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.