Lovingly known as Nios by locals, Ios is one of the Cyclades situated between Naxos and Santorini. If there ever was a party island then Ios is it, attracting younger crowds and now evolving into a favourite of higher-spending travelers.
Ios may be small with few sites but it magically grows on you. Why? Well a visit to its capital, Chora, and you are bound to stay forever. The narrow paths meander through an array of island houses, some wealthier two-storeys and other one-floor fishermen dwellings. The stroll leads up to the Church of Panagia Gremiotissa (or Virgin of the steep cliff) with a view that is in one word: breathtaking. Legend also has it that Homer is buried on the island near the ancient town of Plakotos.
Things to do on Ios
Explore Chora – The only way to truly discover the beauty of Ios is to take a 15-minute walk from the port, Yialos, to Chora and from there up to Panagia Gremiotissa and let the view carry you away. At night, this same route transforms into a massive party with plenty of music and happy suntanned faces mingling.
Swim – Not by chance that Ios’ Maganari beach has repeatedly been selected as one of the best beaches in the world. Scenes of Big Blue were shot on this massive beach with luminous gold sand and emerald waters.
Mylopotas is some 3km from Chora and besides its spectacular sand – which changes in texture from one side of the beach to other – offers a wide variety of sea sports and beachside facilities. Protected from the often crazy winds, Mylopotas is where it’s all happening.
For the daring Psathi, windy and wild and secluded.
Agia Irini chapel – On the far end of the port, this beautiful 17th century all-white chapel at the center of a pine tree-planted courtyard is an ideal wedding ceremony location.
Dig in to the food – Ios may be small to the eye but it too offers its own take of Cyclades cuisine. Try “tsimetia” – delectable rice-filled zucchini blossoms, ”kalasounia” cheese-filled sweet pies, the sharp-flavored “skotyri” together with sesame and cinnamon-infused dried figs, and “mosenta” – a local pie made of watermelon, raisins, honey and sesame seeds.
How to get to Ios?
Ios is not very easy to get to. Regular car ferries depart from Piraeus port daily in the summer for a 7-hour journey.
The high-speed takes about 4 hours but tickets are more expensive.
You can alternatively fly to Santorini from Athens airport – a 45-minute flight – and from there take a local ferry or sea taxi for a 45-minute trip.
What’s near Ios?
Santorini – You can hop on an incoming ferry and be in Thira in 55 minutes or take a passing high-speed or sea taxi and be there in 35 minutes.
Sikinos island – By sea taxi about 30 minutes.
Ios has one port – Yialos – considered to be the safest in the Cyclades catering to ferries as well as to yachts and sailboats with fuel and water provisions.
Ferries to Ios / Athens to Ios / Ios ferry tickets
There are daily ferries from Athens to Ios. The ferry routes to Ios are operated by both conventional and high speed ferries. The island of Ios is also connected with frequent ferry schedules to Santorini, Mykonos, Paros and Heraklio in Crete which allows good ferry connections with other popular islands.
Below is a detailed list of all 2017 ferry schedules from Athens to Ios:
Ferry schedules from Athens, Piraeus port to Ios:
Blue Star Ferries from Athens, Piraeus port to Ios:
- From 25/06 until 03/09 every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 17:30 with the Blue Star Patmos
Hellenic Seaways from Athens, Piraeus port to Ios:
- From 07/04 until 19/04 daily at 07:15 with the Highspeed 4
- From 01/06 until 24/9 daily at 07:15 with the Hellenic Highspeed
Zante Ferries from Athens, Piraeus port to Ios:
- Until 08/04 every Saturday at 07:15 with the Adamantios Korais
- Until 05/04 every Wednesday at 14:00 with the Adamantios Korais
- From 10/04 until 14/04 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 07:15 with the Adamantios Korais
- From 29/04 until 24/06 at 07:15 with the Adamantios Korais
- From 17/04 until 24/04 every Monday and Friday at 14:00 with the Adamantios Korais
- From 06/03 until 03/04 & from 08/05 until 29/05 & from 12/06 until 26/06 every Monday at 14:00 with the Adamantios Korais
- From 19/04 until 28/06 every Wednesday at 14:00 with the Adamantios Korais
Seajets from Athens, Piraeus port to Ios:
- From 28/04 until 06/06 & from 12/09 until 30/09 daily at 07:00 with the Seajet 2
- From 07/07 until 03/09 daily at 07:00 with the Seaspeedjet
- From 01/10 until 15/10 daily at 07:00 with the Superjet
- On Tuesdays 27/06, 18/07, 01/08, 15/08 and 05/09 at 07:00 with the Seajet 2
- From 01/06 until 13/07 every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 15:30 with the Parosjet
- From 02/06 until 18/09 every Monday, Friday and Sunday at 15:30 with the Parosjet
- From 20/07 until 14/09 every Thursday at 15:30 with the Parosjet
- From 15/07 until 16/09 every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at 15:30 with the Parosjet
Ferry schedules from Athens, Rafina port to Ios:
Golden Star Ferries from Athens, Rafina port to Ios:
- From 24/06 until 10/09 daily except Fridays at 07:05 with the Speedrunner
Seajets from Athens, Rafina port to Ios:
- Only on Wednesday 31/05 at 15:45 with the Superjet
Ferry Schedules from Athens, Lavrio port to Ios:
Hellenic Seaways from Athens, Lavrio port to Ios:
- From 10/03 until 27/10 every Friday at 07:00 with the Artemis
All ferries from Athens to Ios can be booked online via danae.travel
How much does it cost to travel from Athens to Ios / Ios ferry prices
Prices for 2017 ferries connecting Athens’ main port of Piraeus to Ios start at 37.50 euros per person in economy with the Blue Star Patmos. With high speed ferries to Ios, prices start from 57.00 euros per person with the Highspeed 4.
Indicative ferry prices from Athens, Piraeus to Ios per adult in economy:
- Blue Star Ferries: 37.50 euros per person
- Hellenic Seaways – Highspeed 4 & Hellenic Highspeed: 57.00 euros per person
- Seajets: 59.90 euros per person
- Zante Ferries: 39.50 euros per person
The Blue Star and Zante Ferries vessels also offer cabins. Prices start at 60.50 euros per bed
Prices for 2017 ferries connecting Athens’ secondary port of Rafina to Ios start at 55.00 euros per person in economy with the Superunner.
Indicative ferry prices from Athens, Rafina port to Ios per adult in economy:
- Golden Star Ferries – Superunner: 55.00 euros per person
- Seajets (only on 31/5): 62.50 euros per person
Prices for 2017 ferries connecting Athens’ secondary port of Lavrio to Ios start at 26.00 euros per person in economy with the Artemis by Hellenic Seaways.The Artemis inter-cycladic ferry route connects Lavrio in Athens to Kea, Kythnos, Syros, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios and Sikinos. Due to the vessel type and number of stops, the ferry ride with the Artemis takes almost 12 hours.
Indicative ferry prices from Athens, Lavrio port to Ios per adult in economy:
- Hellenic Seaways – Artemis: 26.00 euros per person
Find all ferry offers to Ios and book online via danae.travel
How long is the ferry ride to Ios?
Travel times always depend on the vessel type, the number of stops and the weather conditions. Large conventional ferries are not affected by the weather too much.
Indicative travel times from Athens to Ios:
- The Hellenic Highspeed takes about 4 hours from Piraeus to Ios. Departs from Piraeus at 07:15 in the morning and arrives in Ios at 11:05
- The Paros Jet takes about 6 hours 30 minutes and departs Piraeus at 15:30 in the afternoon and arrives in Ios at 21:55.
- The Blue Star Patmos takes about 7 hours 30 minutes and departs Piraeus at 17:30 in the afternoon and arrives in Ios at 01:00 (next day).
- The Zante Ferries takes about 11 hours and departs Piraeus at 07:15 in the morning and arrives in Ios at 18:20.
- The Superunner takes about 5 hours and 30 minutes and departs Rafina at 07:05 in the morning and arrives in Ios at 12:20.
- The Artemis takes about 12 hours and departs Lavrio at 06:00 in the morning and arrives in Ios at 17:35.
Which other Greek island is Ios connected to?
From Ios, you can catch a ferry to the following islands (next to each island, you will find a price indication):
- Anafi: 9.20 euro per person
- Amorgos: 12.30 euro per person
- Tinos: 54.00 euro per person
- Mykonos: from 15.00 – 55.00 euro per person
- Folegandros: 6.20 euro per person
- Santorini: 7.20 euro per person
- Sikinos: 4.30 euro per person
- Thirassia: 6.50 euro per person
- Syros: 16.50 euro per person
- Naxos: 15.50 euro per person
- Kimolos: 25.00 euro per person
- Milos: 30.00 euro per person
- Kythnos: 21.50 euro per person
- Serifos: 35.50 euro per person
- Sifnos: 33.50 euro per person
- Paros: 11.00 euro per person
- Heraklio: 70.00 euro per person
Athens ports with ferry departures to Ios
Ferries connecting Athens to Ios depart from the main port of Athens, Piraeus, and the secondary ports of Rafina and Lavrio.
Information about Piraeus Port – Athens
How to reach the port of Piraeus:
Piraeus port is near Athens and can be reached by metro, train, bus and taxis both from the Athens city center and from Athens International Airport (AIA):
- From Athens International Airport: Take the express bus X96. It takes you directly to the port, its frequent, cheap and quite fast. It usually takes about 60-90 minutes. The cost is 5 euros / adult. Check the timetables on screens inside the airport. The X96 bus stop is just outside the arrivals level at the airport (check the signs). At the port, the bus stop is near Gate E6 (also close to the metro station). If you choose to take a taxi, it will cost you 50-60 euros and it will take you around 60 minutes.
- From the center of Athens: The best way to reach Piraeus port from the center of Athens is by metro / train. You can catch it from the Monastiraki or Omonia stations. It costs 1.40 euros and takes under 30 minutes. If you choose to take a taxi, it will cost you just under 30 euros and it will take you about 30 to 40 minutes. With heavy traffic it might take you up to an hour. If you prefer traveling by bus, there are two options:
- From Syntagma Square to Piraeus: Bus 040, Piraeus bus stop: Korai Square (close to the Municipal Theater) and then a 10-minute walk to Gate E9.
- From Omonia Square to Piraeus: Bus 049, Piraeus bus stop: Korai square (close to the Municipal Theater) and then a 10-minute walk to Gate E9.
We can arrange a private transfer for you from your hotel in Athens to Piraeus port or from the Athens International Airport to the port. You can also book online via danae.travel together with your ferry tickets.
Where or which gates do the ferries to Ios depart from at Piraeus port?
- Blue Star Ferries to Ios depart from Gate E7
- Hellenic Seaways ferries to Ios depart from Gate E7
- Seajets ferries to Ios depart from Gate E9
- Zante Ferries to Ios depart from Gate E9
Note: There is a running port bus which connects departure gates.
Map of Piraeus port:
Athens, Rafina port Information
Rafina, the secondary port of Athens, is on the northeastern coast of Attica. It is further out from the center of Athens but closer to the airport. Rafina is convenient for travelers traveling to the Northern Cyclades islands of Andros, Tinos and Mykonos as the travel time is much shorter. It is also convenient for those catching a ferry a couple of hours after their arrival at Athens International Airport and who wish to avoid the city center. If your ferry departs from Rafina early in the morning, spending a night in Rafina could be smart. The Avra Hotel is right next to the port. Reaching Rafina from the center of Athens with public transport is not very convenient.
How to reach the Athens port of Rafina:
- From Athens International airport: Take the regional bus (KTEL) to Rafina port from the arrivals level. It runs every hour from 04:35 to 22:20 and will take you a little under 1 hour. Your only other choice is a taxi.
- From the center of Athens: Take the regional bus (KTEL) to Rafina port from Mavromateon St on Pedion Areos Park. It runs every 30 minutes from 05:45 to 22:30 and will take you about 90 minutes. Again, your only other choice is a taxi.