Karen’s Ios Story
Until a few months ago my boyfriend and I had never heard of the Greek Island Ios. It was only by chance talking to a Canadian girl about our Greek Island hopping trip in London that got our minds thinking about checking out Ios and adding it into our Greek Island itinerary.
There are over 40 bars in Ios Greece and no shortage of dance floors and drink specials to get the night moving.
Ios is one of the Cyclades Islands – a group of Islands located in the Aegean Sea off the Coast of Greece. The Cyclades are the closest set of islands to Greece. There are three main parts to the island: the port – where you arrive; the village – where the majority of the bars, clubs, shops and restaurants are located; and Mylopotas Beach – the main and biggest beach on the island, located only 15 minutes walk from the village with regular buses every 15 minutes going in both directions.
Getting to Ios Greece
There are a few different ways to get to Ios. You can catch one of the many ferries to Ios departing from Athens or fly direct to Santorini which is a neighbouring island only half an hour away from Ios by ferry. We flew to Santorini, stayed for a few days then got the ferry to Ios.
A fast ferry from Athens to Ios will cost 50 euro each, one way, and take about four hours. You can opt to get a slower ferry taking eight hours for half the price but the people I know who took it, said it is torture and they would definitely would not do it again. During peak season there are direct ferries from Athens to Ios. Be careful though as the fast ferries will not operate in rough sea conditions so if booking a fast ferry make sure you have a bit of give with your future plans in case a cancellation occurs.
The tourist season runs from May to early September. During peak season (mid July – mid August) there are more ferries to Ios available, but be warned they do fill up pretty fast due to the large volume of people around that time. Arriving in early June was fantastic as you get to have the beach to yourself, the clubs are full but not packed, and get more of a feel for the island. The locals are also a lot more chilled out! If you want a more quieter and relaxed Ios then travel either side of peak season.
Your best bet is to have your accommodation organised before you arrive. The one simple reason is that you are not guaranteed to find something in peak season so it is good to have a hotel booked in advance plus it also avoids getting swamped as soon as you get off the ferry in Ios by hotel owners wanting you to stay in their hotel.
Just before peak season you can get some great deals from many of the nice hotels on the island. We stayed in Ios Resort Hotel, located very close to the main village, and it was very good value for what we got compared to other Greek Islands. The room was very clean and had modern stylish decor with TV, air con, and a nice sized bathroom and balcony which looked up at the main village. The hotel also had a deep pool with side bar where we chilled for a few drinks each night before heading to the Fun Pub.
Where to party and eat out
Most of the clubs play top 40 summer hits and house, electro dance or R&B Hip Hop favourites. Expect a cover charge on most of the clubs later in the night during peak season – around five euro. The upside of this is, when you wake up in the morning with a memory blank (it will happen), you can look at the collection of stamps up your arm and see where you have been! The Square, as it is known, is the starting point for most people’s night – not to be confused with the big square next to the main road. Follow the crowds of people and you’ll find it.
My top Bars in Ios
The Fun Pub – Great Fun lol – offers relatively inexpensive drinks and a pub like atmosphere, complete with karaoke. It is a popular hangout and very happening bar, great place to start the night with a pool table, giant jenga and live sport on the TV. also great to chill out as they have a small movie room and show all the recent movies.
Astra Bar – Fantastic cocktails – very yummy and made right in front of you from fresh ingredients – and great house music. Located up some stairs by the big square in between two jewellery shops.
Orange Bar – Rock Bar – These guys have come up with some great tasting shots. Malteser shots, Cheese Cake and Bounty shots, the list goes on! And, they actually taste like the real thing. Don’t believe me, then go try it!
Coo Bar – This is a little underground white style bar with a live DJ nestled in the main village next to Flames bar. Coo is open most of the season and is highly recommended.
Sweet Irish Dream is the main night club on the Island of Ios and is open until nearly 8am in the morning with all types of music to suit all types of people. It has solid tables where it would be rude not to get up and have a dance or two on them. The bar staff are totally crazy lighting the bar with some type of fluid and are great fun and entertainment.
Ios Island Greece has it all. Beautiful beaches, great bars, perfect for Greek Island hopping, or a Greek Island holiday. We will be back for sure so if I see you out and about buy me a shot for all this great information on Ios Greece.