Greek Guide

Ios Car Hire Greece Ios

Ios Car Hire Greece Greek Rentals

Car hire is certainly not essential for visitors to Ios, especially those whose accommodation is near the three main centres of Ormos Port, Hora town and Mylopotas Beach. Regular bus services run between the three (though the buses can get horribly crowded at the height of the summer). Excursion buses run to Manganari Beach in the south east corner of the island and across to Ayia Theodhoti on the east coast. You can also catch one of the local caiques (water taxis) which run between Ormos and Manganari via Mylopotas during the summer months.

But if you hire some wheels you'll be able to see another aspect of the island besides the frantic party playground which is sadly the only impression many visitors have of Ios. Rent a car, jeep, motorbike or scooter from one of the hire firms in Ormos or Hora and you'll be able to uncover an island of ancient monuments, chapels and churches where traditional religious festivities are held throughout the year and more than 30 beaches (most of which are not served by public transport).

There are few paved roads on the island so there's little chance of you losing your way. A visit to Manganari is a must because this is one of the most enchanting places on the island. From Hora, drive the short distance down the coast to Mylopotas then take the road climbing up into the hills towards Kalamos Monastery before turning south to Manganari. Here you'll find four wonderful beaches, a swish hotel, plenty of watersports, some good tavernas.and the opportunity to work on your all over tan!

If you continue on the road east from Kalamos Monastery you'll come to lovely, unspoilt Kalamos Beach which is set in a nature reserve and is mercifully free of tourists. The water is crystal clear so take your snorkelling gear to explore the marine life, especially around the rocks at the end of the beach. The hidden cover of Papa lies to the south of Kalamos and if you follow the road north you'll arrive at Plakes which is one of the island's most remote and beautiful beaches.

If you take the road north east from Hora and drive right across the island you'll come to Ayia Theodhoti a large sheltered bay, facing the island of Iraklia. The beach is overlooked by the ruins of the Paleokastro fortress, built in 1400, which contains the ruins of a Venetian town and Byzantine Church.

Psathi is an unspoilt beach to the south east of Ayia Theodhoti popular with nudists and windsurfers. Naturists appreciate the solitude while windsurfers are drawn by the rollers which break onto the beach on windy days. Be warned that the rough road leading to the beach is hazardous for motorcyclists.

Take the road to the north of the island to visit the tomb reputed to be that of the great Greek poet Homer, creator of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Homer's mother is thought to have been born on the island the poet himself is alleged to have ended his days here (around the 8th or 7th century BC).

On the north west stretch of coastline beyond the port you'll find Koumbara Beach (a popular spot among local residents who dine in the excellent Polydoras Restaurant here). The secluded beaches of Lorentzena and Diamoudia, north of Koumbara, can both be reached by car.