The Greek isle of Ios

Aleta Fimbres 10/01/2009

In the deep blue of the Aegean Sea, you can find Ios, between the islands of Santorini, Paros and Naxos. It’s a little island (108 sq. km.) but it has big beaches and many picturesque bays. With a total coast length of 86 km., over half of that is perfect sandy beaches.

greek islands in the sunThe clean sea, the nice beaches, and the wonderful nightlife in the bars and discos, brings in people from all over the world. There are just so many taverns, cafeterias, bars and discos, and everybody has their favourites. The fun spills out into the narrow streets of the village every night. In the summer, there are concerts with famous Greek and foreign artists, in the open air theater “Odysseus Elytis”.

I had just walked into my first bar, when Brad, just another one of those good-looking barmen that populate the Greek isles, handed me a drink, with a big Brad Pitt smile. In the words of a 22year old Swede I met later that night “sex, alcohol and friends for life” describe Ios, in the shortest amount of words possible. For those of you who want to take time off to party, Ios is the place to be.

(Message for the men – the women are gorgeous. Message for the women – the men are sultry, sexy, mythological gods.)

houses in Ios

Click here for Vera’s snapshots!

The name Ios came from the ancient Greek race of Ionians, and was the birthplace of Clymeni, mother of Homer, and in Ios the Great Poet is buried.

It’s that old, you can just feel the past and the history! Ios is the type of island that has people flocking back to it year after year, century after century; I’m certainly going back, if only to enjoy the great golden beaches.

Of the huge selection, the best are Colitsani and Coubara Beaches, and northeast of Magganari, in the little beaches of Tris Klissies, Louka, Kalamos and Plakes.The main thing is just to relax, tan and watch the English men getting burnt under the sun.

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I slipped on my slinkiest dress to feel sexy and was greeted by more Greek hunks. I entered the bar, my sole aim being to have the time of my life. Now for those who are new to this, a good place to start is ASTRA, located on the main square in Ios. Here the deejay’s music gives off a welcome house groove atmosphere, while the bar staff shows off their trade.

Astra, like most bars in Ios, has happy hours, this includes two cocktails for 5 euros! There are also other bars such as RedBull (where Brad works), and BULLDOG, which aims to please the customers with alcohol and treating their customers, uh, special.

Let me explain… Here you have a south African girl (me) in a skimpy dress, when out of nowhere the bartender places a Viking helmet on top of my head, tilts my head back, opens my mouth and pours shots of tequila and Malibu down my throat! Then takes a hammer and hits the helmet on top of my head, all of this equals to the world’s largest bloody hangover.

Every club has its own little world. In the CLUB 69, where you’ll dance ’til the clothes come off your body, the team behind the bar makes sure that the atmosphere is filled with love (alcohol, girls dancing on the bars and more dancing).

In SUPERFLY, here house music rings from dusk ’til dawn and the deejay just kicks arse with his great talent for house and taking you with him on the dance extravaganza trip.

The main parties are in August and these are done on the beach. Picture Ibiza just smaller and here everyone is family. There are also the traditional festivals, on August 15th (Panagia Gremiotissa in the Village), August 29th (St. John in Kalamos and St. John in Psathi), September 8th (St. Theodoti and Paliokastro). There are also other smaller festivals in Agia Varvara, Mersinia, St. George in Vourlidakia and St. Vlassis. So you can get your disco and culture in!

sunrise in iosRestaurants are everywhere, but I most highly recommend Ali Baba’s where the service is fantastic, with great tasty food and the owner makes sure you’re happy and comfortably while in his care.

And since all restaurants and clubs are situated on the main square, you’ll get home even if blind drunk, and you’ll never be without a gang of friendly smiley faces.

Like Brad says, “Ios is blessed by the Greek gods, that’s why people keep come back year after year.”

How to get there: From Athens you can take a ferry for about 20 euro (cheapest) but the trip is 9 hours or you can take the fast boat which is about 32 euro and you can be there in 3.5 hours… being me, I took the nine-hour ride and what a trip, I came off the ferry green faced and cold only to be greeted by the scenery of this beautiful island and about 60 people all shouting at me if I needed a hotel… So accommodation is easy to acquire. All you need to do is enjoy!

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