Ios Ferry Port
Found deep within the huddle of Cyclades Isles that speckle the Aegean Sea to the south of Greece, is the cliff-edged island of Ios. This small stretch of land is hewn by long stretches of rugged mountains shaded by the earthy colours of rough Mediterranean scrubland. Nestled on the island’s eastern coast, where the rough shores of a glittering bay have taken a chunk out of the mainland, is the picturesque village of Chora. Much of the village is built upon the steep coastal hillsides; the dazzling white, Cycladic buildings rising in tiers towards the parched heartland.
As well as being blessed with warm weather and effortless beauty, the village also possesses a rich history. Dig sites on the nearby Skarkos hill have uncovered evidence that prehistoric settlers once called the island home, with structures proving that the human history of Ios stretches back as far as the early bronze age.
The port in Chora is found on the southern edge of the bay, just a short walk from the golden sands of Yialos Beach in the Ios district of the village. It is comprised of a wide, rectangular anchorage that juts into the sea from one corner of the local marina. There are no passenger facilities at the port itself, though a number of snack bars and restaurants selling hot food and drinks line the promenade.
Due to the rough and largely remote nature of the island, travelling to the port can prove difficult. Only one road route leads into Chora, with the other lanes in the centre of the village far too steep and narrow for vehicles to negotiate. This road, which cuts across the inland mountains and offers lofty views across the rocky wilds of the lowland countryside, weaves all the way to the island’s southern tip and the small village of Magganari. The rest of the island can only be reached by braving the hills on foot, though no settlement is further than 6-miles away from Chora.
A vast range of ferries currently run to and from the port in Ios, mainly on island-hopping trips across the Cyclades. Routes hosted by Blue Star Ferries, Seajets and Hellenic Seaways travel to a multitude of destinations including Naxos, Paros, Thira, Mykonos and the mainland city of Piraeus; a route also traversed by Zante Ferries. Other routes include a longer haul trip to Rafina, as well as to the other island ports of Sifnos, Milos, Kimolos, Kythnos, Serifos, Tinos, Folegandros and Heraklion. All of these voyages across the Aegean Sea routes operate at various times throughout the week.