I slept in a bit on the third morning and went into port to rent a quad to do some more exploring – Ios has beautiful beaches too! I picked up a to-go lunch and headed to Koumbara beach and then to see the Odysseas Elytis Theatre, above the town. The quad didn’t make it all the way up the hill, so I had a ten minute uphill walk before I finally saw it…whoa. It’s just this small, open-air, circular theatre with a spectacular view of Myloplatas beach. There was a bit less wind up there, so I ate my lunch enjoying the view.
After that, I decided to drive to Homer’s Tomb, which is apparently on the other side of a mountain from chora. I was on my way there, already getting a bit tense from the height I was climbing, when the quad stopped moving forward up the road. I tried helping it a bit with my leg and then thought better of it and just turned back around. Homer’s Tomb will have to happen on another trip! Instead, I returned to the fork in the road to Manganari. I’d been told it was a lovely beach and not too far, so I decided to quad over there. This was the WORST EXPERIENCE of my trip. Remember when I’d said I’m afraid of heights? Yeah. Well this was apparently a super windy day and the drive from chora to Manganari was 30 km up and around the rocky mountains of Ios. There was no one in sight, the roads got super steep, and the wind actually moved my quad so much that I was leaning forward to make it more aerodynamic. The views were beautiful but my palms were sweaty and I was genuinely scared of my quad not making it up some roads, so my hands didn’t leave the handlebars the entire journey up! (No pictures, sorry!) When I finally arrived at Manganari, I thought I might fall, my legs were trembling so much. I looked weathered and battered as I walked to the only taverna open and got my coffee before having to make the return trip. The beach was wind-free, warm and quiet, but if I stayed I might have ended up driving back at night, so I didn’t want to risk it. I had a coffee, gathered myself and got back to my quad. Let’s just say that the ride back was only a bit less terrifying, because the steep downhill roads now became steep uphill climbs where I had to ride the quad side-saddle and help it along by using my legs to push against the ground.
I felt a little unaccomplished by not being able to enjoy the beach, so I rode to Myloplatas beach, got a drink and parked myself on a beach lounger to sit and read a bit. Once the sun went down I resigned myself to leave the beach, grabbed a souvlaki and headed back to the hotel. It’d been a long day and I was ready for bed.
The quad rental being for 24 hours, I had a few hours left to go explore Skarkos, a prehistoric settlement that has recently been made into an archaeological site. It was actually really interesting to see how people made a city in the 3rd millennium BC. Crazy! After exploring Skarkos, I returned the quad, headed back to the hotel, packed and headed for the ferry to Santorini!