I’m in IOS baby! Well, at least I was two weeks ago -sobs-
Ios was our last port of call on the Cycladic Islands and, in contrast to Mykonos and Santorini (which had a blend of pretty streets, historic sights and great nightlife) Ios is pretty much a party island, known for its nightclubs and its beautiful beaches. I was dubious as to how we’d fill our days in contrast to the other islands, but when you party in Ios, a day at the beach is exactly what you need to recover.
Most of my highlights from this island are probably going to be bars, but please forgive me in the spirit of Ios! If you visit you will definitely understand.
Far Out Spa Hotel
Rather than staying in the slightly rowdier beach club, I was thrilled to find that we would be staying in Far Out’s Spa Hotel, a safe distance away from the craziness. I would 100% recommend this hotel, even if you love to party. A shuttle bus is always available to take you down to the beach club, you are just a 20 minute walk from the main village and its many clubs, and it has its own spa – what more could you ask for? As for the rooms, they were gorgeous inside, and ours had a pretty fancy balcony with sweeping beach views.
It’s practically a sin to visit a spa hotel and not visit the spa, so naturally this was our first stop in Ios. My 45 minute long Mediterranean Hydrating Massage was the perfect remedy to my tired limbs and slightly sunburnt skin. Using a blend of olive oil, honey and milk, my masseuse made my skin feel silky smooth and worked out the knots in my back, probably caused by my penchant for sleeping on ferries, buses and basically any form of public transport during the trip! Absolute heaven.
You know that pub where you meet all of your friends, have a casual drink and decide where you’re going to go that night? That’s Fun Pub. It’s got beer pong, pool tables, table football and some music to put you in the mood for a great night out, and it has pretty good drink promos to boot. We started every night in the Fun Pub, and I even won a vest top for winning a pool competition (the men that I was playing against were somewhere between impressed and trying to hide their bruised egos).
Who thought that getting hit across the head with a blunt object would rate highly on your list of holiday highlights? I even paid for the privilege. When we arrived at Slammer on our first night in Ios, I noticed a lot of people donning motorcycle helmets to take their shots, so naturally, I walked to the bar and asked: “Can I have the shot that comes with the helmet?”. Next thing I know, I’m downing a tequila slammer, wearing said helmet and getting beaten around the head with a fire extinguisher. It should definitely be up there on your Greek Island bucket list, just sayin.
All I really know about Lost Boys is that it had REALLY nice vest tops that you could win if you completed a seven shot challenge. Sadly I was slightly financially embarrassed by the time we reached Lost Boys, so I had to settle for helping my best friend with her seven shot challenge. However, if you have ever seen the movie, The Lost Boys, I am told that the interior is a tribute to the set.
Please don’t hold me to that, because I’m taking my friend’s word for it, but even still, you should go for the vest tops if nothing else.
Sweet Irish Dreams
At home, a taxi home at 1:30AM is usually as late as my night gets. So, with this in mind, you can imagine my expression when I realise that Sweet Irish Dreams, the clubbiest nightclub in Ios, didn’t open until 3:30AM, and that was considered an early night to the locals! Reaching Sweet Irish Dreams was as much of a milestone to us as it was a late night party destination, but it’s still a pretty cool club when it gets lively at around 4AM.
Ios Sailing Spectacular
My final highlight was one of our Contiki excursions, and possibly one of my favourite of the trip. We boarded a pirate ship on our second day on the island, and sailed to a secluded beach to spend an afternoon. Sadly, my blogging skills weren’t quite at their usual standards on this day, so I didn’t quite catch the name of the beach we docked at, but I can tell you that it means ‘sour waters’ in Greek. Why it got its name, I have no idea, because there was nothing wrong with the water from where I was swimming.
To put it simply, it was paradise. We jumped off the edge of the ship, swam to the shore, lazed on the beach, climbed rocks and I even snorkelled for the very first time, despite my irrational fear of fish. It was absolute bliss, and the perfect way to spend one of my final days of the trip.
Did you enjoy hearing about my Contiki adventures? Read the rest of my Greek Island hopping posts, I went a little crazy!
- What I thought of my first Contiki experience
- How to spend a layover in Amsterdam
- Greek Island Hopping Part One: Athens
- Greek Island Hopping Part Two: Mykonos
- Greek Island Hopping Part Three: Santorini