Ios, is a hilly island with cliffs up to the sea on most sides, located between Naxos and Santorini. It is about 18 km long and 10 (6 miles) long, with an area of 109,024 square kilometers.
According to Plutarchos, it is believed that the name arose from the ancient Greek word for the violets (“la”), because they were usually on the island and is the most accepted etymology. Others say the name comes from the Phoenician word Ion, meaning “pile of rocks”, but Plinios the Elder writes that the name comes from the Ionians living on the island. In the Ottoman period the island was called Anzah or Aena and its present name was officially established in the 19th century after more than 2000 years of use. During the antiquity, the island was also called Phoenicia, taking its name from the Phoenicians, and in the 3rd century, when the island joined the islanders’ alliance, it was probably temporarily called Arsinoe by Ptolemeus II’s wife. Today the inhabitants of the Cyclades say the island “Nio”, a name that comes from the Byzantine period. Also, the name Little Malta, which is found in traveler texts during Ottoman domination, is related to the permanent presence of pirates on the island. In the Latin script, the name of the island is Nios or Ios.
Source: MRC Adventures