Ios’ three main centres sit nearly on top of one another on the west coast. The port, Ormos, is lined with tavernas and cafes and stretches out into sandy Gialos Beach, backed by beach bars. Just 2km uphill (or 1.2km up a stone staircase) sits the capital of Hora, a stunning traditional village and nightlife hub. From here, the road winds south to the brown-sugar sand of Mylopotas Beach, with upscale and backpacker-style resorts. You’ll find places to eat, sleep, drink and dance in all three settlements. Grocery stores are also found in each.
Hora’s central square is Plateia Valeta, buried deep in the old town. The road straight ahead from Hora’s bus stop leads 3km to Mylopotas Beach.