Ios….Here We Come
After being stranded the day before in the middle of the sea, this day was already starting off significantly better than the last. For one, our boat was no longer broken and so we carried on our adventures. Despite missing our opportunity to visit Naxos, we were excited for our next destination: Ios. As I mentioned before, this entire trip was planned in the spur of a moment and so going into it I had little knowledge of what each small island was known for. What I would soon find out is besides Ios being known for its beautiful beaches is also quite a popular party hub. What this meant for the next two days, I would soon find out.
When we arrived to Ios, we headed straight to a “secluded bay”, where a private BBQ party was arranged for us with music and free shots of Ouzo. After staying for a short period of time, I went to a store to pick up some souvenirs and then headed back to the boat to get some rest. As my blog name suggests, while I do love travel there is nothing I love more than getting enough sleep. Top that with an ambivert nature, I was exhausted and needed time to recharge my batteries if there was any hope of going out that night to check out the nightlife. And so, I arrived back to the boat, managed to get a nap in, and took my sweet time showering and getting ready for the night ahead. With the boat strangely quiet, it was the peace I needed after the crazy adventures of the last few days.
When everyone began to trickle back in from the beach party, I was now well rested and ready to enjoy the nightlife that Ios had to offer. However, there was one stop that had to be made first: a stop for dinner. For those reading this, one of my favourite things about Greece was the food. Not only is it absolutely delicious but it is super cheap and affordable, and after being in Greece for about ten days, I didn’t even come close to maxing out my budget for this trip. After stuffing my face with a very generous portion of food it was time for the festivities to begin.
The first stop on our bar/club/ crawl was the Fun Pub Sports Bar & Restaurant. This spot was the perfect place to ease you into the night ahead. The bar hosts a giant jenga set as well as pool tables for the public to play. Despite not getting the chance to play jenga (which for those who know me will know this is a goddamn tragedy), it was a great way to ease into the mayhem as despite this place being quite packed it maintains a kind of pub feel to it. After spending a short time in the fun pub, it was time to step into the real nightlife of Ios.
Ios is great in that we did not have to pay for drinks or cover in many of the places we visited. Due to the multitude of clubs that line the streets, clubs often offer free entry and a free drink in order to bring in people and fill up the clubs. The same club that may have been full an hour ago can quickly become empty due to this kind of competition from other establishments and so for those who enjoy the party lifestyle, it is definitely the island for you. After excessive bar/club hopping, one of the South Africans on our tour suggested a once in a lifetime experience: Slammer Bar. Now while you can’t expect free drinks here, it is an interesting experience to say the least. For a few Euros, you can order a Slammer shot. Now what is a Slammer Shot you ask? For the brave ones out there, a helmet is placed on your head, you take a shot, and then are hit by a miscellaneous object by one of the bartenders. The logic behind it, is that it is supposed the blow to your head (with the safety of a helmet of course), is meant to intensify the buzz from the alcohol. While I cannot validate whether it made me feel any more buzzed or not, it was harmless fun nonetheless. After dancing a bit in the Slammer Bar, it was time to move on. After visiting a few other clubs/bars we landed at the Circus Bar.
Out of all the places I visited during the crawl, it was this place I enjoyed most. In contrast to the other places we visited that night, Circus Bar was more my scene. Besides having incredibly affordable drinks (no freebies, sorry!), the bar won me over with its live music, tavern like atmosphere, and daily fireshows. Although the majority of the live music was covers of popular songs, it was still refreshing to be amongst this crowd enjoying the music. It was here I spent the rest of the night with one other tourmate, enjoying the tunes being played on guitars and a Cajon (box drum). Not only was the live music fantastic, but top that with the fireshow and great bartenders, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
Next Day: Mylopotas Beach
The next morning, the survivors from the night before were herded onto a public bus to one of the most popular beaches in Greece: Mylopotas Beach. The beach lived up to the hype, as its long expanse of beach offered something for everyone. For youths looking for a lively beach vibe, there are many restaurants and bars to be visited along this long strip of beach. For families, there are large areas of beach away from the commotion of the party scene. After being out all night, the visit to Mylopotas beach was a much needed break. Seeing our tired eyes and the hungover faces of many, our guides took us to a slightly more secluded area of the beach, and here we were able to enjoy the crystal clear waters and radiating warmth of the sun on our skin all to ourselves. To make things even better, that day a Greek style BBQ was arranged while we relaxed on the beach along with an assortment of alcohol for purchase. After spending the day of the beach swimming in the water and lounging on chairs soaking in the sun, it was time to head back to prepare for the another night on the town.
I will not delve into details about the second night on the town due to it being very similar to the first night, however considering I witnessed the sun rising as we finished partying was evident of the fun that was had. With that being said, I want to express that Ios is an island that offers a little something for everybody. For someone looking to spend a few days lounging at beautiful beaches, this is the place for you. And for those looking for a party scene, the plethora of options available will not leave you disappointed. I for one enjoyed the island but was excited for the final destination of our tour : Santorini.