Ios: Where Spring Break lasts all Summer....
There is no island in Greece like Ios. There is no place in the
world like Ios! Some might tell you it is
like Spring Break in Daytona Beach or Panama
city or even Cancun but the reality is that
those places are tame compared to Ios. The island of Ios is
an all out international party of college age
people that lasts from June until the end of
August on one of the most beautiful of the
Greek islands. And for those of you who are older and can do without the partying Ios in the off-season is like any other Greek island: The best place you have ever been.
|First impressions in
Ios can be
You arrive after a 7 hour boat trip from
Athens to what looks like a typical port
village, with cafes and restaurants lining the
square. But the old Greeks who play tavli in
the cafeneons are few and most of the people
hanging out are young, tanned and healthy
looking considering they have probably been
partying until dawn every night. Because once
the sun goes down, this quiet port and the
typical cyladic looking village that overlooks
it from the hill above, literally rocks all
night long. Those innocent little white
geometric houses open their doors to become
discos, bars, rock clubs, boutiques, snack
bars, cafes, restaurants and anything you need
to cause or cure a hangover.
Days on Ios are spent on the
Milopota being one of the longest and finest
in Greece, packed with young people of every
shape and color, from every country on the
planet and perhaps some planets beyond. It's a
time for swimming and meeting people in the
cafes and restaurants that share the beach and
for some it's the time to get an early start
for the evenings festivities if not a little
hair of the dog. There is a wide range of
water sports including scuba diving,
windsurfing and some of the more obnoxious
variety like jet skis or being dragged behind
a speedboat on a giant floating banana.
island of Ios there are
other beaches including Manganari which can be
reached by small boat or by bus. Rooms can be
rented there as well. Other beaches on Ios include
Valmas beach, a ten minute walk, Psathi beach
across the island and Kolitzani which is
almost in town.
|When the Greek
sun begins to
go down and the
air begins to cool people make their way up
the road to town, passing clubs and bars on
the way. It may take a couple days to find the
bar that suits you the best or you may find
they all suit you. You may find that none of
them suit you but you don't really care
because you are happy to be there.
Many people begin their
evening by watching the sunset
from the Ios club,
listening to classical music, a tradition at
least since I was first there in 1973. Once
the sun has set it becomes a disco and you can
remain there and wait til the new crowds
arrive or you can have your choice of several
dozen other night spots. The main square in
the upper village, so peaceful in the day is
so full of young people at night that you can
barely get from one side to the other. There
are Irish pubs, jazz bars, rock clubs, slammer
bars, discos and believe it or not even a bar
that plays Greek music. As for restaurants you
will find all your typical Greek fare and some
places that are not so Greek and not even
fare. There is a Mexican restaurant, Italian,
Indian, and a Greek Taverna called Christos,
with fresh fish caught with their own
worldwide as the
party capital and with a reputation that has
lasted decades, Ios is also popular with older
people too. Whether these are the same
travelers who came here twenty years ago and
are reliving their youth or sharing it with
their families ("Look honey those are the
steps where Daddy passed out on ouzo for the
first time and woke up stark naked with his
clothes nowhere to be found.") can only be
ascertained by asking each person individually.
("Old man. What was it like here in the
seventies?") But don't be afraid to approach
them. They will be happy to share those
stories that they can remember. I know I
|The worst part of Ios
is trying to
leave. I know
that when our holiday was coming to a close it
took us several trips to the port before we
found the strength and courage to get on the
ferry back to Athens and even then we would
have jumped off except for a hippy couple who
had jumped on and blocked our escape as the
boat was leaving the dock. But you can also
leave for other islands since Santorini is an
hour away and Mykonos two.
There are rooms to
rent but in July
and August you may want to book in advance so
you don't spend all your time unsuccessfully
looking for one. There are campsites too
including the famous Far-Out camping which is
sort of the cultural center of the island,
with a bar that is open 24 hours a day, two
swimming pools, a restaurant, basketball
courts, volley ball and watersports. It's like
a college town without the college (or the
experience, I am
old and grey now, but my time in Ios I will
never forget. I made wonderful friends. I had
great girlfriends from all different
countries. I drank more then I ever thought
capable and I was amazed at how quickly a
serious hangover can disappear when one has
the clear blue Aegean sea to nurse you.
If you are of college age
and you had fun on springbreak, or you
didn't... go to Ios. Guaranteed to blow you
away. You may
never be the
Matt Barrett and
friend Jill in Ios 1973
For more info, ferries and
Travel. Both agencies have island-hopping trips
that feature Ios in combination with
Santorini, Crete, Mykonos and other popular
islands, as well as great rates for hotels on
Ios and in Athens. For students and budget
travelers contact my friend Giorgios at
Aegean Thesaurus Travel who probably
has the lowest rates for any of the hotels on
the island that you will find and also
provides great service.
For ferry schedules and tickets I recommend Ferryhopper.com where you can book your tickets and pick them up at the port right by the boat.
I recommend Fantasy Travel's Island Hopping Packages which offer low prices and they take care of all the details: 1)Athens-Ios-Mykonos 2)Athens-Paros-Ios 3)Athens-Ios 4)Create-your-own-Ios-itinerary
If you are traveling
to Ios and are on a budget or want to save
your money for some of the other things this
island has to offer take a look at the
Markos Village Hotel in Ios Town, close
to the nightlife and still easy walking
distance from the beach (and it has a
pool and free wireless internet).
Going with a group? Rent a sailboat. It can be cheaper than
staying in a hotel. Going alone? Join a
flotilla.How about a cruise on a cabin charter
with twenty or so cabins that stops at the
islands the big cruise ships can't?
You can also find
hotels and descriptions on Booking.com's Ios Pages where you can find reviews by other travelers and in many cases cancel a booking without a penalty. You can use the search options to find rooms, apartments with kitchens, villas, houses and more, by price, location and customer satisfaction.
For more Greek Islands
Visit Matt Barrett's Greek
Island Synopsis and
Greece Travel Guide
If you arrive from
abroad and you need to get to Pireaus to catch
the ferry to Ios I recommend
the Famous Taxi Driver. Plus if you have
some time to spare, as some of you will, you
can do a little tour of the city. For your
return to Athens from Ios I also
recommend using him to get to your hotel or
the airport. When the ferries arrive in
Pireaus there are usually just 3 or 4 taxis
waiting for several hundred disembarking
passengers. You will be very relieved to see a
guy holding up a sign with your name on it.
If you need to spend the night in Athens either on the way there or back I recommend the Hotel Attalos which is on the metro line from the airport and to the port, it is inexpensive, clean, has a great rooftop bar with a view of the Acropolis and you can walk to all the historical sites, museums, restaurants, clubs and shopping
Thank you to Fantasy Travel for the above photos.
|If you are eager to book your hotels in Ios and don't want to go through a travel agency here are some of the most popular. Click on the hotel name for more photos and booking information. They are listed from highest category to the lowest.
Far Out Hotel & Spa
(Photo above) With the
calming view of the Aegean Sea and Mylopotas Bay, this hotel makes the perfect
choice for a relaxing holiday where your body and soul come first. Cool
down on the top of the world; the swimming pool is situated on the roof of the
hotel and has the most incredible view. Here you can stay away from the crowded
beach and stay fresh in peaceful surroundings. Enjoy the amazing sunset with an
exotic cocktail from the pool bar and some chill-out tunes. Spend some time in
the spa or the gym to revitalise yourself before you venture to the nightlife of
Ios. To experience Far Out Hotel & Spa is to experience a world of
tranquillity and well-being for body, mind and spirit.
Levantes Luxury Resorts
enchanting bay, merely ten minutes away from the harbour of Ios, in the famous
beach of Mylopotas you can find the Levantes Luxury resort. What will really
sweep you away is the amazing view of the neighboring islands and the bay, part
of the Cycladic landscape. The Resort is built according to the traditional
architecture of Ios, with large surfaces made of stones collected from the
neighbouring mountains. The effect beautifully combines the whiteness of the
building with the blue colour of the sea.
Far Out Village
Village Resort Hotel was built in 1995, harmoniously designed in the traditional
Cycladic architecture and set on the beautiful Mylopotamos Beach. The hotel was set on the site of a typical Ios summer
style villa and has kept the shaded gardens surrounding the white buildings and
the main house in its original style.
Liostasi Ios Hotel & Spa
a hillside with breathtaking views facing the setting sun, this traditional
hotel is just a short walk from both Ios Village and the beach. Liostasi
Ios Hotel enjoys a picturesque setting, just a short walk from the captivating
bays of the island. The deluxe hotel offers a variety of stylish and comfortable
rooms to meet your individual needs. Spend the day relaxing around the
outdoor pool or in the soothing Jacuzzi. In the evening, relax with a drink on
your private balcony as the sun sets.
Brotherís Hotel, where comfort, quality and style meet budget accommodation.
Situated near Yialos beach in Kambos Valley, within walking distance of
Ios Port, this family-run hotel combines a peaceful location with modern
facilities. There is a beautiful open air swimming pool, ample parking space and
a bar that serves a range of refreshments and snacks. Rooms are spacious and
well-equipped to ensure a comfortable stay, each with a private balcony with
views of the pool, sea or gardens. The Brothers Hotel offers a peaceful,
family atmosphere for a perfect getaway.
Homer's Inn Hotel
just between the village and the port of Ios, Homerís Inn Hotel is an excellent
base for travellers seeking the best of both worlds. Enjoy a cocktail at
the pool bar, after a swim in one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in Ios.
Admire the lovely views of the port and Yialos beach from the spacious breakfast
lounge. Take the 10 minute walk to explore the village or reach the port in just
5 minutes. There is also a very regular bus service, from right outside Homerís,
which can take you to Mylopotas and Koumbara beach. Recently
refurbished, Homerís Inn offers all modern amenities, including wireless
internet access, air conditioning and satellite TV.
situated and overlooking the beautiful resort of Yialos, this modern yet
traditional hotel has been built according to typical Aegean architectural
styles and offers wonderful panoramic views. This convenient location
provides easy access to all areas of greater Ios. The beach, the port and the
city centre are within easy walking distance. In the vicinity you will also find
an active nightlife, excellent transport links and modern amenities.
There is a large outdoor swimming pool with free loungers, parasols and
a smaller pool for children. The bright, light interior is designed and
decorated in a traditional style which generates a very homely feel. The hotel
also includes a restaurant and bar. With a warm atmosphere, stunning
vistas and comfortable accommodation, this picturesque hotel features all that
you can wish for in a holiday in this beautiful area.
Hotel enjoys a privileged location, since it is located in Mylopotas beach, just
3 km away from Chora, and only 50 meters away from the beach itself. The hotel
is built with the philosophy and the simplicity of Cycladic buildings, and it
harmoniously combines white and stone, in a way that harmonises with the
natural environment. A garden with particular care, offers the dew and the
shade of green, to the rooms of the hotel and the visitors. Very near the hotel is the bus stop with very frequent itineraries to the Chora and
the harbour as well as other regions of Ios.
sudios are located in Mylopotas, only 750 meters away from the beach and 650
meters from the main village. Pelagos offers quite family atmosphere and
great views to the Aegean Sea.
All rooms are modern equipped, with mini
bar, shower, safety boxes, verandas and view of the Aegean Sea and Mylopotas
beach. Guests may enjoy their breakfast in the sun terrace, while
enjoying the blue sea views. The location is ideal to explore the island
of Ios and its beauties. Free transfer is offered from the port.
Mare Monte Hotel
hotel is situated on the beach, only a few hundred meters from the main port of
Ios. Offering a beautiful view of Yialos beach from one side and the
mountains of Ios island on the other side, the hotel enjoys a privilege
location in a peaceful surrounding. The rooms come with an en suite
bathroom, and all modern facilities, as to satisfy the needs even of the most
demanding guests. At the swimming pool and poolside snack bar you can enjoy
your drink while taking in the sun. You can start your morning with a rich
buffet breakfast served in the breakfast room. The Mare Monte Bar is
designed to sweep away the weariness of the day.
|See more hotels in Ios or use Matt Barrett's Create an Itinerary Form and we will help you with hotels and ferry tickets. You can also find Villas, Self-catering apartments, holiday homes and Air BnB Style accommodations by using Matt's Greek Villas Search and on Matt's Hotels of Greece Ios Page.
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