Justin’s Ios Travel Guide

Nationality: American

Before traveling to Ios, Greece, I had read that it was one of the bigger party islands of the Cycladic Islands.  I chose to visit the island because it was a good midway point between Santorini and Mykonos, but also because it seemed to have an abundant nightlife and a relaxing beach scene during the daytime.

My family stayed at Levantes Luxury Resort in Mylopotas, a beach town located about ten minutes from the main town, Chora.  After we checked in the owner of the hotel brought us down through the bar and restaurant area where smooth and relaxing music produced an aura of paradise. The rooms were simple but beautiful and each had its own balcony looking towards the ocean.  The view from the bar is sensational.  The hotel rests atop a hill looking over the beach cove and into the ocean.  The water from the infinity pool transitions into the ocean to give a sense of how important water is to the people of the island.

We went to Greece during mid-May so there weren’t many people staying at the hotel and we got to know the staff very well.  It is a family-run hotel consisting of the owner, his wife, and two of his three beautiful daughters.  They were extremely friendly and very helpful recommending the island’s best bars, restaurants, and sunset-viewing locations.  Many of our nights started off having a few drinks with the family before we went into town to eat dinner.  The girls even took my brother and I into town to try one of their favorite bars, Slammer Bar.

The Island of Ios is very quaint and tranquil, and really evoked an appreciation of how great the Cycladic islands actually are and how much history they have seen in the vast Aegean Sea.  Mylopotas beach is very clean and has golden sand.  There are several bars lining the beach with a significant sized hostel (Far Out Camping) at the end
where many young travelers stay and relax.  The water is very blue and refreshing.  It is also nice because the land forms a cove around the beach so the water is relatively calm and everything feels very secluded.

After spending several hours working on our tans, chatting with fellow travelers, and playing various beach games, my brother and I would meet up with our mom and dad and the staff at the hotel for some drinks before dinner.  While talking to the family that owned the hotel, we inquired about its name, Levantes.  The father told us that while the hotel was under construction, he asked one of the men working on it where the constant winds were coming from.  The man told him that they were the Levantes winds coming from the other side of the mountain.  It was becoming clear to us that the Greeks have an enduring respect for nature and the resources that they live off of and this story was no exception.

Whether it is the breathtaking whitewashed maze of buildings in the islands main town of Chora, the golden slopes leading into the emerald blue waters, or the constant sound of goat bells clanging in the background, Ios Greece is truly an unforgettable place.  Here you can find complete and tranquil relaxation during the day and one of the best nightlife towns in all of Greece.  Bars like Barmacy hide in the little alley ways of the main town but offer a great time when you finally find them.  The island offers well-known Greek hospitality, seafood as fresh as it comes, and stark, jaw-dropping landscape, without the large crowds that Mykonos and Santorini see.

It was difficult leaving Ios but it had given us some of the greatest memories of our lives.  Our departure was also made a little easier by our next destination, Mykonos Greece.  One of the things that is so nice about the Cycladic islands is that there are so many of them and leaving is much easier when you know a new and exciting destination awaits.  You just have to make sure you emerge yourself in one island at a time to truly appreciate what each one has to offer.

Article by Justin Zeh courtesy of www.rollinglobe.com

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