Thursday 4th August 2022
Filling in the Gaps
I completed my exploration of northern Ios yesterday, so it was time to focus on the island’s south side. I had seen a couple of places on my previous trip last year, but this was an opportunity to fill in the gaps and visit previously unexplored locations.
As soon as I’d finished breakfast, I mounted my trusty moped once again and headed north towards Chora. Why north, you might wonder? Yes, there is a direct route south from the bottom end of Mylopotas beach but, as I discovered last year, the dirt track is pretty rough and that was on a quad bike! I didn’t fancy risking it on my moped, so I took the slightly longer route via Chora, then south along the main central road on the island.
Mylopotas from a Distance
The journey was fairly unexciting as much of Ios is quite barren, but as I made my way south I spotted Mylopotas beach in the distance and had to stop to get a photo of the resort from this new perspective:
Tris Ekklisies Beach
My first stop of the morning was a small beach on the southeastern coastline called Tris Ekklisies. It’s just off the main road as you head further south towards Magganari, the main beach resort on this part of the island. I wasn’t sure how to actually get to the beach, so I parked the moped on the side of the road next to a small church called Agia Trias and set off on foot.
Sadly, my route to the beach was blocked by a locked gate in front of a private residence (visible on the far right of the above photo). I looked for other paths nearby but didn’t see any so I’m not sure whether it’s still possible to reach these beaches except via boat (leave a comment if you know). Luckily, I had my drone with me so I was able to get a closer look and some nice photos and video:
I visited Magganari Beach last year, but as I was already so close it made sense to return for another look. It’s the main beach resort on the south side of the island and quite popular with tourists – a daily bus service is available from Chora. I rode down and parked up behind Venus Bar, then walked out onto the sand, set down my bag and towel and went for a swim.
The easternmost beach is the quieter of the two, with just a few sunbeds at the western end in front of Venus Bar. The rest is a deep, flat expanse of soft sand and feels very peaceful. The water is shallow and mostly clear, with a few stones and small rocks dotted around. After a refreshing swim, I laid out on my towel for a while to dry off and plan my next destination of the day.
With no accessible beaches further west of Magganari, I retraced my steps north for a few kilometres before turning eastward towards the new luxury resort of Calilo. Access is for guests only, but the road splits outside the entrance and continues north to a public beach called Kalamos.
Getting down to the beach involved a fairly bumpy dirt track with some steep sections, but nothing as bad as yesterday. The beach itself was almost empty, with just two other couples there when I arrived. The sand is deep, making it quite hard to walk on, especially towards the southern end where the sea is clearest – further north the sand is more manageable but the shoreline is marred by large rocks.
I walked the length of the beach to take a few photos, then stopped at the northernmost point to record a short vlog for my YouTube channel. With plenty of time to spare, I returned to the south end away from the few other tourists, unpacked my towel and laid out for a bit under the hot afternoon sun. The sand is slightly coarse on Kalamos beach so it wasn’t the most comfortable experience, but the fierce heat soon had me up again and heading for the sea. The water was refreshing, but it was quite wavy and got deep fairly quickly so I was content to float around until I had cooled off enough to head back out to my towel.
Having dried off enough to get back on the moped, I made it back to the main road with the intention of returning to my hotel for a couple of hours. There wasn’t anything more to see nearby as I’d visited the remaining beaches on my previous trip.
On the way back to Chora, I realised my fuel gauge was running rather low – each time I went up or down a hill it swung wildly between 1/4 full and completely empty! Combined with some strong headwinds, the ride was more stressful than I wanted. I made it back to Chora, though, and stopped at the Shell fuel station on the main road to add a few more euros worth of petrol. I only needed enough to last the rest of the day as I was due to return the moped first thing tomorrow.
Chilling and Chora Dinner
Back at the hotel, I chilled out in my room for a bit, catching up on work emails and my blog notes. When it got to 5 o’clock, I made my usual trip to the gym at Far Out Beach Club for a workout and post-session dip at the Far Out Village pool.
As it was my last evening with the moped, I planned to go back to Chora to have a walk around and find somewhere different for dinner. Not wanting to arrive too early, I stayed in my room until 7:30 before setting off on the short ride into town. I managed to find a space in the busy main car park, locked my helmet in the storage bin under the seat, and set off towards the narrow, winding streets that are so typical of Cycladic villages.
I was quite hungry and didn’t want to leave it too late to find a restaurant as I hadn’t made any reservations. I passed a few promising tavernas but one, in particular, caught my attention: Agosto. The menu looked excellent and it seemed popular, so I walked in and hoped they could accommodate me. Luckily, a table was available so I sat down and had what turned out to be a superb meal!
The prices were higher than average, but my starter of arancini balls; a main course of shrimp risotto and dessert of almond semifreddo with chocolate ganache was delicious and certainly worth the money.
The restaurant was buzzing by the time I’d finished. Not wanting to hog my table for too long, I paid the bill, took another stroll through Chora and then returned to my moped and rode back to the hotel.