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Ios to get luxury tourism complex

- by Andy Cornish

A popular Greek holiday island for clubbers, Ios looks set to go ahead with a multi-million euro tourism complex.

The go-ahead has been given for a luxury coastal tourist resort near Koumbara.

Plans are said to include the building of a small port to connect Cape Diakofto to the mainland, man-made breakwaters, artificial beaches in coastal bays of Maniata and Koumbara bays and a desalination unit to provide fresh water for the complex.

Greek-American millionaire Angelos Michalopoulos, a former Wall Street futures trader, is behind the scheme which is expected to cost around € 1.54 million.

According to reports, the Greek-American investor has been buying land for the project since 2003 and has already planted more than 60,000 trees across his land in anticipation of the green light.

The tourism complex will cover 18,000 square metres and include a five-star hotel and tourist villas with a total 249 beds, with a completion date for 2017.

The villas will be available to rent or buy and the whole project could turn the island into a major Greek tourist destination for thousands of annual visitors.

The island of Ios lies in the southern area of the central Cyclades group of islands to the south of Naxos and Paros.

It is already a top destination to young clubbers thanks to the reputation of the main hilltop village and the sandy beach at Mylopotas.

Although branded a party island, the clubs, bars and discos are confined to the island capital port, Chora village and Mylopotas.

Beyond the capital lies a classic Greek island with some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, especially on the wild east coast.

The Ios project is only one of a number planned for a number of Greek islands as developers bid to cash in on the growing tourist boom.

More than 25 million visitors are expected to have visited Greece this year, the third in a row when tourism records have been broken.

Schemes totalling €5 billion are already in the pipeline that could help transform the country into a luxury tourist destination.

Major resorts are already planned in the Ionian, Aegean, Crete, the Peloponnese and Halkidiki.

They include new hotel and golf facilities at resorts on the Greek mainland and the island of Corfu

The Rothschild family plans to build luxury villas on Meganissi and there are plans for the nearby island of Kithros.

An international group is set to develop the Iliad resort on the island of Ithaka with a scheme that includes six hotels, a golf course and marina.

On the island of Milos, a development company is about to build a luxury five-star 216-bed hotel while Dolphin Capital plans to invest in a five-star tourist resort and scuba diving centre on the island of Kea.

The growth in luxury spa hotels, golf courses, conference centres, marinas, villas and other tourism facilities look to change the face of Greece for good.