Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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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 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.
Water entrance from the gently sloping beach is very easy.
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.
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.
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.
Stay on this side of the bay and away from the port, around which there is important boat traffic.
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.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Small beach edged by rocks with many fish
Free shore access
Rocky shoreline with many fish
Rocky shore and islet with a diversity of fish
Shallow rocky shore with small fish
Shallow bay with rocks and seagrass
Shallow sandy and rocky bay with a few fish