the best time to enjoy this truly wonderful island in a normal state, before the party starts. In early spring, you can still see Ios as
Lawrence Durrell did,
full of silences, fractured only by some distant church bell or the braying of a mule.
In summer, Ios is taken over by youth. Ios is the party island to end all party islands–the mother of party islands! It is so popular with Irish vacationers, they claim Ios stands for Ireland Over Seas. Homer is said to be buried here on Ios. It's doubtful that he rests in peace, what with all the packaged hedonism going on in the towns above him.
Ormos is where the ferries land and is its own little resort complete with a beach, campground, rooms, cafes and tavernas. Its where you'll arrive and depart from and maybe stay if you didn't make reservations in advance high season.
The earthquake of 1951 devastated Ormos. It sucked all the water out of the bay only to immediately flood it back in, damaging buildings. With the increase in tourist trade, Ormos has managed to make a comeback and rebuild. Ormos's beach is okay but there are much better, even 20 minutes away in Koumbara (mother-in-law) another coastal village reachable by bus and comprised of a few tavernas, bars and rooms to let. Koumbara has a long stretch of sand that ends at a big rock that's fun for snorkellers.
To the left of the port there's a pretty 17th Century chapel, Ag. Irini with separate Catholic and Orthodox altars.