According to Plutarch it is thought that the name has derived from the Ancient Greek word for violets «Ία»(Ia) because they were commonly found on the island and it is the most accepted etymology. Others say that the name is derived from the Hebrew word for rocks («Ion») but Pliny the Elder writes that the name comes from the Ionians which lived in the island. During the Ottoman empire the name was changed to «Αινέ(Ené)» or «Άνζα(Ánza)». During the ancient years the island was called «Φοινίκη» (Phiniki), named after and by the Phoenicians.Today the inhabitants of the Cycladic Islands call the island Nio, a name deriving from the Byzantine Era.The name Little Malta, which is found in texts of travelers during the Ottoman domination, is related to the permanent presence of pirates on the island.
In a new era, the island has begun to emerge since the 70s as it is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination for young people in Europe. Today Ios retains its reputation as the island of youth and entertainment, but also has excellent tourist infrastructure, organised marina at its harbour and good enough road network. This puts it with the best in the new era.
Ios attracts a large number of young tourists, many of whom used to sleep on their sleeping bags during the 1970s on the popular beach of Mylopotas after partying through the night. Today Mylopotas beach has been developed to an equivalent mass package tourism resort like Platys Gialos and Paradise Beach of Mykonos.
Agia Theodoti, long, fine sand beach
Yialos, nice sandy beach at the port
Koubara, 300 meters long sandy beach with taverns and rooms (30 minutes walk to NW of the port)
Manganari, is divided into five beaches with sand or pebbles, crystal clear and shallow water
Mylopotas, superb and very popular. One of the most famous in Cyclades Islands
Psathi, fine sand beach
Tzamaria, nice and quiet sandy beach
By sea: There is catamaran service, from Piraeus twice a day in high season (3 hours 10 minutes – 3 hours 40 minutes). There are also frequent ferry links with Piraeus (7.5 Hours). Ios Island is connected with Syros, Paros, Naxos Island, Sikinos, Folegandros, Santorini, Anafi and Milos, Sifnos, Kimolos, Mykonos and Crete.
By Air: Via Santorini International Airport or Naxos Airport and then a ferry / catamaran connection (1 – 1.5 hours).
There is a frequent bus service between the port Yialos and Mylopotas via Hora. There is also a bus service between Yialos and Ag. Theodoti. Excursions by bus to Manganari beach or Ag. Theodoti beach can be booked in all travel agents.
There are also boats, departing from the port to Magganari. Motor bikes and cars are available for hire. Taxis are also available.