Tourist holiday reviews of the Greek island of Ios. Holiday reviews of Ios resorts, beaches, apartments, tavernas and all aspects of Ios holidays from people who have visited the island. I welcome all opinions on holidays in Ios.
If you would like to add your comments please email Greek Island Postcards
Good: Not a lot.
Bad: The classic small island is now become a grotesque caricature of small-island tourism. On a summer evening the narrow village street, just wide enough for a laden donkey, is ear splitting, claustrophobic mayhem . . . broken bottles and the previous night's vomit are now more frequent hazards than donkey droppings.
Good: No other island is quite like Ios, nor attracts the same vast crowds of young people, although attempts are being made to move the island's tourism upmarket.
Bad: Crime and police raids are becoming frequent as the island strains under the sheer impact of increasing youth tourism.
Good: Not a lot.
Bad: Ios remains the mecca for throngs of young people who spend their days lounging on the best beaches in the Cyclades and their evenings staggering from one watering hole to another.
I have been travelling to Ios since 1989 - as a single girl with her friends, and subsequently married with a child. The guide books are right "nowhere else is like Ios" - and it's not just for the vomit in the streets, drug abuse, violence etc. It is still a beautiful and idyllic Greek island - the locals are lovely, I should know I married one! It's like any other holiday destination you go in the height of the season and you can come across utter madness that is young (and the not so young) people on holiday ... having fun! Trust me, what people see on Ios now is nothing to what went on in the late 80s, it's really quite tame now. Its no worse than any British town on a Friday or Saturday night.
There are good restaurants - and not just dodgy burger places - and always have been. The beaches are fabulous - much better than on other islands, in Greece or other destinations in the Med. I'd recommend anyone to visit Ios, and do regularly. Its an island where you can have the best of both worlds - party until you vomit or just chill out and meander around the Chora - which is lovely, especially in the late afternoon when all the locals are sat around chatting, playing backgammon etc. Ios is a wonderful place to take children on holiday - safe beaches, great places to eat - and how well you are treated when you holiday with children. The Mayor of Ios and a lot of hoteliers and bar owners, have worked very hard over the last ten years or so to improve Ios's image with varying degrees of success.
Compare Ios to the likes of Mykonos - now that used to be a great party island - on visiting last year, it has become soulless and very un-Greek, even the locals are yearning for the heady days of the late 80'/early 90's when a generation of middle aged women had fallen in love with the idea of being Shirley Valentine and running away to Mykonos to find themselves again. So carry on with your character assassination of my favourite place in the world - after all it keeps Ios for the likes of me, and countless others who love the island ... and it keeps the muppets out.
The travel writers and various journalists that have come to Ios in the past are somewhat DISAPPOINTED to find that it is not like the rumours and legends will have you believe. Far be it for these people to actually do some work and spend more than an evening on the island they simply "pass through" to check prices etc. And this is the ONLY reason that you can read these guides with slightly different variations on a 15-year-old theme.
I have travelled a lot and seen various resorts but i am willing to stake my reputation on the line by declaring that Ios is in fact stunningly beautiful, extremely friendly and superb value. Now in the past two or three years we have received some fantastic publicity in various magazines and UPCLASS newspapers around the world ... And deservedly so!! As an Ios veteran i feel that i need to stand up and support the place that I live and am bringing up a child in. Full season in Ios as in ANY Mediterranean hotspot is definitely the BUSIEST and the most HECTIC ... But this is for 30 or so days ! AND I REPEAT ... any holiday resort in full season is in most peoples' opinion a "nightmare".
Can you think of anywhere else in the world that (in PEAK season)you can still find plenty of beaches (and good beaches at that) that are almost deserted? We have many on Ios ,and new roads to get you there. Ios is remarkably cosmopolitan and that is reflected by the various restaurants and bars on Ios that cater for all tastes. I feel that if i was travelling around Greece and I was using the travel books as my guide that I would maybe give it a "wide berth" ... THAT IS AN ENORMOUS SHAME AND A BIG MISTAKE. THERE IS SOMETHING ON IOS FOR EVERYONE.
The nightlife in Ios is located inside of Hora ONLY ... This is a very small area compared to the rest of Ios which is at your disposal. There is an abundance of places that you can be to have a more sedate vacation and NEVER have to be in the middle of the "action". So, when you are next travelling through Greece, stop off in Ios, spend a few days there, mix with the people and have a good time ... but please promise us that you will remember us here and recommend us to your friends and help us once and for all give Ios the good publicity that it rightly deserves.
Oh my god, this place has something for everyone whether you are 16 or 60, from the best beaches to best nightlife for all ages. I was amazed at this island after arriving on Ios. Reading your reviews here, I was wary of what to find on Ios. This island has got to have the best beaches out of all the islands I visited, from the busy Miloportas beach, with golden sand, to little coves such as Kolitsani, Laorezena, Psathi, Klima and more, where you can find your own cove to skinny dip.
Also Ios has probably the finest cuisine in the Greek islands, first Lord Byron's restaurant, which was voted number one restaurant for 2005 and its sister restaurant Old Byron's, both situated in village. Then there's Ali Baba, probably the best Thai food I've tasted out of Thailand and so much more. I came away a few kilos heavier but what memories. Then there's the actual characters who live on this island. I have never met so many friendly people and great hospitality as I did in Ios. Thank you Ios, and all the people, for making and giving me the time of my life. You'll see me in Ios every year from now on.
I have to say I am in total agreement with those who believe Ios is a brilliant place to visit. I am a 24 year old and I visited the island with my girlfriend last July. We had an absolutely superb time and decided to stay for 2 weeks rather than the 5 days originally planned. We also visited many of the other Cyclades and found them somewhat boring in comparison. We spent a number of days on the south of the island at Manganari and thought it was absolutely beautiful, and I am quite puzzled as to why someone would call it overcrowded. We had a beach to ourselves, which was beautiful, and excellent for snorkeling. The other beaches had a very small number of people on them. Only one coach per day departs from Mylopotas for Manganari even in peak season so it is unlikely to be overcrowded. As for the rest of the island, it is beautiful and extremely cheap in comparison with others in the Cyclades. On numerous occasions, I was told it was absolutely impossible to get hold of even marijuana in Ios, contrary to what has previously been said about the drug culture here.
We also found a number of nice tavernas located out of Chora, particularly at Plakes beach where we ate our meals in hammocks at sunset. I will be returning to this island and only leaving to visit Antiparos for a few days this year and every year for a while with my girlfriend as it is very romantic. If you keep away from obvious tourist spots at busy times such as Mylopotas beach during the day and after midnight in Chora then you will have a fantastic time. Besides there are plenty more beaches that are equally attractive, if not as attractive as Mylopotas, you simply need to explore. Why anyone would walk round at midnight in any town in the world and not expect to see drunk people is beyond me anyway. IOS IS NOT FULL OF BRITISH LAGER LOUTS, IT IS A VERY BEAUTIFUL, VERY MULTICULTURAL PLACE AND SHOULD BE VISITED BY EVERYONE, BOTH YOUNG AND OLD!!!!
I can't believe what I have just read . . . and am actually in a state of shock as I read this. Being an enormous fan of Ios, and somewhere I plan to get married next year I feel your report is somewhat untrue, if not vastly exaggerated. I feel that anyone reading this info would get a very misguided picture of the glory Ios has to offer. Last summer I visited Ios again and had a thoroughly enjoyable season. Any Greek island will always have an element of partying - Ios included - although I certainly do not consider this is all that Ios offers.
We did a lot of driving last year and found some absolutely breathtaking views as well as tucked-away tavernas offering some of the freshest seafood imaginable. And this report would not be complete without mentioning 'Lord Byron' - that is surely a restaurant that is in a class of it's own and one I re-visit year after year. So again, I disagree with your very slanted view on Ios - I am in my 30s and enjoy romantic dinners, sunsets and peace and serenity and I certainly find it every year on the island of Ios - oh! and never seem to be tripping over all the passed-out bodies you seem to mention from drugs and alcohol.
Having lived there back in the day (1972-1975), I read with much sadness about the current state of perpetual spring break there. I feel for the natives, who welcomed me and others with open arms and hearts back then, and wonder how they cope. Sure, upscaling might "help", but I can't help but wonder at the mindlessness of travelling to other cultures only to pass out from the drugs and alcohol. No island is safe from this onslaught ... . it's the sign of the times, I guess. Thanks for the website.
Having read your article about Ios I think you have really painted a bad and unrealistic picture of the island. I've been there many times and am going this year again for the summer. What kind of people was your article aimed at? It is true that in July and August, the mainly Italian and Israeli crowd are quite obnoxious but there are plenty of people like myself who come because it is a relaxing and magical place. I felt a certain vibe at the place which will make me continue to go there again and again. As for the tavernas being bad I'm afraid you're way off the mark. Next time try Vesuvio near the main square or the Mills at the port. It's Greek cooking at its best and with a friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices. As for comparing it to Faliraki, you must be joking. Faliraki is full of the dregs of English society and you can't be serious in comparing it to Ios. Anyway, my point is don't tar everyone with the same brush who visits Ios.