We had to wake up at 4:30am in Athens to get a 7:15am ferry to Ios, Greece (FYI you pronounce it EE-OSS) because we were nearly an hour out from the port and we had to board the ferry an hour prior. I hate early mornings. When we got to the train we realized the train wasn’t open yet and started freaking out about how we would get to the port, luckily for us the station opened ten minutes after we arrived, so we got on a train and made it to the port fine.
To travel between the greek islands, the best way to do it is to ferry across (It’s not cheap). All of the small islands don’t have airports anyway so you have to fly into Athens or a bigger island (Like Crete) and ferry across to them.
The ferry ride was tiring, it was a long ride (Although not as long as the ferry from Dubrovnik to Bari) and the seats weren’t comfortable at all. I tried sleeping with my legs up on the window sill but that didn’t really work. By the time we got to Ios we were glad to be off the ferry, grabbing our luggage though was a bit of a mission as well because of the mass amounts of people getting off of the ferry. We managed it okay with nothing lost, we then found the person holding the sign that had the name of our hostel, Francesco’s, on it and asked them if we were able to get a ride with them up as we hadn’t organised a transfer from the ferry to the hostel. Luckily for us there was room and it was all fine.
My first impression of Ios was that it was hot and dry and everything was brown from dying off from the heat. But it seemed small and quaint.
Because we hadn’t arranged a transfer to Francesco’s we had ended up in the hostel owners jeep (Francesco himself) and went up the back way. Francesco’s was quaint and very greek with white buildings and cobble pathways. I instantly loved it. While we waited for the reception to finish organizing our rooms, we sat in the courtyard and got to know a few of the other people who had come up with us. We had been getting to learn a lot of other people’s travel stories as we travelled, it was always cool getting to hear more and even say ‘Oh! We just came from there!’ or ‘Oh, we’re going there next, do you recommend anything in specific?’.
The view from the hostel.
The rooms we had paid for had air conditioning and were very nice and felt like a mini hotel rather than a hostel, we were surprised they had been so cheap! But we were glad we had opted for air conditioning because Ios was hitting 40 degrees Celsius all of the time, including night, and it was way too hot to sleep without it. We met a lot of people who had gotten the rooms without air conditioning and they had told us they pretty much didn’t sleep because it was so hot, so they partied all night instead and slept in the pool or on the beach.
On the first day there we got the doctor to come in to have a look at my ankle (Thank god for travel insurance) because it was ridiculous at how I could now not really walk on it, I was close to tears every time I did. The doctor ended up telling me I had torn my ligament and that all I had to do was strap it and take anti-inflammatory’s; I was so thankful it wasn’t serious because medical help on the greek islands was definitely not the same as the mainland.
I wasn’t able to swim on the first day because of the strap which was very hard as it was so insanely hot, so I sat in the courtyard reading my book and drinking ice cold drinks. The hard life. Then I couldn’t go out with everyone that night which sucked because the whole hostel went out together and it looked like so much fun. In the long run though I was glad because the next day I got the removable strap which I could take off to swim and I was able to walk more than I could the day before which meant we could go sightseeing.
The next day we ventured out into the city center of Ios and were delighted to find that the city center was right there. Francesco’s was literally on the edge of the center, it was perfect. The city center was very,very greek. It was walking only, white-rimmed cobbled pathways that went every which way. Stairs lead up and down, alleyways twisted and turned, there were stores everywhere. It was beautiful and so very cool.
The streets were so pretty and quaint!
Our time in Ios was amazing. We spent the days in the pool and the nights partying in the city center. It was the same everyday, swim in the pool to cure our hangover, start drinking that afternoon and enjoy the sun, go out with the whole hostel to the crazy bars, repeat the next day. Lather, rinse, repeat for four days straight.
I absolutely loved Ios. It was definitely one of the highest ranked places on my list, purely because of how much fun we had, the brilliant weather, the friends we made and people we met, the insane different bars and the beautiful cobbled streets of the city center. I would recommend Ios in summer to anyone who was looking for a party in a heartbeat.
The nightlife in Ios was off the hook. It was crazy good. Insanely fun. Ios is definitely the best party greek island out of them all. All of the bars were quirky, they had different quirks about them. There was The Lost Boys bar which everyone but Alesha and I seemed to love (That was one of the bars where we had weird tasting alcohol and then got sick), there was Slammer bar which was where you bought a shot, got given a helmet to wear, shot your shot and then you would get hit in the head with something. It was quite a rush. I got hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, it was fun and weird.
Alesha wearing the helmet at Slammer bar before she took her shot and got hit in the head.
At another bar you buy a shot and then get slapped in the face with a handful of face paint. That also happened to me, unfortunately we didn’t get a photo of the slapped hand across my face but I had been told it looked pretty cool.
As you can see, we had a lot of fun and there definitely was a lot of alcohol involved.
Pre-drinking with the whole hostel.
Three quarters of the hostel playing drinking games before going out to the bars. See what I mean about meeting a ton of awesome people? Who drank with them, partied with them, got lost from them, found them wandering the streets while very intoxicated, nurtured a hangover with them while swimming in the pool and then repeat.
One thing we had fallen in love with in Ios, was Gyros (We were saying this like GEAR-OSS). Gyros was this delicious pita pocket with salad and hot chips and Tzatziki and oh my god it was heaven. We were eating gyros for lunch, dinner and then a midnight snack. It was cheap and delicious and amazing. And you can only get it in Greece! Seriously not fair.
Aleasha with Gyros.
The whole time we were there we had kept meaning to venture out of the city center to see the beach and Far Out Beach Hostel which apparently was the best party hostel there (I have to say Francesco’s was insanely cool and fun though), however we never quite made it, we were either too hung over, too tired, it was too hot, or because I couldn’t really walk far with my ankle, it just wasn’t worth the aggravation. I definitely could have done more time in Ios though and if we had stayed longer we would have made it to the beach and probably done a boat tour as well.
On the morning of leaving we got taken down to the port with some other people and randomly made friends with them as we learned they were going to move to London, more London friends!
Seriously, as I have stated multiple times already, Ios was one of the best party places we visited. If you every plan to do Greek Island hopping, I recommend Ios as the top island on your list! If you have to choose, always go with Ios. Loved, loved, loved it.