Greek Island Beach Villa - "Sapounohoma"

Ios Island and Santorini

Ios is a rather undeveloped island - compared to its better-known neighbors Mykonos, Paros, Naxos and Santorini.   This is possibly because it has avoided the construction of an airport or maybe it is Ios’ lingering reputation as a young person's party island.    The little village, so quiet and picturesque by day, comes alive at night with young people from all over the world reveling into the wee hours.  

Saponohoma is far enough away from the town that you'd never know about all this unless you read about it.  Like Saponohoma, there are a number of other secluded villas that dot the island which are owned by people that summer here every year - enjoying the exquisite climate along with the primitive and small town nature of the island and its inhabitants.  This largely European expatriate community is filled with artists, gallery owners, medial moguls and the like..The Greeks here are fantastically friendly and if one stays more than a few days, there is good chance that lasting friendships will develop. There is one road through town, two gas stations, two supermarkets, we have a regular butcher that sells only organically raised meat and eggs, two hardware stores, etc, etc. After a while you get to know everyone and they get to know you!

You can  learn a lot about Ios from various guidebooks and web sites so let us tell you a little more about it from our perspective.  There are a tremendous amount of things to do on the island - that is, if you ever tear yourself away from Saponohoma..  


Here are a few web sites that offer some descriptions and photos:

· http://www.greeka.com/cyclades/ios/ios.htm

· http://www.united-hellas.com/tourism/index1.htm


Archeology and Architecture:   Homer was buried in Ios and his tomb is a good destination for a day trip to the north of the island.  There are ongoing Bronze Age acheological digs along the way and well worth a picnic stop,  The village is wonderful.   No cars.  Not that they are prohibited - it's because streets are only about five feet wide!  Whitewashed houses accented by bright colored wood and metal work with flowering bouganvillia flowing everywhere.  Donkeys clopping down the cobblestone streets carrying baskets of fresh vegetables past people sitting at their doorsteps who offer friendly greetings to all passers by.
Restaurants:  About two or three times a week, we dress up and hit the town for dinner.  There are several great Greek restaurants that specialize in fresh seafood - right on the waterfront.  Sometimes we venture inland and go to a rural restaurant that mostly caters to Greeks - you can tell because it starts filling up at 10:30 and it is humming by midnight.  The food is known all the way to Athens.  Due to its cosmopolitan atmosphere, there is also very good Thai, French, Mexican, Italian, Indian and Pizza!
Beaches:  Take a look at the map below.  There are at least 22 other beaches on the island.  Some approachable only by sea in a day rental boat you can pilot yourself.  Others are accessible by car or jeep for a few of the more remote beaches.    Most well known is Manganai - a huge bay on the south of the island - known for its endless sand and beautiful sheltered water.  Someday it will be covered with hotels - but for now - there are just a few houses dotting the hillside and two dueling restaurants.

Milopotas Beach is the next beach to the North - our destination for morning baked goods, our favorite fresh seafood restaurant; "Drakos"  ( www.drakostaverna.gr ), and a number of other dinner destinations ( Mexican, Thai, and our favoite Pizza Spot)  Beyond food, there are other cafes and nightspots like the Ios Palace Hotel poolside bar - a hip spot at high season.


Then there is Santorini.............
We can see this famously beautiful volcanic island from the house and it is only 50 minutes away by ferry.   Its a great day trip - not to be missed  and lots to see and shop for...


And then, of course there is Athens!



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