The South of the Island

The southern extremity of the island is a landscape quite different from the centre and north, and no less dramatic. Its interior has only recently become accessible by the building of a surfaced road which leads down to the southern tip of the island (Either 25km from Chora— metalled all the way—by taking the road via Epano Kambos, towards Psathi, and branching south at the junction at 10.5km; or 18km—partially unmade—via Mylopotas). On the south side of the island’s central mountain-massif the scenery suddenly changes from long slopes covered in mountain scrub to an eroded and boulder-strewn landscape of often strange and jagged forms, similar in nature to that around Volax on Tinos or Manganitis on Ikaria, produced by a combination of violent volcanic activity and constant wind erosion. Hidden in an oasis of scattered trees in the midst of this landscape is the monastery of Aghios Ioannis Prodromos of Kalamos. Never was a dedication to the Baptist more appropriate than in this desert landscape which unexpectedly yields water here. Before the monastery was founded at the turn of the 19th century, the site must originally have been occupied by a hermitage—reminiscent in setting of the those of the early Desert Fathers.

At this point, the road divides east to the sandy beach of Kalamos on the east coast, or south to the double * bay of Manganari, site of a flourishing settlement of the Early Cycladic period. The view from the descending road of this broad and gentle bay, its two shallow sweeps of virgin sand separated by an outcrop of reefs, with the plain and the mountains behind and the island of Santorini ahead across the water, is one of the loveliest in the Cyclades.

 

Ios Island is part of the Cyclades Island group
The South of the Island.

 


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