains of the Venetian Castle in the area of Paleokastro, is another attraction, as from here, you can see the awe-inspiring view of Naxos, Amorgos, and Donousa. Other important sights include the archaeological site of Skarkos and the Odysseas Elytis Theatre, built-in 1997.
Ios is situated in the South-East part of the Cyclades islands, that are in between the islands of Naxos and Santorini. The island is spread across an area of about 109 km2 (42 mi2). The capital city of Ios is Chora. Mylopotas is the most well-known beach on the island. The island attracts a lot of younger tourists.
Ios is considered to be the birthplace of the Greek epic poet Homer. Inscriptions, coins, and some ancient texts have pointed towards the fact that the poet was indeed buried in Ios. There is a lot of speculation about the name “Ios” and its origin. One theory suggests the island derives its name from the tribe of the Ionians. Another theory assumes that the term “Ios” refers to the many violets ("ion" in ancient Greek) that blossom on the island every spring.
Ios, or Nios as the locals call it, is a tiny gem of an island. Majority of the residents of this island reside in the visually spectacular Chora, which is a structure built in the shape of an amphitheatre, on the side of a hill to the east of the harbour. The younger tourists pre-dominantly tend to prefer Mylopotas because of its sandy beach, hotels, rentals and a systematic and well-maintained camping area.
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