COME SEE Panagia Gremiotissa AKA 4 Churches Hill Sunset, Ios. Greece.
PANAGIA GREMIOTISSA SUNSET: THE GUIDE
REGION: South Aegean.
ACCESSIBILITY: Car, Scooter, ATV or Local Bus.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: End of peak season | Late August – End of September | For sunset, arrive 15 mins before to get a good spot.
LOCATION: In the heart of Chora | See location on Google Maps
WALKING DISTANCE: 10 minute walk up from the center of Chora
TIME REQUIRED: Up to you
TOURIST RATING: 9/10 | The most popular sunset spot in Ios
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PANAGIA GREMIOTISSA SUNSET: THE EXPERIENCE
This is absolutely one of the most popular things on the islands to see, and for good reason. First of all its convenient. Located right smack bang in the middle of Chora. After finding your way through some narrow alleys all of a sudden you’re bought up into the clouds and can see over the port and into the Agean Sea. Secondly, its nicely paved which means you won’t feel like your risking your life clambering up a rocky mountainside like we did when we hiked Mount Zas in Naxos, Greece. And Thirdly, it’s a huge open hill with ample space for hundreds to enjoy without feeling crowded.
Officially this spot is known as the Panagia Gremiotissa Church which is the largest and lowest of the 4 that sit on top of the hill. It’s defiantly a beautifully placed church as it looks back down over Chora, toward the ocean and is accompanied by a giant palm tree that can be easily spotted from afar.
But this isn’t where most people stop, if you continue climbing the stairs you will pass another two smaller churches before reaching the last church at the highest peak. It’s here that people like to gather for sunset. If you arrive early enough there are a couple of seats and a few largish rocks you can settle on for the evening’s show.
Looking out over the Aegean Sea is incredible, but so is looking back toward the churches. The sun throws the most invigorating orange upon the white washed walls which seems to give them new life as it contrasts against the clear skies.
Once the sun actually sets, many people start descending the hill. But not us. That’s when the show really begins. It takes another 10 minutes or so for the colour to really pop and this is Zades favourite time, dusk. For those that don’t know, twilight happens twice a day between daylight and darkness. We refer to the one in morning as dawn and the one in the evening as dusk. And it occurs because the light rays are scattered by the earths atmosphere which creates the pinky-purply tones. Betcha didn’t know that huh. See professional sun chaser right here!
If you do decide to watch the sunset from Panagia Gremiotissa Church and are chatting with anyone past the official set, feel free to use that piece of knowledge and play it off like a MVP sun chaser like me.
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