The distance between Naxos and Ios is 35 miles (56 km). The most common way to travel between them is by ferry, and during the high summer season (mid-June through mid-September), direct ferries run several times a day. The high-speed ferry takes 35 minutes while the slower ferry takes an hour, although there is an even slower option available that takes 3 hours 45 minutes.
You have the option to bring a car or motorbike with you on the ferry, although that will increase the price of your ticket. Note that ferry schedules become much more limited during the low season (mid-September through June), so be sure to check that the ferry is running on the dates you need if traveling during that time.
For a more luxurious option, consider chartering a yacht or catamaran. There are many private yacht and catamaran options for the Greek islands, whether you're looking for a day trip to Ios from Naxos or are interested in booking a "hop on, hop off" trip in which you can disembark on Ios and continue on your journey. It is worth noting that this is a far more expensive option than the high-speed or slow ferries that go to Ios.
If you're interested in a trip of unique outdoor activities, check out this 7-day itinerary, which explores Naxos, Ios, and Athens via hikes, canoe trips, and bike rides. For a more relaxing trip, consider this 12-day itinerary, which will bring you to the lesser-known Cycladic islands of Naxos, Ios, Tinos, and Syros.
By Fast Ferry
Duration: 35 minutes
You can count on a number of ferry options between Naxos and iOS during the summer but be sure to book in advance to get a seat as ferries can fill up at this time. Seajet and Golden Star are two companies that operate these high-speed hydrofoil ferries.
Economy and business tickets are available for these ferries. Note that if bringing a car or motorbike, your ticket price will increase based on the size of the vehicle. For a short journey like this, you can expect basic food options: sandwiches, packaged snacks and local favorites such as tyropita (cheese pies) and spanakopita (spinach pies). Seasick-prone travelers should note that these ferries can get quite bumpy from the wind.
By Slow Ferry
Duration: 1 hour - 3 hours 45 minutes
If you're looking for a more leisurely way to travel from Naxos to Ios, you can hop aboard a slow ferry. Most of the slower ferries take an hour to get from Naxos to Ios, but there are some that take 3 hours and 45 minutes. Tickets for these ferries range from economy seats to a private cabin and these ships are preferable for those prone to seasickness as they offer more open air space and are not as bumpy as the high-speed ferries.
If booking an economy ticket, it’s suggested that you book a “numbered seat” as the deck/lounge ticket option does not include a guaranteed seat. These ferries can also accommodate vehicles if you're looking to bring a vehicle to explore Ios like a local.
By Private Boat
Duration: 35 minutes - 10 hours
If you are looking to travel with friends or family in style, consider chartering a private yacht or catamaran from Naxos to Ios. A number of companies offer day trips to Ios if you are interested in a day of swimming, eating and exploring the island's beaches. Otherwise, it's possible to book a "hop on, hop off" or customized trip in which you disembark in Ios and continue on your Greek island adventure.
You can charter a private boat or a semi-private one, in which you share the boat with other travelers. Private yachts or catamarans include meals and are an option for those wanting to explore the Greek islands in a different way. This is a much more expensive option than the high-speed or traditional ferries between Naxos and Ios.