The Cyclades are a complex of 39 islands to the south-east of mainland Greece in the Aegean Sea. Characterised by whitewashed architecture tumbling into turquoise waters, the region is growing in popularity as a superyacht charter destination. In the heart of the Cyclades, Ios is a secret gem located between Mykonos and Santorini.
“The islands of the Cyclades are all very different – some are very quiet with unspoilt nature, whereas some are buzzing with trendy restaurants and nightlife,” explains Lea Tintaud, Charter Broker at Moravia Yachting. “Everybody knows about Mykonos and its party scene, but nowadays she has serious competition: Ios is one of the liveliest islands in the Cyclades with plenty to do around Chora, Mylopotas and Gialos.”
“The islands of the Cyclades are all very different – some are very quiet with unspoilt nature, whereas some are buzzing with trendy restaurants and nightlife”
With its 36 pristine sandy beaches and laid-back energy, Ios attracts adventure-seekers looking for an alternative Cycladic experience. Aside from spectacular natural surroundings, the main village of Chora offers unique culinary experiences, trendy cocktail bars, and beautiful Greek designer shops. Guests can walk up a narrow, cobbled alley to find Panagia Gremiotissa, one of the 365 churches of Ios that sits on a hilltop and offers panoramic views of breath-taking sunsets. Ios is also home to Skarkos, the oldest known Bronze Age settlement (3,500BC).
Ios and the surrounding islands have a microclimate of their own; with significantly weaker winds, visiting yachts experience a much calmer northerly wind than neighbouring islands Paros and Mykonos. Nevertheless, Ios has numerous anchorages that can provide shelter from any wind directions and accommodate large superyachts. The Bay of Tris Klisies is considered the most peaceful mooring and one of the largest natural and safest anchorages in the Aegean.
Lea particularly recommends guests pay a visit to Calilo, a luxury eco-friendly beach resort located at Papas Beach in the middle of a 1000-acre plot of land with six miles of coastline that all but guarantees privacy and seclusion. Guests can spend the day at the resort’s stunning series of rock pools or have a night to remember at fine dining restaurant CHES. Led by Executive Chef Alexandros Tsiotinis, CHES’s fine dining menu consists of 33 signature dishes inspired by the 33 islands of the Cyclades. Here, clients of Moravia Yachting can enjoy a special rate.
Owners Angelos Michalopoulos and Vassiliki Petridou describe Calilo as a unique concept; “In a remote corner of unspoiled Ios, our 35-suite sanctuary offers an escape from the glamour and the crowds. Calilo is a tranquil retreat and a visionary conservation project. It is a destination designed and brought to life with love, from the architecture to the interior design and the striking artworks and installations, realising our vision to provide our guests the physical and emotional space to create beautiful emotions and experiences while ensuring that our island will remain unspoiled for future generations. We have declared more than 80 per cent of Calilo properties as protected natural areas where no intervention will be made, setting the ground for more environmentally considerate retreats.”
Other dining highlights on the island include Salt Restaurant, Koumbara Seafood Restaurant and Katogi Tapas. Lea also suggests guests don’t miss sunset cocktails at Pathos Lounge Bar, offering spectacular views and a lively outdoor atmosphere.
Without losing its Cycladic charm, Ios has evolved into a sophisticated luxury destination for those seeking a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience.