Less than a kilometre south by foot from the southeastern corner of Chora is the celebrated bay of Mylopotas—a long sweep of pure sand, framed between two headlands. This and Manganari Bay in the south of the island, lie at the heart of the island’s fame as a pleasure-resort, and in the 1960s and ’70s became places of pilgrimage for a generation of hippies, nudists and hedonists, as well as those who were simply in search of an ‘uncorrupted’ Greece. The bay takes its name from the watermills which functioned in the gulleys of the seasonal torrents which collected the down-flow from the mountain of Megalo Vouni behind. The unmade track which climbs up from the south end of the bay, joins with the main asphalt road south to Manganari after 5km (see below).
Set amongst vegetation on the promontory to the north of the bay and visible from the road as it climbs back to Chora are two villas, which were built by the painter Yiannis Gaitis (1923–84). The creation of the Gaitis-Simosi Museum, under the aegis of Gaitis’s daughter, is now in progress: the buildings will become exhibition spaces for modern art, centred around the works of the artist him self. Gaitis’s inventive and memorable work is instantly recognisable from its almost obsessive repetition of a characteristic motif—that of the stiff, silhouetted male figures with hat and striped jacket, who often appear in phalanxes. Gaitis discovered Ios together with his close friend Jean-Marie Drot, French author and documentary film-maker: Gaitis designed for Drot the house on the promontory which in turn will be given over to exhibit Drot’s private collection of modern art.
Ios Island is part of the Cyclades Island group
Mylopotas and the Gaitis – Simosi Museum.