Ios is a hilly island with cliffs down to the sea on most sides, situated halfway between Paros and Santorini. It is about 18 km (11 mi) long, 10 km (6 mi) wide, with an area of about 105 sq km (41 sq mi). Population was 1,100 in 1992 (down from 3,500 in the 19th century).
The main town is Ios, at the head of the Ormos harbor in the northwest.
Ios has left little impression on history. Ancient tradition said that Homer's mother was from Ios, and that he himself was buried there--and indeed the locals will show visitors the site of the ancient town of Plakatos at the northernmost end of the island, where the rocky entrance to a tomb may be seen. There is no physical evidence connecting this with Homer however. There are signs of Mycenaean settlement.
Ios attracts very large numbers of young tourists, many of whom sleep on the beaches after partying through of the night. (A typical slogan, as seen at www.magicaljourneys.com: "Ios: Where Spring Break Lasts All Summer") Milopotamos (or Milopota) is the most popular of the beaches.