The 1km long Mylopotas Beach is the biggest and most famous of the Ios beaches on Ios Island Greece. It is just 2km south of the capital Hora and is a long sandy beach. I often associate the biggest and best beaches with poor sand quality and far too many people. But this wasn’t the case with Mylopotas Beach. The sand was soft, clean and golden. There were quite a few people on the beach but it is so long that we were assured there is room for everyone even at the busiest times of the year!
How to get to Mylopotas Beach
It is very easy to get to Mylopotas Beach. It is only 2km south of Hora. It is easily walkable but the majority of the walk involves being on the main very windy road which isn’t so pleasant. And when it is hot in Ios it is very hot on that tarmac!
If you do choose to walk to Mylopotas Beach there is a short cut halfway which will save you considerable walking time – although it is a steep climb up on the way back!
The most popular way to get to and from Mylopotas Beach is the local air-conditioned bus which is a for bargain 1.80 euro from Hora. The bus runs every 20 minutes and is a great easy way to get around with many different stops. There are several stops along Mylopotas Beach making it easy to get dropped and picked up.
Where to put your umbrella on Mylopotas Beach
So I am speaking metaphorically as umbrellas are to be hired on Mylopotas Beach! Many of the clubs and restaurants along the beachfront have lounges and umbrellas on the beach. Some of the sporting activity businesses also have their own umbrellas and lounges.
Several do charge for the use of their lounges and umbrellas. The ones that don’t are usually aligned with a club or restaurant and will require some kind of purchase. Having said that, the afternoon I was there I had one glass of wine and that was it and was never hassled.
The busiest stretch of Mylopotas is the end closest to Hora which is also the location of the infamous Ios Palace. Understandably many people get off the bus at the first possible stop and then hit the beach. If you like your beach busy and active then this is the spot for you. This is also the spot to be if you’re in your 20s.
If you prefer a little more solitude then head down the beach away from the Hora end. There are still umbrellas and lounges but they are more spaced out and tend to be quieter – and the sand and water are both just as lovely! If you’re over 35 then this is probably the area of Mylopotas Beach you will most enjoy.
Locals assured me that even in the heights of August it is possible to get a sun lounger and umbrella and peace on Mylopotas Beach – as long as you head at least 50% of the way down the beach or further.
As the lounger and umbrella are provided, all you need to bring with you are your bathing suit, sunscreen, a good book and money for drinks.
Or if you like being really organised then Book your Beach Bed Online
Things to do on Mylopotas Beach
There is a lot going on at Mylopotas Beach! It would be very easy to base yourself here for the majority of your stay in Ios and be perfectly entertained!
The water at Mylopotas Beach is incredibly clear and clean and so lovely to swim in. The sand is slightly golden rather than white but still very clean and soft to walk on. The sea isn’t particularly rocky so you won’t need special shoes to go in to avoid damaging your feet. Obviously, the number one thing to do on Mylopotas Beach is to go swimming but I figured you already knew that!
There are some lovely beaches plus so much more on the lovely Greek Island of Paxos. Find out more about this beautiful Ionian Island in my posts:
1. Take A Boat Ride
Unsurprisingly there are several Mylopotas Beach boat trip options. The traditional Mylopotas boat trip heads to the right out of Mylopotas Beach Ios Greece. This then takes guests to caves for swimming/snorkelling and even for some cliff jumping if so desire. Then back past the beach and south to the smaller beaches before culminating in the south at Maganari Beach, the second biggest beach on Ios Island.
Manganari Beach is like a smaller Mylopotas. As it is more difficult to get there it tends to be less busy. If you are visiting July/August this could be a good option. It has several restaurants and loungers and umbrellas. The majority of other smaller beaches on the island don’t have facilities.
When I visited we chose to take a 2-hour private speedboat trip with Mylopotas Watersports. This allowed us to see and pop into some of the more secluded beaches heading down the east coast of the island and end up at Manganari Beach. I really enjoyed this option.
Mylopotas Watersports also offers boat trips for larger groups around 11-16 on a large traditional greek boat that can even offer BBQs on board! Basically, the boat trip owners can be very flexible depending on the size of the group.
2. Enjoy Water Sports
There are many Mylopotas Beach water sports on offer! Hire a kayak or go on a group kayaking safari. Do the same with a stand-up paddleboard. Ios has great clear water for diving and snorkelling. Become a PADI certified diver – there is a new dive diving centre on the island. Or just grab a snorkel and mask.
Ios has a world War 2 plane wreck near Irakleia Island which is one of its most popular dive spots and sea caves. There are no jellyfish or sharks with which to contend!
3. Hit a Beach Club
The most famous Mylopotas Beach Club is the FarOut Beach Club. It is located about halfway down the beach. It has everything! A hotel, cinema, restaurant, sports club, pool (of course) and if you want to experience Mylopotas nightlife this is the place to go! The hotel offers three levels of accommodation – from a campsite to luxury villas. Plus loads of options for water sports etc.
Personally, the Farout beach club is not my kind of place. But if you are after a big party atmosphere then this is a great choice! Check out the trip advisor review and make up your own mind.
The second great option for Mylopotas Beach Clubs is the Free Beach Club. This beach club is like some Dali-esque dream in pastels! Free Beach Club is part of the Agalia group who have several very instagrammable bars, restaurants and hotels on the island. The beach bar is big! There is a lovely good sized pool in the middle.
Free Beach Club has a mix of tables etc as well as sun loungers. There are many sunbeds around plus a large open area where they were running some dance lessons whilst I was there. They have a full menu as well as cocktails etc.
There is even a cute shop inside!
This was definitely to my mind the best place on the beach for relaxing.
4. Lie under an umbrella
There are many options for sun loungers and umbrellas at Mylopotas Ios Greece as I mentioned above. My personal favourite was the Free Beach Club. Their lounges were more like big comfortable beds and very well shaded. They are located about halfway along the beach and much quieter.
Mylopotas Beach Restaurants
There are several great eating options on Mylopotas Beach Ios. I enjoyed excellent chicken souvlaki at Cantina Del Mar, which is very close to the Ios palace. Two restaurants which came with good reviews from locals but I wasn’t able to visit were Almyra and Salt. If you get there please do email me and let me know your thoughts!
But my absolute favourite – and I think my favourite restaurant on Ios – was Drakos. Drakos is on the harbour at the very end of Myloptas beach eg the non-Hora/Ios Palace end.
This is the Greek seafood tavern of your dreams! Simple yet beautifully done. Most of the seating is outside and the seats are literally on the edge of the harbour – it would be possible to dive straight into the sea!
Drakos is a restaurant which knows its seafood. There was octopus hanging when we visited – great for photos! The staff are preparing the seafood on the deck which is again very photogenic! Fish is brought in on ice and weighed and chosen. There is quality seafood oozing everywhere at Drakos Taverna!
Unsurprisingly the signature dishes at Drakos Taverna are octopus and squid. We enjoyed some delicious grilled octopus – smoky and seared on the outside and oh so soft on the inside. The calamari was lightly fried in a tempura-style batter and just delicious.
Their fava is also a speciality and was quite delicious. The Drakos Greek salad is prepared with local fresh white cheese which melts in your mouth.
Another highlight was the zucchini flowers. There are two preparation options – with rice or with fresh local cheese. We tried both and I definitely recommend the local cheese option – I could have eaten many of these!
Small lightly fried shrimps are another Drakos speciality and very moreish.
Eating here was one of the highlights of my trip to Ios! Oh and they had some nice wines as well!
Mylopotas Beach Hotels
Some of the nicest Ios hotels are located around Mylopotas Beach.
My favourite was the Gorgona Hotel. This whitewashed hotel with pale blue shutters and colourful trims is located at the southern end of Mylopotas beach next to Drakos Restaurant.
The location is quite frankly outstanding. It is only a few metres to the beach. There is no need for the Gorgona Hotel to have a pool. Mylopotas beach Ios is its pool.
The beautiful big breakfast room looks out over the beach as do all of the rooms. Inside the rooms are simply decorated in white with colourful accents. And the bathrooms are an amazing azure blue.
It would be very easy to stay at this hotel Ios for a week and just swim and eat at Drakos next door every night and not move!
As I mentioned earlier, the Far Out Beach Club also has Luxury Suites. Three other boutique hotels that are right on or very close to Mylopotas Beach are:
Mylopotas Beach Perfect Day
Don’t start too early – look to be ready to get on a boat trip about 10 am. After your boat trip head to Drakos and have a long boozy lunch. Sleep it off on the Free Beach Club sunloungers on the beach or keep going! I would then head to the Ios club for sunset views and a cocktail or two and a light dinner before crashing at Gorgona!
How to get to Ios Greece
If you’re coming from outside the Greek islands the nearest airport to Ios Greek Island is Santorini.
Once at Santorini airport the port is a 15-minute taxi ride away -theoretically. It is normally much longer than that as the traffic backs up massively on the one road in and out of the port. I would suggest allowing 45 minutes to get between the airport and the port.
- Read my complete post on How to Get from Santorini to Ios – and whether you should stay in Santorini
The ferry from Santorini to Ios leaves from the port at the town of Thira. There are 5 different ferry companies who operate on this route. Travel times vary between 35 minutes and 90 minutes. Golden Star Ferries and Blue Star Ferries run the route most frequently.
Alternatively, there are ferries between Piraeus in Athens and Ios. Depending on which boat you take the trip will last between 4 and 8 hours.
In the summer there are also ferries from the Athens port of Rafina to Ios.
There are quite regular ferries between Ios and the other islands of the Cyclades like Santorini, Sifnos, Paros, and Milos.
Who Paid for What with this Post
The island of Ios was kind enough to host the majority of my stay in Ios. I paid to spend a night at the lovely Liostasi and I paid for my flights to get to and from Santorini (The island of Ios covered the return ferry tickets).
If you click through on the links in this blog post and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. I just wanted to make sure you were aware of this.
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