INFORMATION ABOUT IOS ISLAND
Ios is one of the most graphic islands of Cycladesand one of the most beautiful islands in the Aegean Sea. It is surrounded from Santorini, Paros, Naxos and Sikinos. Ios attracts a lot of tourists and mainly young people. White houses and deep blue waters give the island its Cycladic beauty.
Ios has an extent of 108 sq. km. The island has a total shoreline of 86 kilometres, of which 32 kilometres are sand beaches.
You can travel to Ios from Piraeus port with 8 hours travel time. The island is connected with Rafina port. During the summer time, the island is served by 20 arrivals and departures daily, while in winter there are two daily sailings. The island is also connected with Paros, Naxos, Santorini, Mykonos, Sikinos and Folegandros.
IOS ISLAND HISTORY
Ios was characterized as the Homeric island. Is known as the home of Clemene, mother of the greatest epic poet of all time, Homer, who wrote the Odyssey and the Iliad in the eighth century B.C. Homer’s grave is at Plakotos. The legend says that he died on the island while trying to solve a riddle he was told by fishermen at Plakotos.
The island’s history parallels the history of the other Cyclades. The effect of colonists from the shores of Mikra Asia played important role to the island’s course. The island later witnessed the destruction of Minoan civilization (2000-1500 B.C.) on Santorini from a volcanic eruption.
The Dorians and Ionians arrived on the island sometime around 1100 B.C. and gave to the island its present-day name. Ios joined the Athenian Alliance in the beginning of the 13th century. It came under Venetian rule; in 1397, Marcus Crispus, the island’s governor, fortified Chora with defensive walls (Castro), whose ruins are visible up to today.
In 1537, the island fell to the hands of Turks, who named it “Little Malta” because of the natural shelter offered by its harbour. The island suffered under its Turkish rules, which imposed heavy taxes and other punishments. During this time, the island also suffered from pirate raids.
Later that time the Russian sovereignty prevailed in the island and expired with the convention of Kioytsoyk Kainartzi. The island claims among its native sons Spyridon Valetas (1718-1843), a member of the revolutionary Filike Etaireia who distinguished himself in the Greek war of independence. Valetas later became the first Minister of Education of the Modern Greek State.