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With its beaches, its village and its port, Íos Bay is almost a must if you visit the island. If you stay there, do not hesitate to snorkel Gialos beach, in the northern side of the bay. If the seabed, covered with sand and seagrass, is quite ordinary, many fish can be seen in the shallows.

Gialos Bay view
Ios Bay, with Ios Port on the left and Gialos Beach on the right. The snorkeling location is at the right end of the beach.

How to get to Gialos Beach snorkeling spot?

Gialos Beach is on the west coast of Íos Island, in the Cyclades. Located in Íos Bay, it is very close to the ferry port and the main village of the island.

The recommended snorkeling area is at the boundary between the northern end of the beach and the beginning of the rocks (see map). On foot, you have to walk 600m from the port and 400m from the southern tip of the beach (where there are several restaurants, including the Tropicana Café) to reach the water entrance point. Access is easy, as is parking, except in July-August.

Gialos Beach snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Gialos Beach

Water entrance from the gently sloping beach is very easy.

Gialos Beach snorkeling exploration tips

The snorkeling area extends along the rocks that border the north of the beach (see map above). Confident swimmers can consider snorkeling along the coast and exit the water at Tzamaria Beach (about 650m, take a diving flag with you).

This spot is shallow, with a water depth varying between 1 and 6ft/0.40 and 2m. The seabed is quite monotonous, with a small rocky drop-off and large stretches of sand and Posidonia.

Pompano at Gialos Beach
Pompano are frequently seen swimming above the sandy beds.

Snorkeling the bay, you will encounter an interesting diversity of fish. Two species of wrasse, the rainbow wrasse and the ornate wrasse, are easy to see everywhere.

Above the seagrass, pompano swim in open water. This species, belonging to the trevally family, appreciates the warm waters of the Aegean Sea.

Sand sea star
A sand sea star photographed in Gialos Beach.

The sandy and scattered seagrass beds are also visited by sand steenbras and striped red mullets, busy looking for food in the sand. You may also find sand sea stars more or less covered in sand.

Around the rocks, triplefin blennies and combers are also pretty common.

Comber in Gialos Beach
Combers are frequently seen in rocky areas.

Stay on this side of the bay and away from the port, around which there is important boat traffic.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The closest restaurants to the spot are the Doors Íos and the Tropicana Café, located at the other end of the beach (400m on foot). Around the bay, near the port and in the village of Íos, there is a wide choice of accommodation for all budgets.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth6ft/2m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.