Ios means “flower”.
Did you know that?
Íos or Niós, as the locals call
it, is one of the most beautiful islands of
the Cyclades, like a flower, as its name “Ion”
denotes. According to the ancient tradition,
Íos was the homeland of Homer’s
mother and the final resting place of the great
epic poet. Upon reaching the island, the view
before you is enchanting: as pretty as a picture,
Hóra lies very close to the harbour in
Ormos and greets the travellers, built in an
amphitheatre-like manner on the slope of a hill,
on the top of which there are ruins of a mediaeval
castle. This is a listed traditional village,
one of the finest examples of Cycladic architecture.
Snow-white little houses, picturesque arcade-covered
alleys (“stiyádia”), the
twelve windmills, churches with arched belfries
and light blue domes create a unique residential
area. Hóra’s sheltered alleys is
the “stage” where Koúnia,
an ancient local custom is performed every May,
as follows: young men make swings for young
ladies who rock themselves while listening to
traditional love songs being sung to them in
the form of a dialogue.